Back On Track . . .

My My it’s been a great while since my last post. Many things have been happening. I’ve been chugging along at school. Some weeks are easier than others, and days before a deadline are seriously tough.

So far I’ve completed 4 projects and many mini, in-class, projects. My goal in the next few posts is to catch up on coverage of the individual projects.After that I’m going to start covering my current build which is in the design stage. More on that later . . .

The first project that I finished was a shaped box with hand cut joints. Most of the assignments for the mastery program are described this vague on purpose.

It’s nice that you definitely get the lesson to be learned (i.e. hand cut joints, shaping), but are also allowed to stretch your design legs and move towards developing your own style.

The shaping on the sides was done with a spokeshave, then I matched the shape on the lid with a flush-cut router bit.

So, I decided to make the box out of abundant materials in my area CVG fir, western maple, and aromatic cedar.

I used the aromatic cedar as the base and left a few knots in there. The knots hold on to the oils that create the wonderful scent. Without the knots it would be aroma-free in no time.

The joints were handsawn, but it was the chisel work that made these come together well. Lesson learned: Sharp Chisels are vital, dull chisels are dangerous and infuriating…

In the end I like the result. I think it needs something else, maybe a handle or some small feet. A little leather, old bronze or brass, something to break up the color and texture a bit . . .Next up, more fir and a little carving.

Old Tool Heaven

I came across this Etsy video today. It covers an antique tool dealer in Maine. Besides that fact that it’s a little bit of tool porn, and if I lived in that part of the world I’d be there everyday, I really like the message that Skip is conveying . . .

I hope one day my “practice pieces” look this amazing…

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes

I have been busy trying to finish a few projects, and a little book I’m working on…so not much time for photos, etc. I have taken some time here & there to make some small boxes that now hold miscellaneous junk that collects around the shop. The one above is made of some practice pieces I did a few years back when I was trying to learn chip carving. The box is butternut, riven & planed. the lid & bottom are white pine.

The designs are totally random in this case; I was really just trying out knives & cuts.  I had no intention of making anything from these. But after them kicking around the shop for 2 years, I decided to make a box from them, no sense just having them loose…


The hurricane that swept through New England a month or more ago left some nice spoon…

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Last night was the first night of the program.

We had some introduction to the course and eachother,we did some of gary’s famous 5-minute dovetails, and some chisel detail work.

Every time I go in to his shop though, I marvel at his snowflake bandsaw. It’s about 8th tall, and takes a good couple of minutes to stop spinning after it’s turned off. Rad!

Weapons of Mass Construction


My new Lie-Nielsen chisels and Glen-Drake chisel hammer #3. When I received the hammer in the mail Kevin Glen-Drake left a hand written note inside thanking me. Very cool!

Documenting my path to becoming a master furniture maker . . . hopefully.

Well, I’ve gone and done it.

I started a blog. It’s an easy task to start, but a much greater endeavor to keep afloat and interesting.

At the moment I follow numerous blogs and find them extremely helpful, informative, and entertaining.

I am going to try to bring my perspective and musings in to the mix. I hope you like it!

Starting this Friday Oct. 14th I am embarking on a 2 year program for furniture mastery at the Northwest Woodworking Studio here in Portland, Or.

I plan on documenting my course of trials and tribulations. Hopefully someday after the program I’ll be documenting my furniture which, god willing, you’ll be slobbering over (not on it though, please ; ))

So, Here goes . . .