Ronnie’s new business is revving up

Combining a love of motorbikes with his new career working in wood, Ronnie Payne created a unique piece of furniture.

His eye-catching Revv-It table was part of his recent graduation portfolio from the 
Chippendale International School of Furniture in East Lothian.

After careers in both the RAF and the police, the 
married dad-of-three daughters from Falkirk decided he wanted to do something completely different and decided to train as a furniture designer and maker.

Ronnie (53) said: “I have always loved wood ever since my father, who was a joiner, taught me how to use tools as a child.

“Although I’ve always been handy and could do DIY, when I was preparing to retire from the police I realised this was an opportunity to take it seriously.

“I did some research about three or four years before retirement and discovered the Chippendale school – I didn’t realise it existed till then but went for a visit and decided that’s what I wanted to do.”

With the cabinet making course running from October until June, he said it was a very intensive nine months where he gleaned lots of new skills.

“I was all about reskilling and yet still enjoying what I was doing. It was very fulfilling being able to turn a piece of wood into a piece of furniture that hopefully people will want to have in their homes,” he explained.

“Before I went there I’d never made furniture and the first thing I made was a traditional dressing table and stool – which sold so that was encouraging.

“It’s a fantastic course and I can’t speak highly enough of everyone there.”

His love of motorbikes dates back to his teens, and he now drives a Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe, and is an enthusiastic member of the Harley Owners Group.

It is almost inevitable that he should combine his two loves and that is exactly what he did with his table.

Complete with wooden saddle, petrol tank and handlebars, it shows how innovative design and craftsmanship can add something unique to a home – and a piece of furniture that will also become an heirloom.

The table top is yew and his creation also includes turned oak, veneer, gold leaf and is testament to all the skills he learned in the last nine months.

Ronnie has now set up Ripplewood Furniture to design and make new furniture and carry out restoration projects.

He added: “I’m currently working out of my garage but hope eventually to have enough commissions to move into my own workshop.

“My idea is for people to come to me with an idea for a piece of furniture and I’ll draw up a design then make it for them. The attraction for customers will be that it’s bespoke, they won’t find anyone else has one and it will something that will last.”

Having moved to Dunblane as a child, Ronnie spent 12 years touring the world in the RAF before spending 21 years in the police in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire. Living in Falkirk for the last ten years, he’s put down roots with his new business that he hopes will grow and flourish.