Build a New Sled in Time for Christmas!

With the holiday season just around the corner, it's time to start making those gifts for friends and family.  I collect old plans for projects I never seem to get around to making but here's a quickie that might be on the table soon.  Maybe you know some youngster that will need a sled this … Continue reading Build a New Sled in Time for Christmas!

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Ana White and Some Truly Brilliant Ideas

Someone recently shared this house with me and I've seen her (Ana White's) work popping up all over the Internet lately.  Ana White uses readily available materials to create some genius storage and living solutions for small homes.  These could easily be applied in many other situations in order to make the most of any … Continue reading Ana White and Some Truly Brilliant Ideas

Perpetual Beginner Mentality

Here’s a nearly perfect little essay from Greg Merritt about amateur woodworking that can be applied far beyond our chosen hobby. It’s a great way to start off the New Year on a positive note.

I particularly like this line: “To build furniture you need three basic skills.  You must know how to sharpen, layout accurately and then accurately cut the wood to layout.  That is it. Period.”

HILLBILLY DAIKU

The following is written for those of you, like myself, who are amature/hobbiest woodworkers. We just want to build things with wood and enjoy the process as well as the result.

In days gone by, when the apprentiship system was in full swing, a person knew where they stood in the hierarchy. You entered as an apprentice and worked your way up through the ranks. Crossing milestones allong the way that advanced you to the next level. Eventually working your way up until you were considered a master craftsman, or whatever similar rank, depending upon your chosen proffession. My assumption is, that as these individulas moved up in the system their attitude changed as well. Gaining both confidence and a sense of reponsibility to the profession.

That was then, this is now.

Something I have observed over the years is that amature woodworkers are almost always viewed as perpetual beginners…

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Joinery Journey

Joinery doesn’t have to be a mystery or an unknowable. Have a read of Mr. Merritt’s take on joinery. I’m looking forward to more!

HILLBILLY DAIKU

I love joinery.

There is something magical about fitting two or more pieces of wood together.

Before the advent of mechanical fasteners, joinery reigned supreme.  At that pre-industrial time is was the cheapest, fastest and strongest way of building with wood.  As nails, bolts and screws became less expensive they began to displace joinery for building with wood.  Mechanical fasteners required less skill and were faster. Thus the products produced became less expensive and the structural and aesthetic compromises were  accepted as “progress”.  Machines too brought an end to joinery’s reign.  Some joints that can be “easily” cut by hand are either impossible to cut with a machine or the setup is too costly.  So joinery was simplified or abandoned to accommodate mass production.

I have no intention of delving into a philosophical diatribe on the pros and cons of the industrial revolution.  My intent with the preceding was to…

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