It’s All About Balance

It’s Saturday and my sixth day of work in my work week. For over 50 years I’ve worked a six day week making. By that I mean I’ve worked building everything from my homes and my furniture, chicken coops and splitting logs: mostly with my boys as they grew alongside me. I felt sad sitting […]

Why the Bandsaw?

Is a bandsaw something you would consider? It’s handy, but if you buy a bandsaw then why not buy all of the other machines? Aren’t they handy too? It is a valid enquiry. The reason I would not generally advocate the other machines is because the process of hand work has proven to be so […]

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 […]

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 […]

Flexing Your Muscle Power

Someone told me I had to get an impact driver. It was silly really, I felt. He didn’t know me at all. He didn’t know my financial circumstance. He didn’t understand me. He couldn’t know I didn’t want one because he would only be able to see his own perspective. More importantly he couldn’t see […]

The True Mechanic’s Workbench

Hannah repurposed one of my old workbenches to fit into a shed for motorbike repairs. Probably more work than building from new but the wood was free and the practice good for her. Watching her move through the work with such confidence showed the progress she’s made over the last couple of years. Even in […]

Clutter As a Necessity

I like cleaning and sweeping up. Always have. I like to stop and put away. Organise my workflow, my tools, my wood and such. It’s nice. I do this according to the progress and stages of a project. The carcass gets made, I clean and clear. Then I start the next stage with a clean […]

More Than a Blanket Chest

It’s been a struggle. Rough sawn boards of sycamore and maple, thick sections ripped for legs by hand and then shaped with spokeshaves with scarcely room in my workshop to move. The truth is, though, the result of working through difficulties and challenges thrilled me. The fact that I wasn’t looking for an easy path […]

Which Man-made Boards to Use?

I’ve been enjoying making the second blanket chest and the challenges of the glue up. because of the struggles I came up with a more foolproof way for gluing up and aligning everything so that the glue up could be done as a two step process. This took off the pressure of a large, single […]