It’s Silly to Say . . .

It’s Silly to Say . . .

. . . some things. A commenter once watched me tweak the knurled setscrew to my plane fence using pliers. His comment said, “It’s bad practice to use pliers on a knurled nut because they will damage the knurling.” Of course, even when being used carefully, as I was, they can, and long term they…

A Question and Answer

A Question and Answer

Question: Paul, the last picture which is the close-up of you using the card scraper, shows you using the heel of your hand to help bend and push the scraper. I love using the card scraper. It’s one of my favorite tools to use. But I’m having a hard time now due to arthritis at…

Ordinary Things …

Ordinary Things …

…are mostly taken for granted! Inventing new things, many things come to us in the midst of designing the things we need or design for others. Introducing them then benefits the many and usually leads to a developed invention of one kind or another. Being accepted across a broader platform makes it common and often…

Sensational People

Sensational People

Sensational people were not exhibitionists but ordinary workers making. There was no acting and no faking. I remember watching George make a dovetailed corner to a cutlery tray with divisions for each type of eating implement using sycamore offcuts kept after our making draining boards for a school’s commercial kitchen. Each move was deliberate, unwavering,…

Unrelated Related Qs

Unrelated Related Qs

These two questions came in this week’s online mail. I understand where they are coming from. As a vegetarian, I often eat something made and usually intended to be a counterfeit for the real thing. Food technology can add and subtract tastes as well as they can textures and looks. Experts can invent food to…

Jack’s Heart Opens

Jack’s Heart Opens

From the dim light of a wintry grey sky, Jack’s pencil hovered over the drawings on his workbench dipping up and down between finger and thumb. I had gained great credit for achieving something none of my co-apprentices had ever achieved. Jack could now walk from one end of his bench on a clear duckboard…

Two Time-Tested Tools

Two Time-Tested Tools

This week I have worked substantially with two tools used in woodworking and sometimes in other materials like stone and plastic. One is definitively known as a rasp. Rasps come in various widths, lengths and shapes. Hand-made rasps, known as hand stitched, can be expensive. My favourites thus far are those made by Auriou of…

Making the More of Things

Making the More of Things

In making I find unsurpassed peace. It’s a silencing of excess that gives me encouragement in the simplicity of making with my hands, writing and drawing do the same for me. Stepping off the various conveyor belts we think we control but that usually control us one way or another can be tricky. I’ve experienced…

Router Plane Catch-up

Router Plane Catch-up

It’s been about 18 months since I became truly troubled at sending people out to spend hundreds of pounds on a single tool. Just how could I get the price down after sending people to eBay to buy up all the stock available? The prices rocked up ten to fifteen times within a year simply…