Students leave and we renew

The shop was empty today, with all the students now returning home. John put the tools away in the drawers and I started building more storage cupboards to store the filming equipment and some of the recent tools I have acquired for the classes. I decided to include #4 1/2 smoothing planes and #5 1/2 […]

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Craft training

Sports training, endurance and duress Talk to any sports psychologist and they will likely tell you that good sportsmen and women, those who know the highest limits of exertion and the accomplishment that that brings, train both the body and mind to accept the physical and mental torture it takes to go beyond certain limits. To […]

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Becoming a craftsman

Becoming a craftsman is a heart condition I have tried to deal with for twenty years. Not in my own life but the lives of others really. Whether it’s me teaching others or others wanting to learn, it means on either part  proactively engaging in change rather than merely acquiescing by default.   Saw sharpening: a discipline that changes […]

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2nd day of the three-day

We were so busy today. My students, as usual, are thoroughly enthusiastic and never took a breather once apart from a half hour lunch break, which I had to insist they took. David and Judy are married to each other and watching them working is a treat. Their dovetails were very nice too and this evening they […]

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Apprenticing young men

I watched John as he worked with me in class today. He moved gracefully from bench to bench, tweaking tools, arranging neatness to the student’s worktops as he passed. Throughout the day his name would be called more and more by this person or that. The students gravitate towards him and have total confidence in […]

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Sorby bench plane treasure

Not many finds in the way of tools turn up unknown planes for me. From Norris to Spiers and Gabriel to Mathieson I think I know of them all in some greater or lesser measure. That doesn’t make me an expert so much as fortunate to have had them pass through my hands. Last week […]

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My creative workspace #24

Imagine if you will a man gifted with his hands and having no ability to design. What piques your sphere of creativity as you work? Is it the wood or your workspace, the influence of other designs or perhaps the tools you use? I picked up a copy of Fine Woodworking recently. I laughed at […]

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Restoring maker’s tools

Yesterday was a wonderful day of restoration. An unusual day really. As we stood around the bench we had a conversation going on in Spanish between one man from Argentina, one from Texas and another from Mexico City in Mexico. The rest of us were left out for a few minutes. This is always a […]

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Time out in the woods

I spent time in the woods this week. I sat in the woods, poked around in the woods and waited in the woods I like to wait in the woods. My waiting isn’t like waiting for a bus, or a friend, or something normal to, well, happen. It’s living in a condition if you will. […]

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Woodworking for men or women?

Faces and hands of woodworking friends are important because they tell you much about the people behind them. Here are some I like. I have been working more with ‘Women working wood.’ A programme I am putting together to equalize disparities and address some issues important to successful woodworking for women. I have trained hundreds of women woodworkers over the […]

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