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General Woodworking

Home for a little while; bowls & spoons

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 2:42pm

I got home from Maine trip #2 on Sunday night. Monday kinda floundered, then on Tues it was off to a small island off the coast of America to see Heather & Pat. Heather’s show was outstanding as usual. Here’s one of my favorites, but the web doesn’t do it justice by half. The light in it is amazing. 

Coat Guard Crow

(go to Heather’s blog and click on the paintings to see ‘em larger, then click the quill/feather in the teacup to read the notes) http://heatherneill.com/studio-blog/ 

here’s the gallery’s page of Heather’s work http://www.granarygallery.com/searchresults.php?page=1&artistId=11674&artist=Heather+Neill&start=1

kids & HN

we had a great, whirlwind one-day trip. Then back home to attempt to develop some routine or the semblance of one. Wednesday I mostly worked on hewn bowls; then Thursday spoons. today some of each.

bowl day

bowl day

The great part about spoon day is I can take it outside, and have the kids with me. The river, the birds – what could be better? 

spoon day

spoon day

I have used ring-porous woods like oak, ash and hickory all my working days. I rarely have made spoons or bowls from ring porous woods because they split so easily. But sometimes I throw the rules out the window & see what happens. Catalpa is a very light-weight hardwood. I have made a couple of bowls from it before, and I had one small one kicking around ready to be finished.

catalpa end grain

catalpa end grain


Here’s the one from way back when; and the post it came from. One of the horrible things about keeping this blog is all my unfinished stuff is still there, taunting me:  http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=catalpa

catalpa bowl back at the museum

I remember southern visitors to the museum telling me about the fishermen who loved catalpa trees for the worms that ate the foliage – great bait. some said the best. They called it “catawba” – but it’s the same tree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalpa    I am lately reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and it’s in there, “…the class was wriggling like a bucketful of catawba worms…”  Turns out that Catawba is a name of both the tree and a group of Native people in the Carolinas, and someone made a mistake with the tree’s name, and we ended up with catalpa. I always knew it as the cigar tree, because of the long seed pods. we used to whip them around when we were kids.

catalpa bowl

catalpa bowl 2

The other ring-porous wood I have to sample lately is really rare – American Chestnut. Or so I’m told. It was a tree planted about 15 years ago; and got some trimming done recently. It’s healthy now…but time will tell. Chances are it will succumb to the blight that all but wiped out the American Chestnut. http://www.acf.org/

It’s not a great wood for spoons, quite the opposite I would expect, but I have some small limbs and will see what happens. It’s high in tannic acid, turned my tools black as quick as you please.

chestnut end grain


The first birch bowl I was making sold before I could really get it here on the blog…but now I have finished the next 2 birch bowls, just applied flax oil to them today. I’ll post them for sale in the next day or 2. The first one is the most common orientation of the bowl in the split blank – the rim of the bowl is the inner wide surface of the halved log. Then I carved some gouge-cut decoration along the upper edge of each side. 

birch bowl right side up overall

birch bowl right side up

The next one is what I call “upside-down” – you hew the split face of the log and make that the bottom of the bowl. I learned this from Drew Langsner, who learned it from his Swedish friends. Smaller bowl, but lots of fun with the shapes. 

birch bowl upside down overall

birch bowl upside down detail


There’s still a few spoons left on the etsy site – don’t be daunted by Etsy. it’s easy to sign up, free too.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeterFollansbee



Best Traditional Woodworking Books & DVDs: “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz

Wood and Shop - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:28pm


In my above video I share a must-have book for new and seasoned traditional woodworkers: “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz.


“The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” is one of my absolute favorite books on the subject of traditional woodworking. Chris Scwharz displays his unfiltered humor, and no-nonsense approach to modern day woodworking anarchism: (1) build your own quality furniture instead of buying throw-away furniture and (2) stop collecting too many tools. A simple chest of heirloom quality tools is sufficient to build furniture that will last several lifetimes.


The pages are filled with unbelievably detailed research on what to look for when buying your woodworking hand tools. The chapters are broken up by different woodworking hand tool types. The book wraps up with plans & instructions on how to build the Anarchist’s Tool Chest. Chris Schwarz has created a literal movement of people who are building these tool chests and filling them with quality woodworking hand tools. Here is the Woodwright’s Shop episode where Chris Schwarz shows the Anarchist’s Tool chest to Roy Underhill:

I am especially grateful for Christopher Schwarz’s advice on “what not to buy”. This book has become a reference guide to me, that I return to on a regular basis.


