About Brian Anderson, woodworker

Brian Anderson is a woodworker in the Touraine region of central France. He  specializes in self-designed and hand-made contemporary furniture employing traditional joints in solid local hardwoods.

The blog will concentrate on woodworking, with occasional excursions into the related realms of what is involved in taming the capricious heart of the old French farmhouse my family and I recently bought.




6 Responses to About Brian Anderson, woodworker

  1. This is a long shot but I thought I’d try as I’m trying to help a friend in France.

    He lives in Lille and is having a hard time finding a decent timber yard to buy material from. Do you know of any places near there or places that would ship to his area?

    Kind regards,


    • Hi Patrick

      Where I live, there are no timber yards as such that I know of, like I used to frequent in the US with racks full of boards of 30-40 different species squared and planed. What I find are sawmills, which mostly stock local woods and softwood imports for roof carpentry and the like. The boards are sold straight from the saw sometimes with the bark still on depending on the species. The nice thing is it is relatively easy to find air-dried lumber. I like using the local woods, they are relatively inexpensive, and so have never really tried to find/order anything exotic. But such places must exist, especially in a big city like Lille. I would suggest he search for the word “scierie Lille” and then go to the various websites and call around to see what they offer. Near me there is a guy who runs a portable sawmill who often cuts up odd woods that he gets from gardening services and tree cutters. Your friend might also be able to ask around and find somebody like that.

      • One thing I have noticed is that recreational woodworking in France is pretty unusual, and a lot of the mills are not that enthusiastic about messing with an occasional customer who buys 3 boards for a project. Last time I went to a local mill and asked for oak, the guy asked me how I was going to load the “bille” (a flitch-sawn tree trunk stickered out and bound with steel straps) on my wimpy little trailer!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to reply mate. I didn’t expect to hear from you so soon.
    I’ll mentions your suggestions to him and hopefully he can find something somewhere.

    Kind regards,


  3. Martin Douglas says:

    Hello Brian
    I just came across your name and it caught my eye because I am a Seattle area woodworker who will be relocating to the Anjou region of the Loire Valley this summer. We’ve had a farmhouse there for several years with a plan to move after retirement. I too have had difficulty finding hardwood suppliers. There is a sawmill nearby who’s owner will cut up logs into planks for me. There also are occasional postings on Leboncoin.fr of wood for sale. A bit hit or miss I’m sure but the wood looks ok most of the time. It looks like you’ve got it sorted in your region.
    Did you move your shop to France or did you buy all new equipment when you moved? I’m planning on moving my shop. I have electrician friend who will wire as best he can for my power needs. I see a few more hand made pieces in my future. All the best.

    Martin Douglas de La Lande Chasles, Maine et Loire

    • Hi Martin

      Congrats on the move. I have been happy just using the local oak, ash etc and some reclaimed wood. And my ex-landlady gave me a couple of cubic meters of odds and ends of species of wood she had in her barn, so I haven’t really needed to buy much. I didn’t really have a shop in the States, and have lived abroad most of my adult life. I mostly got into woodworking here building simple small boats, and then some furniture once we bought an apartment and I found that the furniture available was expensive soulless crap. For a long time, I did most of my woodworking on vacation at the in-laws here in France, so hand tools were much easier to transport, and it made no sense to invest in stationary tools to use 3-4 weeks a year. But I have really gotten to like the hand-tool thing so even though I now have place for them in my barn, I plan mostly just to stick with what I’ve got, a cheap table saw and a good thicknesser, though a 14-18″ bandsaw would be nice. I’m sure you have looked into it, but I would have thought shipping big stationary power tools would cost more than just selling there and buying here? Should be no problem for an electrician to install a transformer to step down to 110v though. I understand that in the UK, they routinely use 110v for their tools on jobsites because they figure it is less dangerous than 220v, so maybe you could find a “plug and play” option from a dealer there.

      Anyway, nice to hear from you, if you are planning to get up my way (30k east of Tours on the Cher river) you’d be welcome to stop by for coffee or lunch or whatever. bawrytr@googlemail.com

      Cheers, Brian

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