Today is your last chance to order “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree” with free domestic shipping. After midnight Feb. 28, shipping will be $6.
We had originally planned to terminate this offer yesterday, but I was driving home from Atlanta, and didn’t have the opportunity to warn readers that the offer was expiring. So we’re extending it by 24 hours until midnight tonight.
This isn’t some marketing ploy. I hate those. It’s just a case of me not knowing what day it was.
The book is scheduled to ship to the Lost Art Press headquarters (my basement) on Thursday. We hope the shipment will arrive on Friday and we will begin packing boxes this weekend.
As a long-time customer of Woodcraft, I know what to expect when I walk through the door of one of the stores: natural wood displays, racks of wood at the back and a usually decent selection of hand tools.
But I don’t expect to see a Ron Brese infill smoothing plane for sale. Or an entire display case of tools from Chris Vesper in Australia. Benchcrafted vise hardware? Czeck Edge marking tools? Those things aren’t in stores; they’re only available on the Internet.
Well the Atlanta Woodcraft is an outlier. And it’s a good thing.
Owned and operated by Steve Quehl, the store carries products from the small makers that you won’t find in any store or in the Woodcraft catalog. Why? Well Steve is as passionate about hand work as just about anyone I know. He’s attended most (if not all) the Woodworking in America conferences as an attendee, not an exhibitor.
He’s an enthusiastic member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and its Peach State Chapter. And he’s very much the kind of guy who likes to support cottage-industry toolmakers. So he recruits them – sometimes relentlessly – and promotes the tools to his local clientele.
As a result, his store is a bit different. After Woodcraft and Lie-Nielsen parted ways, you couldn’t buy Lie-Nielsen tools in Woodcraft stores. But you can in Steve’s Woodcraft – he has maintained a personal relationship with the Warren, Maine, manufacturer.
And it is because of Steve’s enthusiasm that I have been teaching at his store for the last three years. He has 10 solid benches, extremely well set-up hand tools and a staff that really knows their stuff. When Al Trevillyan prepares your stock for a class, it is flat, square and perfectly to size.
So if you are in Atlanta, stop by the Woodcraft store there north of the city. It’s worth the trip. And if you need a Chris Vesper bevel or any of the other items that might be in short supply or hard to get, give Steve a call at 770-587-3372 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On days like today, I wonder how many more times I can teach a class on building The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.
On Friday, I finished up a five-day class where I and 10 students built a tool chest entirely by hand, the only way I like to build them. It was a fantastic class. (View a Flickr set here.) They were good students – not a single jerk in the group. They worked until they dropped, and we all had a good laugh and a beer at the City Tap after class each day.
Plus Roy Underhill provided instruction, entertainment and popsicles through the week. It sounds like heaven, and it was. So what the heck is my problem?
Today I taught the first day of a two-day class at the Woodcraft store in Atlanta (in Roswell, Ga., in truth) and today we made a stick. OK, we actually made three sticks. First we made a lone stick (a straightedge), then we made a pair of sticks (winding sticks). Tomorrow we’ll make “stick in a stick” (a try square) and “stick through a stick” (a marking gauge).
No massive 75-pound carcases that needed to be lugged around. No dovetailing the end of every board that crossed your bench. No endless sharpening of your chopping chisels. No giant bowl of ibuprofen.
Instead, the 10 students at the Woodcraft focused today on removing the right shavings from the right places on these 30”-long sticks. I had to lift some shavings from the floor at one time during the day, but I’ll survive.
It’s funny how a small project, such as a wooden layout tool, can be a welcome relief after a vigorous but totally energizing and then draining project such as a tool chest. I better enjoy this while I can. When I return home to Kentucky on Monday night I’ll have 17 days to finish up a secretary for a photo shoot.
So I’m folded up inside my tool chest like an origami Sasquatch with the lid closed (don’t ask), and I can hear Roy Underhill come into the “The Woodwright’s Shop” to begin the episode.
His voice is muffled through the 7/8”-thick pine, but I can hear him introduce the program.
“And… darn it,” Roy says. “Four seconds in to the show and I cut myself.”
Somehow Roy has brushed against one of my panel saws, and the blood is trickling out. He begins the program again without the aid of a bandage. So I got a souvenir: Two drops of St. Roy’s blood on the inside of my tool chest.
I will start the bidding at $50 per drop of certified Roy Underhill blood.
Today Roy Underhill and I got ready to tape two episodes for the next season of PBS’s “The Woodwright’s Shop.” As the sun started to set over Pittsboro, N.C., we realized that we needed to turn down a spindle so we could thread it on camera.
No problem. Roy’s school has nice Barnes treadle lathes. Plenty of wood. And Roy.
“Hmmm. Now where are my turning tools?” Roy asked.
It turns out that his lathe tools were at home. Without skipping a beat, Roy picked up some bench chisels and started turning down the spindle.
This, of course, attracted onlookers who were wandering by the school.
Now all we have to do is rehearse. Roy’s show is taped live. No do-overs. Ugh. Time for a beer.