I recommend that you read “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” through once (with a highlighter) and then keep it close by as a reference manual.


The beautiful bound cover & pages are nice enough to display in my living room…although it rarely gets far from my workbench.

You can buy “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” book at this link.

You can also buy the accompanying DVD at this link. In the DVD Chris actually pulls all of his tools out of his strong yet beautiful “Anarchist’s Tool Chest” and gives a brief explanation about why he purchased each tool. Here’s the DVD trailer:

I give this book 5 chisels up…way up!




Recent Pipes

The Literary Workshop Blog - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 11:15am

I’ve spent quite a bit of time this summer making more pipes.  I learn a little bit (and sometimes a lot) with each one I’ve made recently.

Pipe #28 Briar CW Plateaux 2014 --4 Pipe #26 Briar Curchwarden Giants Chimney 2014- - 2 Pipe #27 Briar Gothic Ruin  2014- - 7

I’ve been experimenting with layering different stains on top of each other, and I think I’ve finally found a process that works.  The idea is to sand the wood to a fairly fine grit, apply a dark dye, and then once it dries, sand back the wood evenly but not too much.  Then I apply a lighter dye.  The result is that the darker dye penetrates more in some places than in others, highlighting the variations in the grain.  I then sand to my finest grit and apply a coat of Danish oil to prevent the dye coming off in the user’s hand.  Last comes a coat of wax.

I’m planning to try some traditional shapes next, just to hone my skills.  And while I enjoy working with briar, I hope to experiment with some alternative woods as well.

Some of the pipes above are available at my Etsy shop.

Tagged: briar, Danish oil, stain, tobacco pipe, wood dye

Hewing Day

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 7:10am
I received an email from a friend earlier this month. Tom Latane was interested in gathering a small group of like-minded folks to spend a day hewing wood with adzes. How do you say no to that?

So two weeks ago, on a cloudy, slightly stormy Saturday morning I gathered a couple axes, wedges, and a thermos of coffee and drove to Tom's shop in Pepin Wisconsin and met the two other gentlemen who decided to join us that day. From there it was a quick drive to the small parcel of woods Tom owns outside the town.

We started by busting apart a cherry log for a couple of us to share. I always fin this to be great fun and super satisfying. Then we all got to work with adzes, each on our own individual logs.

I've never found an adze in what I considered good enough shape to buy it so I had no real experience using one. The concept of swinging a horizontal axe blade in the vicinity of your lower legs and feet flies in the face of the modern, child-proof bottle cap, safety-litigation-congregation's standards. But like anything you have to be smart and keep your head in the game. Pay attention to what's safe and what's not as you're working, think through your actions before you take a swing, and you're fine.

The nice thing is the other guys all brought a nice variety of adze styles along and I took a bit of time with all of them, getting a feel for what I liked and didn't.

While the three of us worked, flattening slabs for benches. Tom worked hewing round logs square for timber framing.

It rained on and off at times, which was refreshing though we didn't get very wet at all under the heavy tree canopy.

When the day was finished I had a new blister and a cherry slab about 3" thick 15" wide on the top side, and a little over 3' long. We all loaded up and took off. The next day I was exhausted, with sore muscles I'd long forgotten I owned, but I still managed to waddle out to the shop and work on the slab some more.

I started by planing the bottom completely flat. I use metal bodied Stanley planes in most of my work, but I find for green work like this, a wooden body plane is superior in feel and function.

With the bottom set, I ran a marking gauge over the ends and snapped some chalk lines to get a uniform thickness to the top. The slab is giving me about 2 1/2". I took a hewing axe and brought the thickness down close, then planed some of the roughness away. I didn't bother getting carried away because I want to give the seat a dish out, like a Windsor chair seat.

I did some dishing, then set the slab aside. I have lots of other work and can't eat the distraction for more than a weekend right now and the slab needs to season a little before I work it some more. I have these visions in my mind of a cross between a Windsor and a Norwegian Sengebenk.

We'll see how that works out.

