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Stealing the Carpenter’s Magic Device

Stealing the Carpenter’s Magic Device

In every craft, there is a magic device that acolytes must learn to manipulate and master. In joinery, I think dividers (aka the compass) are our totemistic thingy. In journalism, you have to learn the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). And in traditional carpentry, you need to master the steel square. I suck at using Continue reading»

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800 Interlocking Wooden Parts, 8 Men, 1 Chinese Pavilion

800 Interlocking Wooden Parts, 8 Men, 1 Chinese Pavilion

As a child, I disliked assembling puzzles. What’s the fun in piecing together hundreds of pieces of cardboard into a flat image of a happy whale family? But Lincoln Logs, on the other hand, had my full attention. Yes, I know I was not a consistent child. This week I drove to the Headley-Whitney Museum Continue reading»

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My Introduction to the ‘Polissoir’ – Roubo’s Wax Polisher

My Introduction to the ‘Polissoir’ – Roubo’s Wax Polisher

For most modern woodworkers, wax is not a finish. It goes on top of the finish and creates a barrier to scratches. But after reading the forthcoming translation of A.J. Roubo’s “L’Art du Menuisier,” it’s clear that wax was once a fast and beautiful finish for furniture. That is, when assisted with a tool that’s Continue reading»

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Where to Buy Big Wood for Big Workbenches

Where to Buy Big Wood for Big Workbenches

During the last few years, I’ve been using giant 6×6 softwood timbers to build workbenches for classes and customers. These big hunks look old school and make the construction process quick and painless – the top has only three glue lines. Of course, the problem for most people is finding this wood. You can find Continue reading»
 

I Saw it. She Saw it. We all Saw it.

I Saw it. She Saw it. We all Saw it.
As instructors at woodworking classes, we spend most of our time sampling bon-bons and braiding each others hair while the students work away the last bits of their cartilage between their poor, overtaxed joints. Today was not so fun for the instructors. While the students merrily dovetailed away their carcasses at The Woodwright’s School, the Continue reading»