Category Archives: architecture

broadax

“He was a left-handed man.  Other workmen might be annoyed by apprentices or ignorant boys using their sharp axes; but you didn’t do that twice with George Cook’s axe–it was too dangerous a trick.”  George Sturt, The Wheelwright’s Shop Is … Continue reading

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Sumitsubo

After the axe and adze have shaped the surface of a timber, the spear plane (yari kana) is used to achieve a smooth, slightly rippled surface, like calm water.  Reading the grain closely is essential; always following the contours, feeling the … Continue reading

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tools…beyond price

The risers for our new stair: scantlings:  15– 3/4″ x 7,3/8″ x 37″ materials:  3–1x8x16′ + 1–1x4x16′ C-grade yellow pine, jointed, ripped, joined, glued, ripped (a nominal 1×8 is 7,1/4″ at best, by the time it’s jointed may be only 7″; … Continue reading

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Vitruvius

“When the proportions are adjusted, and the dimensions found by calculation, then it is the part of a skilful architect to consider the nature of the place, the purpose of the building, and the beauty of it.”        … Continue reading

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The Anarchist’s Tool Chest

My first woodworking book was Audel’s Carpenter’s and Builder’s Guide 1922, volume 4, and it took me another thirty years to acquire the other three.  In high school shop class, the standard was Cabinetmaking and Millwork, Feirer and Hutchings, among the dullest books … Continue reading

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Apprenticeship

I have just finished raising a timber frame on my own house, a second-story addition over an existing structure.  Part of the financing came through a grant from the Folklife Studies Program at ASU (Mike Luster), originating from the NEA. … Continue reading

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traditional craftsmanship

“Any efforts to safeguard traditional craftsmanship must focus not on preserving craft objects – no matter how beautiful, precious, rare or important they might be – but on creating conditions that will encourage artisans to continue to produce crafts of … Continue reading

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