Joseph’s right!

“You have never been able to resist taking an otherwise useless hand tool and making it work, nor a vise or any other piece of woodworking equipment.” Rusted scissors are lifted from the bottom of an old basket in a junk shop and the name searched out with a scratch of a thumbnail. I had […]

George and the Puthering Dust

Some days were made longer by the repetitive elements in the projects. Joinery often comprises subassemblies of frames, be they the replication of same-sized frames or individually sized ones. The pile of frame stock on the pallet truck was six feet high four feet wide and the lengths varied from 18 feet long down to […]

Seeing the Art in Hand Planing—Part I

As an enthusiast for hand plane work I do feel something of an exclusivist in that it seems the only alternative for much of the work is to crank up power planers and belt sanders, random orbit sanders and such. This then means chip extraction, dust syphoning to pull away the ever harmful excesses for […]

George Took the Blame

George laughed as we lifted the massive frame from the bench to flip it over for planing the joint line levels. We’d done this many times with smaller frames, no problems, but this time I felt the contortion in my face expressing the reality that this was different, it was just too heavy for me. […]

George Turns the Tables

Window of Opportunity I was trying. All the time it was a challenge and woodworking did not come naturally to me, especially with the standards at the bench. We were in the middle of making a mix of a hundred window frames, many with four opening sashes. Jack, the foreman, did all of the layout […]

What’s a Chisel Worth

I looked for a chisel on eBay. I wanted a specific one, a W Marples 1 1/4″. It took me less than a minute to find one I liked even though it was the lesser common type on the larger size. I wanted a wider bevel-edged chisel made by Marples or Ward—what might now be […]

I Grab a Few Treasures to Work On

Joseph once told me that he saw how significant it was for me to repair things, you know, an old saw, a plane or a piece of discarded furniture. He said in all the years he had consciously known me at my workbench as a furniture maker he’d noticed there were always pieces dotted around […]

About George—Day Two

    “Over here!” George said to me. “That’s where you will be working when you’re on bench work and I’ll be keeping my eye on you.” He pointed to the vise on the opposite side of the bench he worked at. His side was loaded with hand tools while my side lay empty. He […]

Things Worth Mentioning

I have had a busy week with lots going on behind the scenes. The video on perspective sketches seemed popular so I am glad we did that and put it out via YouTube. I am never sure whether some things are helpful or not but I did want to encourage people to start drawing. This […]

Filling in the Blanks

It was not all easy Gradually the workshop has, well, fallen into place. The motivating factor all along was to be able to work efficiently and create the extra time we needed to not only make efficiently but film too. Filming pretty much triples my time because not only do I have to make a prototype, […]