Side table class

I want to spread the love for woodworking. One way I intend of doing it is to conduct woodworking courses. Of course, this table is also for sale.

Woodworking education is very useful

Woodworking education is very useful. Firstly, people who have woodworking knowledge appreciate wood and furniture. They are more likely to buy furniture based on value instead of price. How many times have you seen a plastic chair being upholstered with a bright colour fabric being sold at “designer prices” and people buy them. But these same people would not buy a wooden chair with solid mortise and tenon joinery…what a shame.

Secondly, they will buy wood instead of overpriced non-biodegradable plastics which harm the environment. Have you heard of this call to save the environment by reducing disposable plastic bags and use a reusable plastic bag instead? How does a reusable plastic bag save the environment? Why not use a wooden create instead? That would save the environment more than another plastic bag.

Woodworking basics

Woodworking basics. Have you ever gone for a 3 hour woodworking class and still feel very lost. I did. I have decided not to offer such short courses for serious woodworkers because they don’t really master anything. (I will offer short courses for fun, eg team bonding.) One of the courses I attended taught me to use power tools. After the course, I may know how to use the tool, but I can’t figure out how to construct furniture.  So I will teach you about structure, then teach the individual skills such as marking out, shaping, joining and finally finishing.  This way, my participants get valuable woodworking education and they can carry on the hobby at home.

Side table class

I am teaching how to make this side table on the 23 and 24th of February at XPC, Homefix building. This class will explain wood such as grain direction and wood movement. It will teach participants to mill rough sawn lumber using a jointer and planner. I will handhold them to construct the mortise and tenon joints using the drill and router. I will teach them to use both hand tools and machinery in the 2 day course. Thereafter, I can guarantee you they can make their own furniture with little


I started Clamps and Braces- Lifestyle Woodworking

Sorry for being away for so long. Missed me?? After dealing with whatever life has thrown at me at the workplace, I decided to quit my job and start my own woodworking studio. No more paper pushers telling me how to do my job as a principal occupational therapist.  Now, I’m a full time business owner, woodworker, and occupational therapist all rolled into one. And I’m very happy now.

What we believe in

Let me introduce Clamps and Braces. Clamps and Braces believes that wood is the way to go in the future. Plastics are killing the planet. Clamps and Braces aims to start and support a woodworking Maker movement in Singapore. Our fathers used to make functional furniture during their time, come our time, we buy plastics and throw lots of them away frequently. Clamps and Braces aim to start a movement similar to Man’s Shed in Australia and UK to bring woodworking back to Singapore.

We want to build communities of woodworkers who support each other, and share ideas, skills and tools. We hope to reach out to the our Fathers who used to be Makers, but have hanged up their tools. We want to provide the space, the tools, and the material for these people to continue to gather and make their things.

We want to bring the joy of woodworking to teens. Teach our teens to be Makers, not just consumers. Teach them to see value in things, not just price. Let them achieve their true potential of creativity, to make things as beautiful as art, and as useful as furniture.

We want to start a maker movement with young adults.When they set up their own home, we want them to make memories in it that can be seen decades after. Daddy and Mummy made this table together at a class by Clamps and Braces, instead of Daddy bought this table really cheap, it spoils so quickly. A couple that woodwork together, stays together surrounded by beautiful things.

What we do

We run woodworking classes (can be customized ), do custom made furniture, and we sell tools and material. see


Shaker style cabinet


There used to be a sink at that spot where this cabinet now stands. The sink was removed but the pipes, threaded rod and other fasteners that hold the sink to the wall are still there. My operations department, requested that occupational therapy help them make a cupboard. As the occupational therapist, aka me, is nice and obliging, I obliged.

I decided to make the cabinet in the Shaker style. (You all know G&G is my preferred style) Something simple that I can finish in a week (since I am leaving the company), yet nice enough for others to remember me by.

All the joints are dado joints. The frame of the door is mortise and tenon joint. The panel is booked matched and stained for contrast. If I were to improve the cabinet in future,  perhaps I’ll add in a turned door knob.

Rocking chair – work in progress


20140610_165804_Android 20140610_165755_Android 20140610_165748_Android


I am an occupational therapist working with patients with mental health problems in a psychiatric nursing home.. One of the main problems that the people I work with face is their poor cognition. Their ability to reason in a coherent manner, short term memory, reasoning ability and the ability to learn new task is affected due to their condition of schizophrenia, low IQ, among other diagnosis.

Their cognitive deficits also affect their psychosocial aspects as well. Because they are achieving much less than others, issues such as self esteem, self concept, self efficacy are also a problem. They may see themselves as being unable to achieve anything except whatever to take whatever handouts that the healthcare providers or volunteers give. They say something is too difficult even before they try because they lack the confidence to even try.

After analyzing these problems, I decided to work with them to build a rocking chair. I thought that building a rocking chair would let them see themselves as achievers. Inspiration for the design was gathered from the Maloof Rocking chair and that of  the Shaker rocking chair. I did not have a clear design on paper to work with. Instead what I did was to make a plywood model of the rocking chair, test it for comfort, before I sketch the curves on the plywood. After one side is done, my friendly router bit did the work of shaping the other side, using the first side as a template.

My patients did the sanding, lots of it. One or two of them help to drive in the screws during assembly. All of them felt that they contributed to the making of the chair in some way and they were all smiles when they sat on the chair and started rocking. One of them was heard exclaiming, “we succeeded, we succeeded!”

