How to cut large mortise holes by hand

I have been replacing doors at Penrhyn Castle and the oak I am using, as with all oak, can be a resilient wood and its  grain repels the onslaught of chisels the deeper you penetrate into the wood because leverage becomes difficult. I have never particularly liked the boring-holes-and-chiselling method for mortising but in the […]

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Walking to work

  Hawthorn The texture of woodland growth, the shapes of oak, ash, cherry and sycamore cover the treetops after their naked wintertime. How to explain springtime’s vibrant increase, no man can. Flowers add loveliness to the green leaf of grassland pasture and tree but the green brings ease to the eyes as I walk beneath […]

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Apprenticing new genre artisans

Every so often I am able to personally train a new apprentice and, with the right one, a unique symbiosis of service and learning partner the unfolding relationship between craftsman and apprentice. John has been here for two months now and he’s working out well. He will be with me until December and by then he will […]

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My creative workspace #21

Today was extremely busy at the Hand Tool School in Penrhyn Castle and I was able to share my Creative Workspace with dozens of people interested in hand tool woodworking and woodworking classes and seriously considering learning the traditional skills we use in our everyday work.   When I turned from totally designing furniture pieces […]

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Making massive doors

Here are some of the magnificent doors in Penrhyn Castle. The craftwork of the artis and is exceptionally high and the wood was the very best English oak. Much of it quarter-sawn, the doors have been ganging for 160 years.     Some of the doors curve into a round to fit a round aspect […]

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Trash to treasured chest

My Creative Workspace   A short time ago I posted about a shabby looking mahogany box I found at a car boot sale here. I say found but a better word might be rescued had the abandoned box had any life left in it really. As pulled the box from other junk surrounding it a […]

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Anglesey, Isle of open spaces

I know, it is not woodworking, but I took a break from the woodworking school this evening and went over to the other side of the island to see what was flying around on the wild side. I parked up for a minute to rest and realized that this week the swallows had just come in from […]

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My creative workspace #20

We worked a great deal on workshop projects over the past week: Everything from saw restoration to my new mahogany box, working with students and friends to finish up the new projects. My work is all about changing lives and welcoming changes in myself. New challenges come hard some times, but compelling ideas take compelling […]

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