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Here at Axminster Tools, we’re passionate about woodworking. We do all we can to help build a sustainable future for an industry we take great pride in being a part of. So when Plimsoll Productions, the company behind the new Channel 4 Show Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker, approached us to be one of the main tool and machinery suppliers, we jumped at the chance.

What is Handmade?

In this new and exciting primetime series, ambitious woodworkers went head to head on projects. Filmed in a stunning woodland setting, each episode centred around a ‘Big Build’. In short, the contestants were challenged to create “large and imaginative wooden structures” for the show’s expert judges to examine. After various rounds, the competing woodworkers were whittled down until only three finalists remained.


The Host

Comedian Mel Giedroyc presented the show –

I simply loved the entire concept of it! Sure, it’s a contest present – and there are a number of them about – however, this simply had the vibe, the vibe was sturdy!

The woodworkers were pleasantly un-bedazzled by the entire TV factor. I think they were more excited about the tools in the workshop, all the incredible timber and meeting a community of woodworkers.

Mel Giedroyc

The Judges

Helen Welch has been working with wood and building furniture for over 35 years. In 2013 she founded The London School of Furniture in South Tottenham, running regular courses for amateur furniture makers.

Alex Di Rijke is an architect, timber architecture advocate, educationalist and architectural photographer, who co-founded the architecture practice, dRMM, in 1995.

They’re both brilliant. Helen runs The London School of Furniture Making. She’s obsessed with technique and how things fit together and she’s remarkable, actually. And then Alex comes from the architecture side. He’s obsessed with wood. He says wood has a soul and now I kind of know what he means.

Mel Giedroyc
Britain's Best Woodworker

The Tools

Axminster Tools supplied a large number of tools and machines for the show. Included are some of our favourite Axminster own brands, some of which are made on-site at our Devon headquarters. Let us know if the comments below if you spotted any of your favourites.


A Sustainable Future

As part of helping to build a sustainable future for the woodworking industry, we work with a number of organisations who are all doing their bit to bridge the education skills gap. They include educational establishments, The Furniture Makers’ Company, The Institute of Carpenters, The Worshipful Company of Turners and many more. In order to achieve our goals, we must inspire new talent to join the wonderful world of woodworking.

Britains Best Woodworker 03

We share our customers’ passion for great craftsmanship and we want to help ensure valuable skills live on through future generations. When we were asked to supply tools for Handmade we saw it as a great opportunity to help inspire new talent. Furthermore, it highlights the wonderful work that already exists in our industry. As a company, we’re proud and fortunate to be in a position to support organisations who are all working together to ensure the future prosperity of woodworkers and the industry.

The show was very entertaining. I enjoyed watching to spot some of my personal favourite tools and machines in action.

Darran McLeod, Sales Director for Axminster Tools
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When can I watch Handmade?

The series has now finished but you can catch up at channel4.com.

If you’re interested in taking part in the next series, go to channel4.com/4viewers/take-part/handmade-woodworker.

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