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It’s often hard to describe the things I see in people when they have worked for a short while using their hands; perhaps it is even the first time they ever did that make the greater difference, makes  it more special. A man in his late thirties, not technical, not an engineer, more a barrister…

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IKEA—30 Years of What?

“IKEA—Democratisation of design” ???? What? Yup! a couple of newspaper writers (maybe more, knowing British journalism) reported the same thing in a short space of time, both hailing IKEA as a ‘democratising’ force revolutionising people’s perspectives on furniture design. Both articles were interesting in the way some articles can be, you know, contributing interesting points…

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Living and Working in England

Abingdon, the small town where I live, is just 8 miles from the centre of Oxford City. Many of you have asked how I like my move from North Wales to the centre of England––I love it! Of course making new friends takes time and sometimes means accepting even major differences. In the beginning, so…

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On Vises Part I

Bench vises I’ve installed more vises through the years than I care to even think of counting, well over 200 I suspect. Add to that those I have coached in the fitting of them and it would triple that number because I used to teach a workbench making course to 16 students at a time,…

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A Week’s Work Progressing Real Woodworking

1: The poor man’s beading and marking tool went up on YouTube 2: My next ‘aged’ workbench nears completion       3: We launch yet another video series on woodworkingmasterclasses.com       4: We filmed a new series on making brackets to hold the tool cabinet we built on the last series on cabinet…

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Setting the traditional wooden spokeshave

To read more about using a spokeshave on our Common Woodworking site, click here. ….continuing on from the last blog I wrote. These spokeshaves are not complicated or difficult to set provided everything is in fairly good shape. Complications come when the tangs are rusted into their sockets which is not at all unusual, or…

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Happy or contented with work?

The textures in work are so diverse man merely glimpses them in snatches, little more than flashes but even those flashes far exceed an image and even a film. A mouth moves from smiling satisfaction to abrupt tensity and stock-still shock in split seconds parted by steps of transition in fifty convoluted shapes and each…

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Hands-on Workshops With Paul

The next hands-on nine-day workshop filled straightaway and the next one will begin June 19-27 2015. That’s a Friday start date with no days off throughout the nine days of class. I’ve taught this workshop since I first developed it in the 1990’s. I cannot tell you how many lives it’s changed and continuous to change.…

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Why Do We Do What We Do?

It’s all too easy to miss the soul reason for hand making something from wood. This soul reason differs distinctly from sole reasoning. Inside the each of us a plexus installed well before birth formed our DNA and it’s this that punches the button by which we create and build and process thought into built…

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Upcycled Life – Life Lived in Non-commerce

Make Something of Your Life, or, Better Still, Make Something With It I can’t imagine a life without making. It doesn’t seem worth thinking about but such is the culture we live in. As a boy sitting around the bandsaw on shop-made stools in a group of ten I watched a man beeswax some thick…

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