Another plane story

Car boot (trunk US) sales (bit like a combo garage/flea market or neighborhood garage sale US) are hit-and-miss venues for tool finding, but each week, in about an hour or so, I can find a handfull of good, old tools to restore and use. My apprentice, John Winter, was asking me about a plane in my tool […]

Read More

Daffodils ville

I wandered lonely as a Cloud That floats on high o’er vales and Hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden Daffodils; Beside the Lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending […]

Read More

Treeeeeees

These are trees on my walk to work at the hand tool school. Beech, oak, cherry, ash, walnut, laurel and rhododendron line the road all the way. Limbs drop and culling provides a reasonable supply of small stock and next weekend (2-3 April 2011) we begin our Discovering Woodworking workshop in the best place for […]

Read More

My creative workspace VIII

Leave your space for a season, with others working around yours, and soon you’ll find your neighbour extends his and her comfort zone into yours. This reflects a lack of respect for one person’s space by another or others. If one picks up the tool belonging to another, respect is diminished. A man’s tools are […]

Read More

Why woodworking courses?

Woodworking courses and schools that offer hands-on workshops with master craftsmen provide the best way of getting to know exactly what are the absolute essentials that dovetail the traditions of the past with the best of today’s woodworking. Short courses add flexibility for those with busy schedules and enable them to build substantive skill without taking large […]

Read More

John’s saw continued

John sharpened his first saw and guess what? It cuts! Setting comes next and I will teach him the hammer-and-nail-punch (nail set US) method as this is fast, accurate and highly versatile. This saw is smaller and has fairly small teeth, which is a harder saw to start practicing on, but he did it. It […]

Read More

John’s joints progressing

John’s making a dovetailed box and his joints came out really well, almost perfect. One of the things that has struck me over the past 25 years of teaching apprentices and students around the world is how much significance they see in making dovetails. This joint is actually one of the simplest of all joints […]

Read More

Replacing a garden gate

I suppose it’s more of a door than a gate, but, aside from that, Penrhyn Castle needs two new ones. Both are to be made from European oak. and both are 60mm thick, 2.5m tall and 1m and 1.5m wide respectively. The old doors have patches on patches and so defy any further repair work. […]

Read More

The Hand Tool School

I was busy with visitors at the hand tool school today and demonstrated hand tool woodworking for many people interested in traditional woodworking and conservation craft.  From hand cut dovetails to dovetails techniques and discussions on how we can encourage crafts training in young people I found people were truly keen to know the inner […]

Read More

Progress on John’s saw

John finished his saw today. The ‘before-and-after’ is remarkable and this first sharpening lesson stood him in good stead for the larger tenon saw he bought from Tony Murland at the Ally Pally Show. The 10″saw shown at left now has a reshaped handle as you can see. All the hard corners are reconciled and […]

Read More