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.
— Christopher Schwarz