Woodworking, sounds simple enough, but there’s a wealth of lore in trees and wood; and using old tools properly requires a bit of metallurgical knowledge. Physics, the practical kind, is immensely useful; so is geometry. Books and tools open doors, some with intricate locks and hinges, to visit this world and others.

Grew up on a farm in south Arkansas, not as poor as some people, but no silver spoon. College didn’t satisfy my curiosity, and I moved on to make my living as a carpenter, trying to make sense of living in a beautiful and slightly insane world.

Timber framing is naturally a product of the most fundamental theorems (parallel & perpendicular), counting numbers, common fractions, and basic triangular shapes (3:4:5, etc). Timber, unless it is absolutely dry in which case you have other problems, moves. A lot. The fascination with precision in such work is a precious illusion, not supported by reality.

I have spent all of my life learning, making, and building: creating value; while a criminally irresponsible banking industry has systematically diminished the value of work and reduced skilled trades to banality. Enough, already.

13 Responses to About

  1. Samuel Wood says:

    Hi there, Thanks for following my blog! I know nothing about carpentry, but like your style and your decisions so may pick something up as I follow yours!

  2. Samuel Wood says:

    Tried to reply to your message but got a bounce back from gmail saying the address
    was not recognized. Maybe you set your comment/Wordpress account with an old email address. If it’s something else, we can move the conversation to my blog post.

    By the way, I completely understand if you want to delete this comment which is irrelevant to your About page but was the only way I could think of to get in touch!

  3. Hi there Michael,

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the Blogosphere, and for the follow. Your support is greatly appreciated. Hope to see more from you,

    Have a great day, 🙂


  4. Dana Carini says:

    I am a wooden boat refinisher and helper to a wooden boat builder and restorer. Now I have decided to start making simple stools, table, beds and dish racks with mostly handtools. I hate measuring and i have a hard time following instructions. Your blog is wonderful and will help me on my new trip into hand tool woodworking world. Thanxs for following me- now i have to find your follow button!

    • Impressive collection of doors. I like your section on finishes, abhor polyurethane in principle and in practice. Shellac is severely underrated, I learned to French polish at the Fiddler’s Fix in Portsmouth in 1980, requires a very deft touch with the fad. Amazing result if you get it right.

  5. Alonzo Jones says:

    Michael —
    I enjoyed our encounter this morning at the FFM. Looked up Robb White’s boat and I like what I see. I’d like to see your strip built canoe sometime. You can e me at alonzo at hawkeye dot ualr dot edu
    — Lon

  6. Post & beam…..cool!

  7. Hey Mike! Check out La Esperanza Bird Lodge & reserve . . . . . FB . . . . .

  8. Ooooops! Michael . . . . .

  9. Dang! You still look way more like you than I do like me . . . . .

  10. Michael:

    My name is Landon Foster, we met the other day at David McKee’s office. I was hoping to get your contact info to discuss the property you mentioned on Old Wire Rd. You can email me at landon@bespokearch.us Thanks!

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