A $59,400 tool cabinet co-created by Terry Gordon has been described as the ultimate addition to any tool shed.
A $59,400 tool cabinet co-created by Terry Gordon has been described as the ultimate addition to any tool shed. Contributed

Finely crafted tool set, cabinet worth almost $60,000

PRECISION tool-maker Terry Gordon has celebrated 20 years in the trade by helping to create a finely crafted tool set and display cabinet worth just under $60,000

From his Alstonville workshop Mr Gordon has established a global reputation as a tool-making specialist.

He makes 50 different types of wood plane including his latest model, a Fillister Plane that can work across the grain.

All of his tools plus a full set of gauges and squares from tool-maker Colen Clenton make up the 74-piece set housed in a display cabinet by fine furniture maker Phoebe Everill.

The piece is called Collaboration One and is on exhibition in southern NSW with a $59,400 price tag.

Collaboration One was made from Tasmanian sassafras with black heart inlay and wenge, while the tools were made from matching pieces of ebony and brass.

Toolmaker Terry Gordon has made 50 different kinds of wood planes and exports to furniture makers around the world.
Toolmaker Terry Gordon has made 50 different kinds of wood planes and exports to furniture makers around the world. Ross Kendall

"The attention to detail in a handmade tool ensures a lifetime of function," Mr Gordon said. "As a consequence, it is usually an object of beauty as well."

The piece would most likely be bought by a museum, an avid collector or a passionate wood worker, Mr Gordon said.

The brass work on Mr Gordon's planes are machined on site, and he also makes his own blades for the planes.

The wood for the body of the planes is often made from gidgee, a very hard wood that Mr Gordon goes out west to collect himself.

He kiln dries and cures all his wood on site, which can take up to two years.

Previously in the Air Force, Mr Gordon got into toolmaking in 1995 after doing his own furniture making.

He said he got frustrated with many of the mass-made tools that were not up to specialty work.

He said growing numbers of people were attracted to making their own furniture faced with the choice of cheap, short-lived items; or very expensive quality pieces.

Skills and techniques used in past eras of furniture making had largely been lost, Mr Gordon said.

But people were rediscovering "a lot of the methods and techniques used to make furniture" before there was widespread mass-production.

Mr Gordon sells some of his tools to professional fine-furniture makers, but mainly they go to collectors or passionate layman makers.



REVEALED: Motive behind Burnett Heads alleged shooting

REVEALED: Motive behind Burnett Heads alleged shooting

Brodie John Fagan, 24, refused bail in court

House prices will resist water woes, says agent and resident

House prices will resist water woes, says agent and resident

Values plunge in other towns - will they here?

Popular cafe shakes things up with later, cocktail hours

Popular cafe shakes things up with later, cocktail hours

Indulge to offer new relaxed dining and cocktail experience

Local Partners