George Said, “Stand and Watch!”

It was a few days after I started that George began working on some oak boards that came from Jack the foreman joiner to be “Cleaned up!”. I wasn’t exactly sure what cleaned up was so I asked George how we cleaned them up. George said we had to wash them, “You know, with soap […]

No More the Ordinary!

I’m never sure when it started, a point where you could no longer determine what something is by its name. A form of sensationalism was somehow loosed and we lost sincerity to titles declaring ‘not ordinary’ that hid what was, when all said and done, intrinsically quite the ordinary. All the handsaw makers followed suit […]

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. […]

Design and Technology Teacher?

I would like to talk to an experienced Design and Technology teacher living and working here in the UK for a few minutes. Ideally two, one male and one female. If that’s you, please leave a comment which automatically gives me your email and I will email you in private. Thanks, Paul

Progress With George

George kept his plane upright on the bench, mine near his, his a Woden #4 1/2, mine a Stanley #4. One day he said, “Sharpen my plane!”  I was filled with fear and doubt to the point of freezing any and all movement including brain on the spot. I didn’t think about whether I could […]

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 […]

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 […]

More Spokeshave Reality

I am never sure what to make of thick thin, hard, softer when it comes to plane irons and spokeshave blades. They have all worked for me through the decades but many reviews are biased one way or another depending on whether, hovering somewhere in the background, you actually derive income to some degree or […]

Vise Toe-in Out

Quick release and cast-metal woodworking vises are not all created equal. Some are intentionally made low grade, others high. Some are intentionally engineered with something we call toe-in, meaning the top edge of the front vise jaw touches and aligns with the rear vise jaw but the lower area has a 3mm or so gap. […]

Spend Time Drawing

Drawing, like many things, writing, craft work, woodworking, if you want to do it well, starts out as an interesting notion and then develops into a discipline. You can enter the portals of institutions and learn there or you can find some other way. All will be equally good. I draw for myself and mostly […]