Why Common Woodworking came about is because I felt we needed something that could build yet another bridge. I wanted to span the ever-increasing gap between those who only ever reach for the on/off buttons and those who’ve discovered skilled methods of working wood that are not in any way primitive or out of date. Hand tool woodworking brought me into the serious world of working wood I have so loved throughout my working life and even before. Common Woodworking as its own entity is changing perspectives for people on every continent. It’s for those who are already woodworking but use only or mostly machines and then too raw beginners in woodworking altogether.
Being skilled in machine woodworking does little if anything to prepare you for skilled hand work. We needed what was once commonly followed by all beginning woodworkers to be more readily accessible on an international platform–a foundational outreach that was not in any way razzmatazz but simple, steady, even and insightful. Vintage books have their place but they often do not cater to those with a busy lifestyle cramming in an hour or two in the shed or garage. With the internet we can access archives of over a decade of teaching online. It’s working!
This tool carrier is one that I designed two decades ago to train my own children with and then too other people’s children. I designed it specifically to teach them how to make the housing dado joint. With six housing dadoes it prefaced a second level project which is the hanging wall shelf where we have six stopped housing dadoes combined with mortise and tenon joinery as well. In the tool carrier we also form a round handle using a planing technique I prepared for making a square section of wood round along its length. If you have never cut housing dadoes then this would be a good place to get started. You need only a few hand tools.
Resist the temptation to reach out to the chop saw and the tablesaw. If I tell you I can make this from standard dimensioned wood in about an hour and half you will understand that skilled work gives me far more than just a project. Developing skill does take time, but once you have it you can add it to your other life skills like bike riding and swimming, you have them for a lifetime When you see the project as the vehicle rather than the outcome it becomes so clear why you need it. It’s the vehicle for you get physical and mental exercise, to hone your skills, to get in tune with your wood and the tools and then too with yourself. I think you will be amazed how much better you will feel when you make this project.
The tool tote project will be released in a beginner friendly format on Common Woodworking next week, you can sign up here.