New Tool Collection
August 18, 2023
New Tool Collection

If a chair was designed as a tool...

The Tool collection is a simple, clean and durable indoor or outdoor furniture collection in aluminium and teak.

There is a purity and precision found in laser cut aluminium, especially when paired with a linear directional brushed finish. The wire brush marks also provide a keyed surface for the sealant, the application of our special zinc patina finish, or indeed, depending on quantity, a colour of your choice as shown in our Tokyo Tower 🗼 red.


The teak wood legs and bases are beautifully turned and carefully constructed by hand. The two materials contrast and complement each other; teak inviting warmth and the tactile familiarity a wooden tool handle might bring to the metal head of a hammer.

I can imagine looking down from a balcony window at a terrace below and viewing a happy, arbitrary scattering of triangular Tool bistros, or even tessellations (as they can be paired or strung together in long lines), or laid out into almost circular hexagons for a more intimate gathering.

This image shows how the Tool triangular bistro tables can be paired and strung together into longer table formations. (Shown in brushed aluminium and our zinc patina finish option).

This image shows a convivial hexagonal formation using the Tool triangular bistros.

Designed with materials suitable for outdoor use, it is not limited as such and since our initial mini launch, we have received multiple enquiries for indoor use too, for both private residential and commercial projects. 

Sketch of the Tool Collection.

Showing the stackabillity of the Tool Chairs. Also shown alongside a 900 x 900mm Tool square table and a 900 x 1800mm Tool rectangular table.

The underside of the Tool bench reveals the simple but direct union between the teak wood and brushed aluminium with stainless steel bolts. The turned teak leg is framed in a very graphically pleasing way within the laser cut round "pocket" of the metal Tool bench top.

The Tool bench can also fit under the Tool rectangular table as shown above.

Whilst designing with sustainability in mind, it is important that not only the appropriate materials are thoroughly considered, but also the potential processes intended in the act of making. In exploring the possibilities of thin sheet material it made sense to make some maquettes in cardboard which in turn allowed me to review and realise the best cutting net and maximise the steps that would then be controlled by the accuracy of the laser cutter and folding machine. Whilst our workers are very skilled, the combination of machine precision and the human touch is a junction point that I find fascinating and inevitable in any given design; therefore I like to find a sympathetic, logical, firm and beautiful meeting of materials and components that makes sense.

After copious amounts of sketches, cardboard maquettes were carefully cut and glued together to review scale, proportion and feasibility. I then transported them to the factory on the back of my trusty Yamaha Serow.

Limiting the material palette to 2 resonates an honest approach to the design where the form is revealed through the process. Working with thin sheet aluminium in a way that the bending process, combined with the welded corner edge of the perpendicular sides of the shell seat gave a lot of structural strength, despite the sheet gauge being only 2 - 3mm thick! Incidentally, we sampled in both, and whilst they passed our strength tests, we went with the 3mm for ease of welding in production. 

The aluminium sheet is laser cut, before being sent to the precision bending factory for shaping the shell seat and table forms.

The aluminium shell seats of the chairs, and indeed the table tops are made as self supporting monocoque constructions which allow for a very simple stainless steel screw (or bolt) connection between the teak base, legs and metal. This not only allows for reliable production, but it also means that at the end of life, the product materials can easily be separated by merely unscrewing at the connection points.

Once the components have been bent to shape, they are then expertly TIG welded by hand. The teak wood base and legs are also turned and assembled carefully by hand, sanded and then given a gentle wipe of oil for prolonged protection.

The teak base is fitted to the chair with only 4 stainless steel screws. The same shell seat can be used for the bar chair as well as this stacking side chair.

Clicking on the link below will take you to an interesting video slide show of more images of the factory processes involved in making the Tool collection. Click here to play.

A close up of our Zinc patina finish.

A close up of our Brushed aluminium finish (note that the Tool triangular bistro nicely accommodates 3 x Tool chairs).

The Tool Chair shown alongside our Louis stool and even one of our Zinc wall boxes shown in Tokyo Tower Red 🗼.

The Tool  Bar Chair utilises the same laser cut aluminium shell seat as the dining chair; a lower profile backrest can be developed based on your project requirements.

The largest seat in the Tool collection is the Tool Lounge Chair, shown here with the Tool square side table. The Tool Lounge Chairs are strong, light and they also stack!

Clicking on the video below will be direct you to view a video of slides showing the full current* breadth of the Tool collection, however custom sizes and products can be added upon request and depending on your project requirements.

Click here to play.

Just after showing the Chester collection at Rossana Orlandi in Milan 2023, we showcased the Tool collection at a slightly smaller trade show event. I have included some pictures from the stand here for your inspiration.

Tool Side chair in Tokyo Tower red, alongside the laser cut signage in brushed aluminium and zinc patina.

A nice crop of the Tool collection showing brushed aluminium and zinc patina finishes.

Tool collection as viewed from the back of the stand.

Showing 2 Tool chairs stacked, the Tool bar chairs and other items and colourways in the Tool collection.

A pleasing crop of the Tool Lounge Chair and Tool Square Side Table.

The Tool Chair in zinc patina alongside a nice stack of 2 x Tool Chairs in brushed aluminium. The shelving system is also the Reeves Pinlock Shelving system, available for display purposes upon request.

A nice moody angle of the Tool Chair in zinc patina and teak wood.

The restrained, paired back aesthetic of the Tool collection revels in its own simplicity which will hopefully continue to bring functionality and a calming sense of joy throughout many years of functional and enjoyable use both indoors or out. 

Design by John Reeves.

I hope you continue to enjoy receiving the Reeves Design newsletter which has always intended to be a window into the inspirations that go into each design. 

I encourage you to reach out with any projects and ideas that may align with our values and vision so that we can continue to develop the Reeves collections and ensure they find the right homes.

John Reeves