Difference between revisions of "Woodworking"

From Wayne's Dusty Box of Words
Line 17: Line 17:
* Project [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipP77ivswWEwSfhYmiBo-vyGfyklOYMu05fmpXa596jZQ5Z4g2Yxrmq0Vgt7wT6o7w?key=YVdQck9XYTRuNmo0UHhUM2s0dFMyUjF0VE9KN3Vn Protfolio] tucked into a Google album (seemingly random order)
* Project [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipP77ivswWEwSfhYmiBo-vyGfyklOYMu05fmpXa596jZQ5Z4g2Yxrmq0Vgt7wT6o7w?key=YVdQck9XYTRuNmo0UHhUM2s0dFMyUjF0VE9KN3Vn Protfolio] tucked into a Google album (seemingly random order)
* My eBay Vintage Tool [https://stores.ebay.com/dukegsvintagetoolemporium Store]
* My eBay Vintage Tool [https://stores.ebay.com/dukegsvintagetoolemporium Store]
== History ==
As a young adult in the late 80s, I got to experience the nadir of hobbyist woodworking. Most of the great toolmakers had gone out of business or been bought up and the rest had sold their souls to the Far East in search of higher margins. What tools they were making were junk. It probably drove people away from the hobby in droves. I was given a brand new Great Neck plane in the early 90s. Out of the package, the sole was nowhere near flat. The iron couldn't hold an edge, it was an exercise in frustration.
That's when I discovered vintage tools. Good ones were a little hard to find, but with some careful looking, you could snag a few here and there. I didn't really have much of a budget to work with, but I caught on to the idea that if I bought 10, sold 9, I could keep the best one for myself. Problem solved.
In fact, it solved itself so well, it's been a side business for me for the last 7 or 8 years. It really helped bridge some painful economic times. Unfortunately, it also kept me away from actually making anything with the tools. But that's largely behind me know. I still sell tools, but the pace is much more manageable and I am able to get projects through the shop now.
So here we are. Time to take a little tour of stuff I have made over the years. We can divide the work into 3 epochs:
* Early career - Mostly basic stuff for period looking SCA camping
* Mid-career - Early reproduction work in both medieval and modern furniture
* Current work - Greater complexity, more focus on tool research, still a wide gamut of time periods.
== Education ==
== Education ==

Revision as of 10:42, 2 January 2020

I have had a life long interest in woodworking. It's been a long and sometimes winding road: gathering tools, equipment, wood, and most importantly skills. I would describe myself as an amateur professional hobbyist woodworker. Amateur in the fact I have not had any formal training in woodworking. It's mostly been trial and error, researching in books, magazines, the internet, antique shops, and furniture auctions. Professional in that I do sell what I make and have a stable client base of repeat customers. Hobbyist because I started this as therapy for myself from my IT career.

I'm still constrained by a fairly small shop, but I can make most of the things on my todo list at this point.


My interest is in furniture making from the 15th Century to the early 20th Century. Generally, the tools and techniques for making pre-industrial furniture in addition to the furniture itself.

I know, this covers a pretty wide range. But, as you'll see, woodworking tools changed very little from Roman times to the late 18th Century. The quality of steel (steel at all) changed and design aesthetic certainly evolved over time, but the kit of a 17th Century American cabinetmaker would be familiar to a medieval woodworker.

For those of you coming here to see my SCA work, there's going to be a fair bit of later stuff as well. My house is slowly being furnished with Arts & Crafts style and Shaker Style furniture. Just sit back and enjoy the show.


  • My woodworking History
  • My woodworking Education
  • Documentation for projects submitted to SCA A&S Contests
  • Papers on medieval woodworking that isn't project documentation
  • Project Protfolio tucked into a Google album (seemingly random order)
  • My eBay Vintage Tool Store


As I mentioned above, I don't have a formal education in woodworking. I started out the popular PBS series: The New Yankee Workshop. Norm Abrams takes a lot of heat from purists for his approach to furniture building, but they miss the point. His goal was exactly what the effect he had on me: it was a gateway.

The projects were approachable and avoided the requirement of expensive and specialized tools. The show's introduction quickly became my favorite part of the show. Norm would travel to a museum and with a curator, examine a piece, pointing out the important details. This set the piece in context and showed what the actual antique furniture looked like. Then it was off to the shop to build a reproduction. In most cases, this was not a faithful reproduction as such. It was simplified for the aforementioned reasonable tool kit and skillset of his viewers.

Norm's other show, This Old House, was another favorite. As the owner of an older house, learning about renovations sometimes on a pretty massive scale, was educational.

From there it was books and magazines. You can find a list of my favorite books in the bibliography section. Most of the magazines have died in the Internet age and live on as gigabytes of PDF scans on my hard drives.

Around 2005, I discovered an annual conference that was close by and affordable. Colonial Williamsburg hosts Woodworking in the 18th Century