Author Archives: michaellangford2012

About michaellangford2012

Timber framer, boatbuilder, dreamer, writer, musician; collector of books, tools, aphorisms. "There is nothing, absolutely nothing…half so much worth doing…as simply messing about in boats."

vernacular architecture

  VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE & THE DESIGN OF HOUSES “If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man – and I think that it is, though only the wise improve their advantages – it must … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, carpentry, traditional building, woodworking | 1 Comment

Common Ground

I have lived in the American South for almost all of my life, and when I try to explain the Southern perspective to someone who didn’t grow up here, I tell them, “We have no common ground in the South. … Continue reading

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Appearance vs. Reality

Manifesto The Infinite Marketability of the human estate insists that we all have a price. We all have value. Some of us are not for sale. ARTIZENS BANK…small change matters (a letter to a friend who works in city planning; … Continue reading

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Restoration

Do not let us talk then of restoration.  The thing is a Lie from beginning to end.  You may make a model of a building as you may of a corpse, and your model may have the shell of the … Continue reading

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Alice

In the evening hours of Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Alice Thurleen Kennedy, 64, lost her final battle with ovarian cancer. Angels await one of their own beautiful immortal souls coming into the light. Luminous transcendent joyous affirmation of life she … Continue reading

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boxes

Posted in woodworking | 2 Comments

Chi

The fourth box, with mahogany liners glued in place to provide a gluing surface for the bottom panel.  This box, and the others, represents an essay in energy conservation.  All the wood used has been laboriously salvaged from furniture pallets … Continue reading

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A Small Tool

The tools that I use at my workbench are mostly things that I have made to suit my own purposes, such as this scraper.  The stock is a piece of Mexican rosewood culled by a xylophone maker years ago, the … Continue reading

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Discussion

(This post is part of a conversation with Henrik Lutzen; about why we pursue craft skills.  If you happen to read this, please comment.)   I believe there’s way too much focus on tools and technique, with less attention to … Continue reading

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New Beginnings

As the winter solstice approaches, I find myself taking stock of the past year and looking forward to projects and enterprises in the next.  A genuinely disappointing episode with a would-be apprentice who took on a job way beyond his … Continue reading

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Coping Shoulders

One of the primary applications of scribing gouges is in making timber shoulders fit waney edges.  This is a straining beam that engages a brace on either end, but the joinery is still a brace mortice, layout at 45º to … Continue reading

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Dovetails

The machine works, insofar as my workbench and hand tools can be considered as such.  In four days, I produced four carcases.  That along with visitors, housekeeping (such as it is) and trying not to make noise when the rest … Continue reading

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Dovetail Machine

Looking ahead, several rainy days were forecast for this weekend, so I planned to spend the time at my workbench building some toolboxes.  From pallets salvaged behind the furniture store down the street, I have a small lot of poplar … Continue reading

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Raising Day

The rain finally stopped mid-afternoon, and we were able to raise the frame.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  A few friends who will always show up on short notice, a chance to involve the neighbors.  Block … Continue reading

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Resourcefulness

There are a lot of opinions these days about what is the best tool, the best bench, the planinest’ plane or the slickest saw to make you the best woodworker you can be.  Is this some kind of competition?  I’m not … Continue reading

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Manalog

That’s right, Manual-Analog Control.  What I do, every day, what most of the world still does and has done for centuries.  Meanwhile, let the architects and computer geeks be enamored of CNC (merely a glorified router that you don’t have … Continue reading

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Crooked Timber

There’s a bit too much wood on this piece, so I’m setting up to hew an inch from what will become the bottom of the beam.  “Getting my bearings” with those gouge marks as a guide.  There’s also a bit … Continue reading

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Precious

I am no stranger to power tools, the ones that require gasoline or electricity to perform work for me.  In the long run, they expand the possibilities of what I can do, and I have their manual/analog counterparts to work … Continue reading

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Freedom

The ragged end of a mid-summer full moon, a new star somewhere tonight.  Another birthday, another sleepless night.  A fresh grave in a clearing back in the pinewoods, hard handed men accustomed to dungarees and work boots standing in well-worn … Continue reading

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Work and Play

I enjoy work.  In particular, I enjoy putting my entire body and mind to work using large, sharp pieces of steel to shape timbers into structure.  Broadax, boring machine, framing chisels, the entire kit, pencils to pegs…I live for that.  Everything else … Continue reading

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