Jeff Burks is a finish carpenter, dogged researcher and definitely a member of the “inner circle” of the world’s wood nerds. His healthy obsession with old books and trade magazines in particular has led me down some fun rabbet holes.
And this week, he has done it again with an article called “How to Plane a Piece of Wood,” which was printed in the June 10, 1892, edition of English Mechanic and World of Science and Art and likely penned by Joseph Gregory Horner.
The author of this fantastic piece of writing is one of the “cranky old dudes” who show up in these trade magazines from time to time to show young apprentices how it is done. I love the cranky old dudes (and they love to e-mail me).
So while your boss isn’t looking or you are pretending to listen to your spouse, download this article from Jeff’s web site, carpentryarchive.org.
Here’s the direct link for a pdf that Jeff made: http://www.carpentryarchive.org/files/english_mechanic_1892.pdf
It is, quite possibly, one of the most entertaining articles on planing I’ve ever read, and I’ll bet you a doughnut that you’ll start using the expression “a veritable donkey’s bridge” after you read it.
Thanks to Jeff, who has given me a lot to read this week. More to come, just as soon as I finishing packing these outstanding book orders.
— Christopher Schwarz