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A Spokeshave

Another most undervalued and underestimated tool I often wonder if spokeshave is something of a misnomer, spoke, spindle, spike and so on serve only to tell of a small facet of what this tool capably makes. In the former world before the chair bodger’s demise it simplified the making of simple vernacular chair pieces ideally…

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Common Woodworking?

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for the on/off buttons and those who’ve discovered skilled methods of working wood that are not in any way primitive or out of date.…

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Unstable Wood? Don’t Panic

My glued wood panels changed overnight. They mostly do. It might happen to you and at first you might panic, recut and reglue. Don’t! One thing I have learned through the years is that joints constrain wood and rarely does the wood have the power to resist the power of goo joinery. I had glued…

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A Plain Bullnose

I have several bullnose planes. Too many. I’ve used and tested all of them. These low-angle bevel-ups stolid and unpretentious planes are the handiest little tenants on my shelves and in my tool chests. There is no equal for a variety planing tasks because when you need them there is no other plane or indeed…

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A Vlog for Today

I thought that you might like to know my latest vlog is up on YouTube. I spent a little time going back to Stockport and my boyhood to look at what informed me back in the 1960s. I hope you enjoy it.

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Cognitive Feedback

Woodworking by hand is purely sensory. I read someone who said he bought chisels in and used them as his “beaters”. Shameful! Such careless statements sadden me because though I know what people mean and where they’re coming from, it’s a highly disrespectful way of referring to what was indeed a violent act. I’m not…

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Seeing the Art in Hand Planing—Part II

It’s a funny thing, and I have done it myself, when people swipe off shavings to prove a plane works. Most of it is quite unreal as no one really just swipes of shavings one after the other from one end of a board to the other and equally across the width of a 12″…

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Sketching Makes Me look More..

…and Then I Understand More It’s true. I allowed myself ten minutes per sketch and then it was pen down. Sketching is my way of looking without spectating. I want to see the twists, flexes and locks that take place to the hand and whereas you can see that with a photo, often photos are…

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Plane Handling—Squaring the Edge

I think it’s true that when you first start to handle a plane you might feel more a bit like a juggling klutz than someone fully controlled and conversant with its idiosyncrasies to smooth and refine wood with. Jerks, jams, stammers and stutters usually trip up our intent on straightening, smoothing and squaring wood. So…

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Design and Technology Teacher?

I would like to talk to an experienced Design and Technology teacher living and working here in the UK for a few minutes. Ideally two, one male and one female. If that’s you, please leave a comment which automatically gives me your email and I will email you in private. Thanks, Paul

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