Category Archives: woodworking

Perspective

We spent the day sharpening plane blades and chisels. Evan had received a couple of Norton combination synthetic water stones from Highland Hardware, and we needed to try them out.  In spite of glowing reviews from the leading magazines, I’m not impressed. … Continue reading

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Boggs Tool & File

I received a new file in the mail today.  That’s it in the top of the picture. I haven’t been sharpening handsaws for some time.  Other major life issues took precedence, and besides I had several sharpened saws in reserve. … Continue reading

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Planing with oil

I may have missed something.  Most of the 80’s, for instance, and I still don’t own a smartphone.  If we were going to draw a line at owning something smarter than ourselves, where would that line be?  Not far out … Continue reading

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Wooden Spoons

I used to carve spoons and give them away.  It took so much time, I would have been at a loss trying to either get a decent wage or to sell them at any reasonable market value.  Besides, it seemed like … Continue reading

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Lie-Nielsen #102

This exchange began on Monday, and I have been back and forth for a week with Lie-Nielsen’s very patient customer service rep.  For some reason that nobody seems to be able to explain, the blade dimension of the #102 block … Continue reading

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RIP Swarf

Officials at Colonial Williamsburg today declined to confirm the provenance of a trove of 18th century carpenter’s drawings tentatively attributed to the legendary woodworker Christop herr (Chip) Swarf, recently discovered in a local tavern. Venerated antiquarian Rawry Bumberbill, author of … Continue reading

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Ockham’s Eraser

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”   Albert Einstein Last week, I opened an e-mail from our public library, … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, carpentry, food for thought, traditional building, woodworking | 6 Comments

Shopwork

The boring machine from the tool show in February, repaired, scraped, re-assembled.  The rack and latch still need some adjustment, that round hole in the cap is about 3/32″ off.  Otherwise, after cleaning up the usual dings and grunge, a … Continue reading

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Work in Progress

Finally: It was stated at the outset, that this system would not be here, and at once, perfected. You cannot but plainly see that I have kept my word. But I now leave my cetological System standing thus unfinished, even … Continue reading

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Tolerance and Precision

Lufkin…Starrett…Brown & Sharpe…The Holy Trinity Skeat:                                                                     … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, boatbuilding, carpentry, traditional building, woodworking | 3 Comments

blue sky

The Russian Bantry Bay Gig, Penetanguishene, 1994 If you can find a copy of Barns, Beams, and Boats online, it is the foundation story behind this boat.  Lance Lee, fresh out of the Marine Corps. in the 60’s, went to … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, boatbuilding, traditional building, woodworking | 2 Comments

Lefty, no Pancho

“Each stick was carefully mortised or tenoned by its stump, for I had borrowed other tools by this time.” Henry David Thoreau There’s a wealth of information packed into that sentence. Most people reading Walden will never grasp that Henry … Continue reading

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3-drawer Empire chest

Details are Empire, construction isn’t at all typical of Empire.  Cherry primary wood is light in color, suggesting Pennsylvania or further north.  Sides are 1″ thick white pine, drawers have cherry fronts with properly dovetailed poplar sides and roughly planed … Continue reading

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Dowland Manuscript

The Old Records of the Fraternity of Operative Freemasons, under the general name of Old Constitutions, or Old Charges, were written in the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. The Dowland Manuscript, as reproduced in Hughan’s Old Charges (1872) is … Continue reading

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Never and Always

Winding sticks on a board, preparing stock.  Mind the gap.  This is the first start-to-finish benchwork project for me in several years, salvaged Asian mahogany from a pallet.  After sorting out most of the embedded gravel, nails, and broken drywall … Continue reading

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Spokeshaves

I have a couple of dozen wooden spokeshaves, different sizes, each unique. Each one of them, without exception, has a distinct curve in the blade, parallel the long axis. This curve has a direct relationship to the curve in a … Continue reading

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Waterlogue

  Ars Longa Vita Brevis Tempus Fugit Carpe Diem

Posted in carpentry, woodworking | 1 Comment

Remarkable

Wendell Berry, in his book of essays What Are People For? (North Point Press, 1990) has a short piece titled A Remarkable Man, which is a review of All God’s Dangers.  With no reason to believe that I can write a … Continue reading

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Lost Art, Found Artifact

The 28th Annual Groundhog Day Tool Meet was yesterday, sponsored by the Southwest Tool Collectors Association.  A couple of dozen dealers present.  Looking over the hundred or so attendees, Evan was one of a very few not likely to qualify … Continue reading

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$20k house redux

I don’t believe it’s fair to criticize unless you can offer a better idea.  If these four guys can actually build a complete house in three weeks, they are carpenters, not mere laborers. This crew is going to spend the next … Continue reading

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