Lots of good news and views

In the solitude of another early start

These are the scenes I like early on in my day. Before the students arrive I like to reflect on yesterdays work because I see them, the students, in my minds eye working on their projects. Uncertainty in some and absolute confidence in others. Some forthright and determined, others holding back to better understand what they feel intimidated by. tThere’s a place for both.


Day 8 of the month-long corse

This is day 8 of the month-long and we are about one third the way through. This project has many complexities as I said in a previous post. I am inspired by what we have all accomplished. My tool box is finished and theirs are pretty close. They listen attentively when I stop for chats, lectures and demo’s around my bench. Because of their love for handwork they are interested and of course I have no need to persuade them as they can see the value in hand work and want this in their woodworking lives. Accuracy levels have improved markedly and they pursue excellence of workmanship as much as I do. I feel a deep sense of obligation to them for the investment of time and effort they give to their heart-felt endeavour. Planes seem to do what they are supposed to and of course confidence levels are much higher now.

New beginnings

Joe came in cold turkey. I made an exception for him as he had to complete a dissertation last week and so we took him as a raw beginner. There will be no more prep classes instead of the foundational courses from here on. All students will have to have completed our Foundational course to go on to more advanced levels. Fortunately, Joe has done exceptionally well as have the others who attended the prep class only.

The same is true of others in the class except they went through the preparation class the week before. Even so, these guys are remarkable. Colin has decided to restructure his life and hopes to become a furniture maker and woodworker. he is committed to making this work and that says something. he has never really worked with wood before this time and I have to admire him for what he is doing.

Sabrina is a gifted all rounder when it comes to handwork and so too are Lea, Jonathan and most of the others. I am hoping that this will help them all find their vocational calling. I think it will.





Caleb lives in Texas. He too is fairly new to this type of woodworking and though the work is highly challenging he has a very fine tool chest if he can get it back to the USA. which I know he will. I anticipate only good things for Caleb. This is a fairly young group all around and he makes friends easily. Working wood enhances that and friendships are being formed as we work.

Milling oak







This evening I started milling the oak for the next project, which is the oak coffee table made from some lovely white oak I bough a few days ago. i like the materials to be milled as closely as possible to the sart date to avoid the wood from distorting prior to the work being completed. There are about thirty different pieces in this project so we will mill about four hundred pieces of oak before we are done. All in all the projects will comprise about 1200 individual pieces of wood for the 11 students.

The Craftsman-style rocking chair we are making last will also be our feature project for the second of our Online Broadcast so that will be our chair making course for people to follow by watching or getting out there in the shop and building one themselves, which I hope is all of you. We have already completed much of the filming for that series which will run immediately following the wall clock so start looking out to source your wood ahead of time. I am looking forward to good results in your work so let your friends know too. perhaps you can all build your rockers together.