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

Woodworking in America Speakers – Phil Lowe

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 6:45am

The third Woodworking in America 2014 (WIA) speaker to be profiled is Phil Lowe. In 2005, he too won the Society of American Period Furniture Maker’s Cartouche award (an honor bestowed by the Society to Master Craftsman who have illustrated the highest standard of education, resource, and applied venue for historical appreciation). He is also the second presenter who taught at North Bennett Street in Boston; he spent a decade […]

The post Woodworking in America Speakers – Phil Lowe appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Floor Scraps, A Treasured Addition

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 6:39pm

While attending a memorial celebration of Mel’s life and work last week, I revived an old acquaintance with one of Mel’s long time collaborators, a renowned architectural conservator.  Our conversation was a winding one, reminiscing on our mutual respect and admiration for our departed friend.

Eventually we passed into the territories of our own projects, and he mentioned a gift he had for me out in his car.  In a couple minutes he reappeared with an envelope with two index-card sized pieces of wood.

“These are some of the parquet floor remnants from the Oval Office, removed during the renovation of about 1990.”



I do not know the configuration or pattern of the parquet flooring, and even if I did the pieces are so small I could not make sense of them.  Perhaps some day I will get a photo of the Oval Office flooring during this period and replicate it, but for the foreseeable future I will be content to enable these remnants to be prominently featured in The Barn alongside the c.1670 oak parquet flooring from the Palaise Royale in Paris.



So, in addition to sections of floor that may have supported  Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, I have a scrap of floor that almost certainly bore the footsteps of Ronaldus Magnus.  How cool is that?

Now I just have to somehow find a piece of flooring from underneath the only truly great President of the past 200 years, Calvin Coolidge…

Thoughts on Design from a Letter Carver

Design Matters - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 3:57pm

It’s really special when an artisan can design something profound in a tight discipline. In a world where bling draws the spotlight, I’m always thankful for someone who can craft an extraordinary wine, shotgun, handplane, or chair. Here’s a short video about Martin Wenham, a letter carver who offers some insights about design. Take a moment to savor his thoughts and work. I’d like to thank Dave Fisher for sending me this link.



The Where and The Why.

Rundell & Rundell - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 2:36pm
So after about 10 hours in the car I arrived just before dark at my next stop and the original reason for me coming to the States. To make a Brian Bogg's style 3 rung ladder back chair with Jeff Lefkowitz. Jeff has been teaching people how to make Brian's version of this iconic Appalachian chair for a number of years now and has made chairs with Brian, Pete Galbert and Curtis Buchanan in the past too. So his knowledge of chairmaking is quite broad.

Jeff  and his wife Cathy were also very kind in offering me a bed for the duration of the course which meant that travelling to the workshop of a morning was a short walk along a wooden boardwalk as opposed to a trip in a car. Jeff and Cathy have lived in their house on the outskirts of Strasburg, Virginia for over 30 years. It's set off the beaten track a little, on the side of a hill and surrounded by forrest on a couple of sides and farms on the others. 

Whitetail in the woods.

This young doe was and others like her, often with fawns at foot, were a common site. 

Tony left, Jeff right

Also on the course was Tony, from Great Barrington in Massachusetts, who had actually made a chair with Pete Galbert a week or so before I arrived in the States. Apparently Tony had found out about Pete after Jeff had told him that I was going to visit Pete when I arrived. It's great how these connections come about. After chatting for a day or so, I found Tony had a very similar eclectic range of careers like me, prior to getting involved with woodworking. And, after a few days with Tony in the workshop, it's obvious  he's made a good choice.

The first thing that is apparent when you walk into Jeff's shop is how well it's set out. Two rooms are connected by a large opening, with machinery in one and a bench and hand tools in the other. 

On the machinery side of things, there's pretty much everything you'd expect. Table saw, jointer/planer, thicknesser, mitre saw, drill press, bandsaw, lathe,  dust extraction etc etc. What is surprising is how well it all functions in the space it's contained in. It's done well.

Good low level chair makers bench.

The bench room is no different, a well thought out workbench with simple but effective wood racks on one wall, mass clamp storage through to sharpening stations and plenty of cupboard space. Handy rolling benches also offer good storage and effective clamping stations.

 Good food for thought in all of it.

The Beast in Question

Now about the chair. You might ask why a windsor chair maker would want to make a ladder back chair? No? Ok well I'm going to tell you anyway. Returning to the home of the chair I make reminds you instantly that Australia is not the ideal place to make American Windsors.

Our wood essentially just does not cut it. Before I get a barrage of emails telling me that I'm barking up the wrong tree ( pun intended ), let me expand on the last comment. 

