Author Archives: Jeff Burks

The Making of the Oldtime Woodworker

In a prominent place in a cozy Long Island home are two huge volumes. These interesting books contain a record of that second honeymoon which so few of us attain in this world, the Golden Wedding. The record is a … Continue reading

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Extravagant Economy

The customers of a country cooper caused him a vast deal of vexation by their saving habits and persistence in getting all their old tubs and casks repaired, and buying but little new work. “I stood it however,” said he, … Continue reading

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On a Higher Level

No man ever finished his work, for each task is but a preparation, which, being completed, should be put under our feet, that we may thenceforward labor on a higher level. Thus, no true worker was ever satisfied with what … Continue reading

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Some Shop Axioms

If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything, then you waste nothing but your time and are not likely to waste any material. It is better to do nothing than to do something wrong. It affects the nerves … Continue reading

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Felling Oaks in the Woodlands

The able official who practically created the Forest Department of India once remarked to the writer that the strongest evidence of the wealth of the English landed proprietors was the large-minded way in which they refused to have anything to … Continue reading

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Oppressive Burdens on the Mechanical Classes

…Such are some of the considerations, which show the general utility of scientific education, for those engaged in the mechanical arts. Let us now advert to some of the circumstances, which ought, particularly in the United States of America, to … Continue reading

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A Working-Man’s Recollections

My earliest recollections are associated with my father’s workshop. In looking back to the youthful period of life, and the years immediately succeeding, it has often occurred to me that some particulars might be revived, which, in the present day, … Continue reading

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Roubo on Scieurs de Long

Continuing with the series on pit sawing; this is my translation of André Roubo’s description of the process from L’Art du menuisier (1769-82). Roubo offers us a unique view of pit sawing not yet covered in the other passages, that … Continue reading

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Moxon on Pit Saws

The Pit-ſaw is a great Saw fitted into a ſquare Frame; as in Plate 4. M is the Pit-ſaw. The Pit Saw, is Set ſo Rank for courſe Stuff, as to make a Kerf of almoſt a quarter of an … Continue reading

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Sawyer’s Logic

Sir,—I request the insertion of the following statement in your valuable little work. My object is to bring to public notice a most unjust practice among a certain class of men (which, by-the-bye, I am told is law). I withhold … Continue reading

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