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Don Rigby Senior Carpenter at Carpenter Oak Ltd Devon

Senior Carpenter

Joined Carpenter Oak: 2002

Interview with Don

  • What is your nickname in the yard?

  • None (as far as I know) although Rob calls me Seabass quite often for reasons only known to him.
  • What is your favourite timber frame joint?

  • That would be a toss up between the last one I did and the one I'm about to do.
  • What is the best project you have worked on and why?

  • Almost impossible to choose: possibly Penistone Market because it was just massive, possibly a job in Trevone in Cornwall, which wasn't as spectacular as Penistone by a long shot, but we got to surf nice waves every night after work. Thorsten and Jono (the old boys!) were always first out of the water but they weren't fussed about waiting for us. In fact they just played petanque until we appeared and the sun sank, it became a daily routine. Brilliant.
  • Who do others think you look like?

  • Wurzel Gummidge?
  • What music are you currently listening to in the workshop?

  • Lumineers are still my latest favourite, but I'll listen to almost anything except the Dixie Chicks.
  • When not in the yard what do you enjoy doing?

  • This week I have been discovering steam bending in my back garden which has been interesting. I also like running and I ride my bike quite a bit. I have fairly recently re-discovered how ace it is to go bombing about on my skateboard which pleases my 5 year old lad Albert, and I try to surf as often as I can too. I basically need a few more hours in every day because I'm into everything.
  • Which three colleagues would be in your dream carpentry team?

  • I don't dream about my colleagues. It is true that I generally have a lot of love for them all but when I go to sleep they are not invited.


My girlfriend Natalie is from Totnes and she dragged me here by my earlug. A good thing too really because I probably wouldn't have come here otherwise, and possibly wouldn't have found Carpenter Oak. I was working as a carpenter at Trago Mills in 2002, building one of those big towers, and the phone call from Adam offering me a job was a bit of a saviour to say the least. I said goodbye to that big plywood tower without a second thought. Time flies by. early in my Carpenter Oak life I was living in my van for a few years, but now me and Natalie have a house, a dog, a son and another little human on the way. I consider myself pretty flipping lucky really and I don't often have to remind myself of that. There aren't many days when I wake up and don't feel like going to work, because the work itself is great and my workmates are inspiring and a proper laugh. I think I'll have to teach Albert how to cut timber, and then he can build a frame for us. I reckon that's the only way Natalie will ever have her timber frame house because I'm always busy mucking about! Be patient flower, only another 15 years or so.....