AWFS Fair Las Vegas # 4

Just a few thoughts this morning. A few days ago I was in the UK pondering a question. How can I, getting ready to go to Vegas in three days time, with a half dozen important things yet to do, I needed a workbench 5,000 miles away in Las Vegas for me to demonstrate. I…

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AWFS Fair Las Vegas #3

Unbelievably busy today, meeting old faces (and young ones). It’s a different show than The Woodworking Shows that travel the length and breadth of the USA in that it appeals to the high output manufacturers as well as the small hobbyist without having the hobbyist suppliers there. I think there would have been high sales for hand tool…

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AWFS Fair Las Vegas

The show went well yesterday. Very successful. So many people stopped by the booth to see the film and watch demonstrations and many highly motivated woodworkers from around the US and Central America in the south and Canada in the north too. Sooo, is this woodworking? My demonstrations went really well and I should say that many…

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AGW Show Nevada #2

Yesterday seemed almost surreal. Just as digital cameras don’t make many of us photographers and computers cannot make every individual a printer or publisher, massive machines will never make us woodworkers. Getting to the core of woodworking will be difficult for any attendee at this show because, even at its most base level, it’s primarily about…

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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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