About David Kirkland Cabinetmaker

Some things cannot be rushed. Restoring and creating furniture is one of them. For a cabinet maker in 1964, 10,000 hours was the duration of an apprenticeship. David Kirkland completed such an apprenticeship at the distinguished William Nees & Sons in Dunedin and came away with a superb knowledge of the art of cabinet making – both in constructing and restoring. Time spent in London (working for Roger Board & Son) saw him use the traditional methods to create 18th Century style period rooms, and he built upon these skills in Germany.

David set up his business in Wellington, New Zealand in the early 1980’s, and has since become an expert in the field. For David, constructing the impeccable piece brings great satisfaction and pride. The challenge of designing a piece from pattern to end product; seeing how the joints will become one, drawing the piece out in scale and putting hours of physical effort into crafting and perfecting the wood is a labour of love.

Sincere thanks David for a wonderful job. You have made two very fine pieces of furniture that should last many human lifetimes.

John Quilter, Wellington

David enjoys restoring furniture with a history, from a time when everything was done by hand. The timber was cut, the glue was made, and the end result was exceptional and cannot be matched by modern, mass-produced pieces.


Hand planes


Passion is the most important factor in creating and restoring furniture; for David, this passion arises from the amazing historical factors that play a part in the origin and design of a piece. David has a knowledge and as he says it, a ‘keenness’ about furniture, he knows the way it should feel, and fit like an intricate puzzle.

The challenge is manifest – miss one measurement and the piece is lost. It is this knowledge & passion for his trade that makes a piece of furniture from David Kirkland something that will last the ages.