We have timber that splits well and we also have timber that bends well, but a lot of those species, such as Blackwood, Mountain Ash, Celery Top Pine etc etc are not easy to come by, in that tall straight examples are generally locked up in National Parks or other areas that are no longer accessible. Other species that meet certain criteria well, often fail elsewhere, say by being too heavy. So that leaves bifurcated garden, paddock or street trees often as the only option. Not ideal chair wood. 

With 30" spindles this is not the sort of chair you want to make with short grain issues!

When you add into the equation the long lengths needed for parts like the crest rail for a Continuous Arm ( 1485mm/49-ish" ) or say spindles for a Comb Back arm ( 760mm/30" ) that's when problems arise. Even species like the Pin Oak ( Quercus Palustris ) which thankfully were planted in plentiful numbers, just aren't the same as the Red Oaks of the U.S.

Which brings me back to the 'why?'  I want to make traditional wooden chairs. Chairs with great joinery techniques, chairs without screws, nails or epoxy being the critical element holding them together. But having made Windsors for a few years now, chairs that are more suited to the timbers I have to work with. 

I've been making one of the more difficult traditional US Windsors for years now and dealt regularly with the limitations of our timber in making it well. The Continuous Arm for instance, is not the right chair for the place I live and work. 

Which is why when I return, I'll be offering Windsor chair courses and chairs that fit that criteria more closely. The ladderback is one of those chairs. No, it's not a Windsor, but 50mm/2" thick seat stock is also becoming difficult to source, so in a way it fits the bill even more so.

But it is also an exceptionally strong and well made chair, and the alterations Brian Boggs has made to the traditional design, mean that it is also exceptionally comfortable. It's not the end of me making and teaching the Continuous Arm Chair. It's just the beginning of making and teaching even better chairs. I hope you enjoy the journey.

Categories: General Woodworking

I Build Stuff Too.

The Furniture Record - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:13am

A few months back in blog titled The Ones That Got Away , I wrote about two auction items I coveted but apparently not enough to win. One of them was this salt box:

I didn't win this one.

I didn’t win this one.

For a friend’s birthday I made this saltbox:

I turned the knob, too. I couldn't find a brass equivalent.

I turned the knob, too. I couldn’t find a brass equivalent.

I was pleased with the build. Only thing I believe I got wrong was the angle of the cut-a-way for the lid. I didn’t pick the color, the recipient did. My mistake was picking up a milk paint sample chart from an antiques dealer 80 miles from home. I did find a local dealer but would have preferred she had chosen one of the General Finishes acrylic “milk paint” over the mix-me-up powdered genuine milk paint. She also wanted a more primitive finish, not the smooth and uniform finish that I usually try for. Just like Peter Follansbee not letting me make the English jointed stool too pretty when I took the class at the Woodwright’s School.

If you read Chris Schwarz’s blog at either Popular Woodworking or Lost Art Press, you know he has been writing about historic squares in the past month or two. The squares looked like an interesting project, relatively quick to build and not requiring much material. (No trip to the Hardwood Store.) As a woodworker with ADD, I am always looking for a diversion and something to keep me from doing what must be done. These fit the bill.

Walnut, I have lots of walnut.

Walnut, I have lots of walnut.

It was a rewarding build. Hadn’t really used hollows and rounds to any great extent. I scratched the bead on the Melencolia square with a #66 beading tool. The challenge is to figure out the sequence of using the planes and the best way to rough out the molding profiles before using the molding planes. I have been taught it is best to use a block or other plane to remove most of the wood before switching to the hollows and rounds to refine the shape. Block planes are easier to sharpen than a molding plane.

From the front, the Melencolia squares, the Wierix squares and 'Der Schreiner' squares.

From the front, the Melencolia squares, the Wierix squares and ‘Der Schreiner’ squares.

I made multiples because it is easier to make longer moldings than shorter ones. I have learned my lesson there. Now I have to find something to do with the spares. Always my problem, what to do with the stuff I make. Not a bad problem to have. Beats gout.

The July 2014 issue of The Highland Woodturner

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:39am

JulyHWT2014Ah, the middle of Summer, usually the hottest time of the year but also the usual time for vacations and relaxing. If you’re currently on vacation right now we invite you to sit back in your hammock or adirondack chair and enjoy our July issue of The Highland Woodturner. If you’re not on vacation and sitting at your office desk right now, we still invite you to CLICK HERE and maybe keep the browser covered so the boss doesn’t see you checking out some new woodturning project ideas and tips.

