The founder of Whetstone Oak, James Ransley, is the third generation in his family to work in handcrafting oak, and learned woodworking techniques from his father and grandfather. While working for the family oak framing company he developed a small range of products under his own name, taking some inspiration from the work of Japanese-American designer George Nakashima. This range of products was initially products for exterior use, due to his father's oak frame building company exhibiting at the likes of Chelsea Flower Show. Over time, in response to customers, the focus has shifted to the point where interior live edge tables have been the principle focus of the company for many years.
Although busy with Whetstone Oak he can often be found assisting his father on site on the first day of an oak frame building being erected, particularly when cranes are involved.