David Hall and Jacob Corradi Chippendale school

Uisge beatha and wood

Creating a successful woodworking business involves many things.

You can read advice that former students have given here.

But it can be about creating a brand for yourself based around one simple idea.

That’s what David Hall has done by creating The Whisky Barrel Furniture Company.

He intends to specialise in making fine furniture from old whisky barrels.  It’s an imaginative idea that incorporates uisge beatha, Scotland’s iconic tipple.

David has also gone into partnership with Jacob Corradi, another talented student from the class of 2018/19.


Their pieces will be of interest to, for example, distillery visitor centres and whisky bars.

It’s not an original idea because there are other woodworkers also making furniture from whisky barrels.

But David and Jacob intend to design and make pieces to an altogether higher level of craftsmanship.

David, a former teacher in Hong Kong, has already bought a farmhouse and outbuildings in rural Aberdeenshire.

He’s converting them into a studio and workshop.

Jacob, however, will be staying on in incubation space at the school over the summer.

Their first task is to develop a marketing strategy and design a range of potential products.

During his year at the Chippendale School, David proved himself a talented designer and maker.

And he used the professional course to try out several whisky barrel ideas.

David Hall whisky desk Chippendale school

His signature piece was a beautiful writing desk.

The parquet effect on the desktop was achieved by using darker squares of wood from the barrel’s inside.  Those were framed in a lighter shade of wood from the barrel’s outside.

The desk’s drawer was also crafted from a stave of wood from the barrel.

To round it off, it had a hidden whisky glass behind the desk handle.

Both David and Jacob have proved that they have very real design and making skills.

They also have a clear idea of how to make good their business vision.

It’s all now about developing that one simple idea and creating a brand for their venture.

Main picture: David (left) with Jacob, holding their graduation certificates.

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