This month’s Woodturning stories and tips include:

Vacuum Chucking: Initial Impressions- Curtis Turner shares his experience in Vacuum Chucking, a system used to help “reverse mount a bowl or platter to provide total access to the bottom of the item.” Curtis goes over his process and the advantages and disadvantages he found when using this system.

Turning with Temple: Long, Thin-Stem Goblets: Temple Blackwood shares his step-by-step process of turning long, thin-stemmed goblets, which make great wedding presents!

Show Us Your Woodturning Shop: This month we take you on a tour of Dennis Purcell’s woodturning shop in Austin, Texas where he has a variety of turning and woodworking tools, including a new “old” lathe.

Popular Woodworking Presents: Woodturning with Tim Yoder: In this 30 minute episode brought to you by Popular Woodworking, Tim Yoder demonstrates the process of turning a Roman Canteen.

Improve Your Turning with the Oneway Woodworm Screw: Phil’s July turning tip gives you a recommendation on how to use the woodworm, the funny-looking screw that comes with chucks.

All of this and more in our July issue of The Highland Woodturner.

The post The July 2014 issue of The Highland Woodturner appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Uffy TH-T-1825XP 18 Gauge Brad Nailer

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 2:30am

Part of my job at Popular Woodworking Magazine is to talk with tool manufacturers and get their newest innovations into the PWM shop to test and review. I tend to do things in a big way, which means I have a small mountain of things to review crowding the shop, my cubicle and the storage area in the front of the PWM offices – it’s a big pile. And with […]

The post The Uffy TH-T-1825XP 18 Gauge Brad Nailer appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Contender…

The Kilted Woodworker - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 3:02pm
Bill Rittner (Hardware City Tools) recently made a knob and tote set out of holly for Catharine Kennedy (Custom Engraving by Catharine Kennedy). Bill had procured enough of the wood to make a second set. Being one who loves customized and personalized tools in my shop, I saw an opportunity to upgrade one of my […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Thank You Carl Bilderback

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:14pm

Among the many great people I’ve met while on staff at Popular Woodworking Magazine (PWM), one of my favorites is Carl Bilderback. Carl is a retired carpenter who has extraordinary skills with both hand and power tools (and he has vast collections of both), and a deep and abiding passion for the craft. He’s an active member of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Assn., and spends a lot of time driving […]

The post Thank You Carl Bilderback appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Only 3 Items per Fitting Room, Please!

Acorn House - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:10pm

After doing the initial fitting, it was time to get the neck down to a little more hand friendly shape. Before I can do that, I want to get the fingerboard cut to size and bound, using some more of the bloodwood binding. In order to get the correct nut spacing and angles, the width of the binding has to be subtracted from the desired width of the neck. Then the fingerboard is cut on the table saw and the arc at the bottom shaped at the sander. The binding is glued on and, after curing, the fingerboard is surfaced on the bottom. Now it can be glued to the neck blank. (I’m glueing it at this stage, so that the water content in the glue doesn’t cause any warping, which sometimes occurs in a thinner neck blank. After the glue has fully cured, the neck blank can be rough sawn for thickness at the bandsaw. Then the width is routed using the fingerboard as a guide.


Then its time to break out the spokeshaves, rasps, and files and shape the neck and heel. Then, with the neck shaped, the final fitting of the dovetail can begin. I did need to add shims on the dovetail (next one, I shouldn’t try to fine tune the fit until AFTER the neck shaping is done,) but, with it loose, its perfect for dialing in the fit of the heel to the body.



A final overall sanding to everything, and the neck can be glued to the body. With the dovetail joint carefully fitted (after a LOT of checking, tweaking, checking, tweaking, etc.) so that it tightens up just as its seated, it goes together very quickly. Heat the glue, brush it on, slide it together, two clamps, and you’re done!


Then, after making the bridge, and masking it off, I can begin the finishing. I began with a few coats of very thin shellac, sanding between coats. The gold color of the loa really comes out now.



After sanding all of the shellac coats down with 400 grit sandpaper, and masking off the fingerboard, its time to put on the first finish coat of oil/varnish. Now the color just becomes deeper and richer. (I brought it inside to do the bulk of the drying to control the humidity a bit more than the garage. 90% humidity just isn’t good for finishing!)