While the material cost of the rocking chair is really cheap (S$65), the amount of self esteem it brings to the patients is through the roof. Woodworking is indeed a good activity for patients with mental health issues.


End Grain Pop Cake Holder by a Woodworker in Singapore

A friend of mine wanted to make pop cakes for her department year end party. She thus needed a pop cake stand. She searched the web and found a simple stand costing $50. It was a simple block of wood with holes and then spray painted white. She sent me a link and asked if I could replicate it.

“Of course I can, but why would I?” was my instant reply. So I designed a one that I could call my own design, taking inspiration from the end grain cutting board.

The main board was made from the end grains of pine wood. This is frame with a teak border. Lengthwise, the teak border sits in a dovetail groove. This gives it space to expand and contract as wood naturally does. The ends tongue and grooved and held together with spots of glue and panel pins which hold them in place but still give them sufficient space to expand and contract.

So there it is. An end grain pop cake holder. I hope she likes it.

Balcony Table and Stool Set for Sale in Singapore

One table and two stools

Greene and Greene inspired table and stool set

This beautiful and unique table and stool set was inspired by the cloud lifts of Greene and Greene furniture. This piece is made from solid Burmese Teak which is a strong and lasting wood. It’s nice golden brown adds warmth to any room. The combination of good quality teak with the beauty of G&G cloud lifts  has a special grace that beckons you to sit and have coffee. The legs are inlayed with purpleheart which gives a nice complement to the golden brown teak wood. The joints at the legs are solid mortise and tenon joinery. All surfaces are rounded and hand sanded to 240 grit making the edges inviting to touch.

The table is 710mm high and has a top 595mm in diameter.
The stool is 460mm high and 335mm in diameter.

Table: S$600
Stool: S$400
Entire set: $1400
Please note that this is NOT outdoor furniture. Do NOT use in wet weather.

Stool with nice wood grain

Teak wood, nice grain

Stool with clould lifts

Note the shape of the legs


Cloud lift

Cloud lift

Cloud lift

Table with view of grain

Like the wood grain of the table top

Table top showing wood grain

Like the wood grain of the table top

Table with legs

Can you see the Purpleheart inlay?

Set of table and stool

Isometric view

Side view

Side view

Table and stool set taken from a lower angle

Photo taken from a lower angle

DSC_0426 DSC_0425 DSC_0424 DSC_0423 DSC_0422 DSC_0421 DSC_0420
Burmese Teak Stool and Table Set. Price: $1400

Burmese Teak Stool and Table Set. Price: $1400

DSC_0415 DSC_0414
Table and stool with cloud lift pattern

Note the Greene and Greene inspired cloud lift pattern

Nice balcony table and stool

Will look good in your balcony

top view of table and stool

Top view

Picture of table and stool set taken from a low angle

Front view

One table and two stools

Greene and Greene inspired table and stool set

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Table for Easter Baptismal Font in Singapore

IMG_0515Cloud lift on undersidetable legsUnderside of table Purple heart edgingTable from the front

The above are clearer pictures of the baptismal font that I made in my previous post: Easter Church Furniture. A bowl is placed on top of the table to collect the water.

Plans are underway to improve the table such as a self draining wooden bowl to match the table. Front and side pannels with baptismal related icons (dove coming down onto water) are also in the plans. So stay tune.

It is a table approx 33 inches in height and a diameter of 14 inches. The difference from previous stool design (the prototype) is that the legs are an inch larger than the diameter of the top. The previous design places the legs in the same vertical plane as the top. This design is more stable than the prototype.

I’ve also added cloud lift to the stretchers under the top for visual interest. The bottom stretch was intentionally left flat so that a shelf can be installed in future. The future plan is to add side covering and conceal some form of container to collect the run off water from the self emptying bowl on top.

Easter Church Furniture in Singapore.

Wooden Greene and Greene Table with bowl

Baptismal font. The table was inspired by Greene and Greene. You can’t see it but the top rail has cloud lifts on it. It’s made of Burmese Teak, very good Teak. Inlayed with purpleheart. finished with 5 layers of varnish and a coat of wax

Baptismal font

In this photo, the purpleheart inlay is clearer.


This is what it’s all about….


Easter deco, the effort of Holy Family’s Art Ministry.

Easter Fire Stand

Made of Kapur wood using Mortise and Tennon Joinery. A bit of an overkill for a simple stand like this but the joinery will last a long while. Finish is also five coats of varnish and a layer of wax.

These photos were taken with my iPhone as I was setting up the stuff today. Will get you better photos next time when I have a bit more time for a photo shoot. Any comments about the design. Questions and comments about their construction are also welcome.

Happy Easter.

Completed stool prototype in Singapore

DSC_9489 DSC_9488 DSC_9487 DSC_9486


This prototype will be used in my workshop. It is the prototype for an outdoor stool and table set where two persons can sit down in the evening to chat and have tea. A few lessons can be drawn from the prototype.

The seat is 50cm high (approx 1’8″ high) which may be a little too high for people who are shorter.

The size of the seat at 1 foot seem comfortable.

The legs should extend beyond its circumference to improve stability.

Holes drilled to fasten the seat the the frame needs better consideration. It should be farther away from the post to allow for an electric drill to work the screws. This time, I had to screw it in by hand.

Do give your comments. I would really appreciate it.