I have had a life long interest in woodworking. It's been a long and sometimes slow road, gathering tools, equipment, wood, and most importantly skills. I'm still constrained by a fairly small shop, but I can make most of the things on my todo list.
As a young adult in the late 80s, I got to experience the nadir of hobbyist woodworking. All the great old toolmakers who had not sone out of business 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. Out of the package, the sole was not flat and the iron couldn't hold an edge, it would crumble on anything harder than poplar.
That's when I discovered vintage tools. They were a little hard to find, but with some careful looking, you could snag some 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:
- Basic stuff needed for SCA camping
- Early reproduction work in both medieval and modern furniture
- Current work, greater complexity, more research, still a wide gamut of time periods.
I am interested in pre-industrial woodworking, specifically furniture. As well as tools and techniques for making such. I know, this covers a pretty wide range. For those of you coming here to see my SCA Period work, there's going to be a fair bit of later stuff as well. As you'll see, woodworking tools changed very little from Roman times to the 18th Century. Quality of steel (steel at all) changed and the design aesthetic certainly did, but the kit of a 17th Century American cabinetmaker would be familiar to a medieval woodworker.
Not all of it is "SCA Period" and that's OK