The class went well all day and from the start the enthusiasm was highly infectious even to the point of being contagious. My class starts always begin with sharpness. Without this, hand tool woodworking is impossible.WIthout hand tools in working woodwork,  artisanship cannot exist.

Here we are beginning something. Beginnings have a way of defining the future and by that influence the path a man or woman takes to further their future. With the wrong foundation forming the basis of knowledge and building the bank of knowledge from which we derive our information, we can soon find ourselves unwittingly working wood using skill-less techniques and methods. That’s the sad demise of most new-start woodworkers until they one day discover the art and craft that hand tool methods give. Suddenly they find themselves challenged to pursue personal development and, as yet, the unfathomed depths of untapped resourcefulness within themselves. In essence they discover commitment, self discipline, skilfulness, creativity, future, inspiration and freedom.

Just how does a machine of any type replace a chisel, or a belt sander a scraper? How do you plane the rim of a box dead level or the door in the frame within a thousandth? Hand tools guarantee new levels of accuracy in dimensions never known by machine-only woodworkers. Join them. I guarantee you will discover much about yourself that you never knew before. It’s all part of the REAL Woodworking Campaign. Exciting!

I was teaching and then leaving them to develop. Dovetails, came from their saws not mine. First-time dovetails from handsaws, chisels and mallets. Housing dadoes perfected by hand routers, not machines. True power woodworking, not substitutes. Tomorrow we make mortise and tenon joints, sharpen saws and learn more about planecraft.

Here is some of my own work today. I made the first completed leg-rail frame for my Hope Chest. The joints are tight and well fitted and they are made with hand tools only. This reinstitutes the distinct and balanced approach to woodworking that was once common to all woodworkers.

  • Allen R. on Recovery IIII'm unwilling to advocate for unbridled progress until somebody is willing to tell me what we're progressing towards :)
  • James Perales on Favourites From 2019Hadn't been on your site before, but found it from a roundup post of woodworking blogs. Love the highlights. That small chest with the drawers is gorgeous. Really like the leather…
  • David Lindsay Stair builder 80 years of age Newcastle, Australia on Recovery III agree with all the above. Thank you for bringing sanity to the struggles of life
  • Paul Sellers on Recovery IIIOh, Ed, though it was a real battle, the mocking and the scoffing I went through, and then the rejection too, but I would not trade one lick of it for a free tablesaw or a power ro…
  • Ed on Recovery III"...it was indeed necessary for a sledgehammer-to-nut endeavour..." Interesting. I hadn't thought in terms of the battle that was being fought. I have a machinist friend who likes…
  • Jurandyr on Recovery IIIThe Industrial Revolution and its consequences. We used to need skilled artisans to produce any item, today anyone can buy an electric machine and plastic jigs and produce it. The…
  • nemo on Recovery IIINearly 20 years ago, in my late twenties, I decided to run a quick errand to a store 2 km away by bicycle. Not sure what made me use the bicycle that day, as I did everything by ca…