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Mortise Guides at the Ready

We often use guides in my actual work and then, or especially, in my teaching others be that via video or in classes one on one. In the past it was simple enough to get my students to cut their tenons to the parallel guide lines because, after all, they are so clearly visible, but…

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Record Irwin #4 Plane

Oh, it was such a sick, sinking feeling in my spirit. My student’s Irwin Record #4 smoothing plane sat bright blue atop his workbench awaiting my critique. He was proud of it but couldn’t get it to cut at all. I thought to myself, ‘well, it can’t be much, I’ll get it working!’ and I…

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Garden Benches & More Beyond

The weeks pass quickly as I make, write, film, draw, plan and design. Behind the scenes other things go on too. I design for other situations too. A birdhouse here, possibly other simple things for others to make there. Across from me someone is making a table, beautifully, like poetry. Someone else new to woodworking…

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the on/off buttons and those who’ve discovered skilled methods of working wood that are not in any way primitive or out of date.…

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Added Value Quiz For You!

Finishing off making the two-drawer organiser and filming it too made the week special. Filming for me is never without its trials, not the least of which is the interruption my brain goes through after a lifetime of developing as near an uninterrupted flow to my work. I have been used to the momentary disruptions…

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I Designed A Plywood Bridge

It may not seem like me: you might well be surprised, but my history with plywood dates back to my earliest recollection of woodworking with my dad in 1960. I know! Time passes when you’re having fun! That was 59 years ago! It was springtime when I sat on the kerb outside my house. Trucks…

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George and Maturing Men

George leaned over the bench to get my attention, jerking his head to one side and slightly back to make sure I understood. “It’s brew time!” he said. The clocking in clock was wrong and I was behind time. In one minute there would be a cry from the men and I would be given…

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Designed Teaching for New Woodworkers

Question: Hi there, I recently came across your website and blog which looks full of really useful information and advice on woodworking. I just wondered if you have any recommendations for a beginner and what I should be focusing on at this stage? I was planning to try out some local courses where I can…

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There Aren’t Enough of Us-Yet!

The internet opened many doors for communication. It’s hard to believe that YouTube is only 13 years old! You can learn more about woodwork and its counterfeits than ever in the history of woodworking just on YouTube alone. The problem we small guys face is that, as the audience searches ever the widening net, we…

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My Garage Workshop’s a Fit

Yep! I love it! What would I change at the end of eight months here? Not a thing. I’ve set up enough workshops in my time to know what I want and what I want is what I need and nothing more. In times past I needed to expand to accommodate additional people to work…

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