Earlier this year, amateur woodworker Rob Thomas made a bold decision – to learn hand-tool woodworking using “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker” from 1839 as a road map.
And to hold his nose to the grindstone (and ensure he had the tools to do it) he started a campaign on Kickstarter.com to fund his tool and material purchases in exchange for items as small as a patch (see above) and as large as the full-on chest of drawers.
What’s Kickstarter? Visit Rob’s page here to read all about it.
Since launching his Kickstarter.com campaign, Rob has been busy building packing boxes – the first project from “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker.” Most readers skip right to “The Schoolbox” in the book, a sweet little dovetailed chest.
I think those people are missing out. The Packing Box project has four critical lessons that will enlighten any hand-tool woodworker.
1. Many times the ends of your stock can be left long in nailed work and then trimmed square after assembly. Yup, you don’t four-square everything before assembly. When I first learned this detail, I slapped my forehead repeatedly.
2. You learn how to make rub joints with hot hide glue. No clamps.
3. You learn to use cut nails in carcase construction. Cut nails are awesome.
4. You learn to clinch/clench nails.
When I started working with my daughter Katy on woodworking, the first project we built together was The Packing Box, which we sized to hold the DVDs for her class at school.
I encourage you to bookmark Rob’s blog, The Joiner’s Apprentice, to follow him as he builds his way through “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker.” It’s quite interesting to watch his thought processes and see the results.
And Speaking of Inspiration…
Since I first read about Kickstarter.com I’ve been thinking of starting a campaign to help fund the purchase of the Lost Art Press LLC headquarters. As some of you know, I’ve been actively hunting for 19th-century buildings in Covington, Ky., to house our book inventory (which has completely filled our basement and storage shed), house our workshop, mailing facilities and provide for a storefront for our publishing activities.
And on Tuesday, my dream building came on the market.
It’s the Covington Brewery Building, an Italianate building with three storefronts and six apartments above, all in pretty good shape. The building was the headquarters for the John Brenner Brewing Co. in Covington. And it was part of a long-gone campus of brewing facilities on Scott Street in Covington.
The price? Less than $200,000.
I’ve been working on selling the idea to my wife, Lucy, but she is the far more rational person in our relationship.
My plan is to offer classes in building custom workbenches and tool chests as part of the Kickstarter campaign. She (wisely) worries about the maintenance on such a huge building.
In any case, Rob Campbell has inspired me to grab the dice and shake them in my hands. We’ll see if I actually roll them.
— Christopher Schwarz