It was an incredible day for me yesterday and I think I can say that for all of the students too. As usual they are from mixed backgrounds and ages too, which makes for great diversity, the unifying factor is not a keyboard or a cell phone but working wood with hand tools. We are making the solid oak coffee tables but again the projects are secondary to the development of muscle memory, relational knowledge transfer and of course the true and practical skill development only possible through hands-on at the bench. We have gained such ground I can’t believe the empowering I see  and thIs for me proves that power woodworking has no plug. Yes I rely on machines as most do, but when it comes to power it should be redefined within the realms of woodworking. On the one hand power woodworking gives us an electrical or mechanical source of energy that rotates some kind of blade or cutter to slice wood more easily and at the same time leaves our skills completely dormant but makes us look good. On the other hand we have developed the skill and power of hand tools that launch us into untold realms of deep consciousness where for the first time our energy delivers the goods and sets a standard no machine can accomplish. That has been where this journey has taken me and hundreds of others around the globe in a global strategy in small creative workspaces ranging from sheds and garages to basements and kitchens. The very first work I had in making furniture for a customer was a set of bar stools I made on the porch floor of my parents house when I was 16 years old. I hand planed all of the surfaces and cut mortise and tenons, 16 per stool, by hand and delivered the stools to the business that ordered them.

This week the coffee tables are coming together with dovetailed aprons and pedestal supports tenoned into the aprons and foot. Pix to follow later today. I will also post pix of the joints that we’re made during the class last week so you can assess their quality. Remember that many of these men had only made one dovetailed box before and that was here at the school when they made the dovetailed Shaker candle box we make in the Part 1 of our Foundational Course.

This month-long has been a blast so far so hopefully you can glean from what we have accomplished.
Joseph joins me here at the school next week and we will be working the last intense days together as we complete the Craftsman style rocking chair so we look forward to seeing him here too.

  • Kurt on A Gem of a RemnantAnd here I thought I was the only one who found this to be true.
  • Adam on Someone Wrote MeReally interesting discussion here. Could be just semantics, but I think machine woodworking is more of an ability. Something that pretty much all humans have - to be able to feed…
  • Stuart Woodcock on Someone Wrote MeHaving just started my first large project, a 3.5m x 0.85m outdoor table. I have watched a lot of Paul's videos to gain knowledge and inspiration. I can tell you from a novice pers…
  • Stephen Tyrrell on The Draw of Skilled HandsIt goes back much further than that. It was written in the 1920's and has been recorded many many times. Still being recorded by modern swing bands today. A great song and a great…
  • Stephen Tyrrell on Someone Wrote MeIt may be true that your efforts will not influence the mass producers Paul, but you have encouraged, tutored and trained thousands of "lifestyle" woodworkers in a craft that they…
  • Michael McGinnis on Someone Wrote MeThe book "The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World", by Simon Winchester, describes very well how we ended up the way we are today; without the skilled…
  • David on Hissy Snake ProjectPaul thanks for the video. How long did you make your Hissy Snake ? I guess it's about 18 inches. There might be a specific length to get the correct wiggle ? Thanks again Dave