A few more coats, and it’ll be ready for the final assembly.

Categories: General Woodworking

Catching Up On Some Comments…

The Kilted Woodworker - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:27am
I want to address some of the comments I’ve recently received on a few of my blog posts that were accidentally caught by the SPAM filter. I didn’t want to have to go through the whole rigmarole of moving and approving and posting replies to each comment, so I thought I’d just collect them all […]
Categories: General Woodworking

Almost-forgotten Handsaw Tricks – Popular Woodworking Magazine

She Works Wood - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:18am
Almost-forgotten Handsaw Tricks – Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Categories: General Woodworking

If I Were a Joiner . . .

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:18am
Peter Follansbee, an artisan I distinctly look up to and respect, has decided to leave his job as the joiner at Plimoth Plantation. It's sad to me that I will never get the chance to see him in action there. It's exciting to me to think this means he will be teaching more classes and I will have an increased chance to attend one.

The fact that Peter is leaving isn't news. There are rumors that Plimoth Plantation didn't plan to replace him, Chris wrote about this in a post on his blog, but down at the bottom of the comments in that post is a comment by a Sarah MacDonald, that states the organization is updating the job description and expanding the diversity of its craftspeople. (There is no updated job posting for a joiner as of today)

This all gives me pause for thought. What if I were to be hired for the job? I certainly would meet some of the qualifications

I have spent several years developing competency with hand tools in woodworking in general and with working freshly riven, green wood more recently. I can take a fallen tree and turn it into a finished piece of furniture.

I have developed a love for the furniture and construction styles of the 17th century. I have been working on the carving aspect of the craft for several years and it's a very comfortable, natural style for me now.

My most recent carved interpretation. Walnut carved box sides. I haven't finished the till, lid, or bottom yet. 
I have some decent experience demonstrating in front of crowds, often under the guise of medieval historical reenactment. I have demoed for rowdy crowds at medieval faires and festivals, and for fundraising events at libraries and museums.

And I have experience as an lecturer and educator, I spent two years teaching Surgical Technology and Central Service Technology at Western Technical College, before deciding to return to the field. And my work has been published in a major woodworking publication.

Ok . . .  so do I have the job?

Several things will keep me from even applying if the job is posted. Not the least of which is the need to relocate. It is definitely not the right time in our lives to take on another adventure like that. Not for a while.

But the job is still fun to think about, like the "What would I do if I won the lottery?" question. Though the approach that comes across my mind is "What would I do differently?"

Peter is am inspiration to me, I've never managed to come up with a good reason to correspond with him outside of the abject hero workshop and fawning praise of an unapologetic fan boy. But if I were to trip, fall, and land in the job, I would want to make it my own. Standing on the shoulders of giants to see further is more noble than repeating what has been done before in a cookie cutter fashion.

I would certainly have a lot to learn in the job, that would be most of the fun.

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

SketchUp Class With Bob Lang, Sept. 8-12

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 7:39am

I will be teaching a week-long SketchUp class  September 8-12, 2014 at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. If you want to get a better understanding of the 3D modeling program we use here at Popular Woodworking Magazine, this is your opportunity. As in all my SketchUp classes, we start with a thorough understanding of the basics of how the program works, and by the end of the […]

The post SketchUp Class With Bob Lang, Sept. 8-12 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Big Picture, I Mean the REALLY BIG PICTURE!

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 2:35pm

A few days ago I returned to Mordor on the Potomac for the completion and assembly of the c.1900 gigantic portrait of the Chinese Dowager Empress.  I was astounded at the change in the painting by my colleagues Jia-sun and Ines who, along with a legion of others, transformed it into a sparkling image.


My role in the day’s festivities was to affix the locking corner cleats I had fabricated for the frame.


I used double tapered cross battened cleats to make sure the corners do not come apart unless you want them to.





I beat a retreat as fast as I could back the the mountains.  It was a great project, and it is unlikely that I will ever be conserving a painting frame quite like this one again.


A Great Museum Book for Free

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 5:26am

Last week while teaching a class at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking on building the Connecticut lowboy from the February 2014 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (#209) to seven excellent woodworkers (read more about the class here), I was asked to take a trip into New York city to the Metropolitan Museum (the Met for short). Of course, it took only minutes for me to say, “Hell yes.” To […]

The post A Great Museum Book for Free appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


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