Past, present and future

Thoughts of future  plans

The last class of the season slipped quietly by for me in that we had no incidents and, to the contrary, I think most who came discovered exactly what we wanted them to discover, real woodworking. What is real woodworking? Well. it’s working with real wood not fibrous boards manufactured to substitute for it. It’s real tools, not machines and then further still it’s the development of real skill, which takes self discipline, determination and a willingness to develop stamina, physical strength and knowledge. This two-day workshop was for some a new beginning into woodworking and for others a long-needed extension for those raised within the narrow field of machine woodworking but now want to expand the real knowledge of working to work with and within the grain itself. Thankfully I see a definite rise in interest in real woodworking and it’s not specific to a neanderthal group but overall woodworkers who were short-changed by the industry giants in their various layers of influence. I am glad we were able to dismantle some of the misinformation coming from the different sources. This year we have added yet another 100 people to the thousands we have trained in hand tool methods. This makes my work well worth while.

My day off

Yesterday I enjoyed a bike ride on my new bike, had a catch-up business meeting with the everyone at Nero’s cafe and repaired the lean-to to the garden shed. It was nice having a day off, but I have so enjoyed my work this year.

The two-day class concluded at 5pm Sunday evening and I couldn’t help but smile as I locked the Castle doors and made my way home through the woods. Last week’s nine-day left me with the same rosy glow and before that the month-long in the USA. Planning for the upcoming 2014 season has given us a clean slate to plan out our best strategy for the upcoming year. None of it is automatic and I just gained three months for the first quarter of the year by not traveling the USA tour circuit this time around. Which shows I will be doing I am not sure yet, but one thing is for certain, my students come first and we have many workshops geared up to expand your knowledge.

A free workshop on how, why and where we work real wood

The last class this year will start our Winter season and will be Saturday 6th December. It’s a free hands-on workshop with lots of stuff at the bench! If you struggle with hand planes this hands-on workshop may well be for you. Class size is limited to 10 people only and is by application so please apply as soon as you have checked your schedule.

I designed this workshop 20 years ago and it’s here we rediscover more in-depth reality surrounding bench planes and bench tools in general. Through question and answer sessions at the bench and throughout the day we discuss techniques and methods of the past that still work effectively for today’s modern woodworking enthusiasts. We will look at planes by modern makers like Veritas and Lie Nielsen and then visit those makers from the past who gave us the wonder of early tools  and transitioned us to the woodworking we know today.

Bailey and Bed Rock Pattern planes

In a dedicated special session we dismantle the bench planes by Stanley, Record and others. In doing that, we dismantle the myths and mysteries that make the bench planes work so successfully. We will examine areas others may never venture into as we explore the benefits of the different tools our forebears took for granted.

Scheduling for 2014

We have several other hands on and free workshops planned for the upcoming year too. Soon we will be posting our 2014 schedule.

Scary sharp????

There is much information about what has been dubbed the Scary-sharp method of sharpening. I just  saw a regurgitated article in The Woodworker (UK). Is it any different than other methods? I will answer this in an upcoming blog shortly.



  1. I won’t make 2014, ironically because I’m doing a carpentry apprenticeship and the company sponsorng me can’t flex with holidays, but I’m aiming to come in 2015 if I can…

    1. Glad to see the sponsorship for apprenticing is available Andy. By the way I read a post that you did, I think on twitter? mentioning a pear tree and needing to chainsaw it up. Are there any tree surgeons using portable mills in Germany? The timber yield could be significant if the tree is a suitable size and standard. Sorry for the out of context comments- my navigation is atrocious.

  2. Paul, Please buy a helmet to go with your new bike! I am an avid follower of your woodworking sessions and I am almost done building the workbench. I work in the healthcare field and know the consequences of not wearing a helmet.

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