Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bracing for Winter

Family sickness, visiting guests from afar, and an upcoming trip to honor a recently departed friend have slowed down work in the shop (and by extension this journal).  However, much is happening behind the scenes and there is much more to come.  With the completion and shipping of the packing boxes, I am now gearing up for "dovetail month" (an exercise to get my joinery skills sharpened before diving into the schoolboxes).  Additionally, this weekend I will be in Portland, OR at the Northwest School of Woodworking for a workshop on hand planes, card scrapers, and spokeshaves.  This is perfect timing, as I have some more or less advanced questions about 2 of my planes, and I have had a very hard time getting my card scraper to co-operate despite lots of book-learning on the topic.

I will also be starting to work on my new workbench soon, and updates of its progress will show up here interlaced with the schoolboxes and other Joiner &c posts.

It was nice to have my virtual mentor Chris Schwarz mention my experiment on his blog, which is one of my favorites.  For those who haven't read the book, "Thomas" is the name of the apprentice who's work I am using to guide my education.  Somewhat interestingly, "Thomas" was my father's middle name, and "Robert" is Thomas's mentor in the book.

Holidays are upcoming, so work and posts will be sporadic, but I am betting that 2012 is going to be a great year for traditional woodworking nationwide as well as my own experiment.  More and more people are (ahem) crawling out of the woodwork to express interest in these arts, and I find it timely and encouraging.

I have a very special project in the works but cannot say more just yet.

Until then, I remain your faithful apprentice.


  1. Congrats on the CS mention. I hope things shape up good with your workbench build.

  2. Thanks Billy. I'll no doubt be documenting the build here, and hoping to use hand tools for as much of it as possible, though I'm already resigned to using a planer for the chunks of the top, and a table saw to rip the boards to size.

  3. I don't blame you, I spent 1 hour on the underside of my bench top glue up and two on the top. I don't have a planer. Just a #7. In the end it will look/work great and that is what matters.

  4. Upriver,

    Man, can you write! And your photography is sharp, too.

    I can't imagine NOT wanting to spend more time in such a warm and inviting shop.

    Thanks for writing the words you write. :) Thanks for bringing us into your little corner of the world.

    Looking forward to reading more!



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