From Hope Chest to Discovery Workshop – A day in the workshop

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.