About us

Tom of Custom Ply Furniture

It started in 2016 while Tom was volunteering at the Silk Mill Museum of Making, site of the world's first factory, in Derby, UK.

The museum had access to CNC manufacturing equipment, and wanted to make a series of bookshelves for an event linked to the Derby Book Festival. The bookcases needed to be high-quality, and suitable for design, cutting and assembly by other volunteers. The furniture had to fit together perfectly first time - there was no budget for mistakes or scrapped plywood.

Tom designed a drawing automation system, and put it online for others to use (it's still around if you know where to look!). The system automatically managed the drawings for each bookcase, and in the process eliminated mistakes, "building-in" the quality of the finished bookcases. Prototypes were made, and to cut a long story short since then many more bookcases have been built!

Early code-driven bookcases

Nowadays we are running better code on bigger machines, and we've expanded our product offering beyond bookcases, but the DNA that made those early projects at the museum a success is still benefitting today's customers:

Our main raw material is the same: birch plywood. This is solid laminated wood with no voids, hugely strong, immune to warping, not to mention great looks with fantastic edge-grain, light colour, and sometimes even iridescent face-grain.

The quality of our products is "built-in". We've written the code, fine-tuned it, and now everything we make fits together perfectly, every time.

Now, in 2021, we are making high-quality furniture, perfectly sized for each customer, from sustainably sourced materials. We believe that custom-sized furniture should be easy to buy using online configurators, and should not cost a premium over similar quality one-size-fits-all alternatives.

We make every thing, in every size... What do you need? Email us...

Birch plywood coffee table side view
White hairpin legs on an oak floor
Birch plywood single drawer unit
Birch plywood edge-grain