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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…

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Behind My Lens I See Differently

I have been using cameras for five decades to date. I adopted digital photography fairly early on too. My first introduction to videography was in my being filmed by others and then it was the things that took a thousand words to explain that led me to use videos because even pictures rarely convey the…

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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.…

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I Met Two Men Today

I spent the day with two woodworking teachers from Russia today. They came to meet me and ask questions on issues they felt passionate about. They took many answers and left questions. I saw the kind of penchant teachers often have that’s unique to teachers I think. They were passionate about woodworking and what they…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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