Since Feb. 1 when I got in the car to drive down to Highland Woodworker, this has been a year of non-stop travel on three continents. It’s been a great year – I was nearly bit by a poisonous spider in Australia, I used Chris Vesper’s “toilet” and I built more tool chests than I care to remember.
But at 12:46 p.m. today, I officially ran out of urgent things to do. I finished building a project for Popular Woodworking Magazine (the nail cabinet above) that was a round-the-clock affair since last Monday. I paid my estimated taxes. I answered some urgent e-mail.
And it’s a good thing I had a moment of peace. Tonight John Hoffman and I get on a plane for a week in England. We’ll be doing research for my upcoming book on campaign furniture at sites both public and private. And we’re attending the European Woodworking Show at Cressing Temple Barns in Essex.
On Saturday we’ll be in the booth for Classic Hand Tools – Mike Hancock’s outfit. If you are at the show, please stop by and say hello. On Sunday, we’ll be walking the show as plain old woodworkers in an effort to catch up with a bunch of people we haven’t seen in a long time.
And on next Monday we return with fake British accents, pocket squares and ascots.
I have two projects to build for the campaign furniture book during the next four weeks. The leather is ordered. The mahogany is waiting. The drawings are complete.
So if I’m not answering your e-mails promptly during the next seven days, you know why.
5. With your help, we’ll have a new A.-J. Roubo T-shirt design ready for Woodworking in America (not to mention lots of copies of the deluxe and standard editions of “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry”).
On the front of the shirt will be the image above, which was adapted from the original plates of “l’Art du menuisier” by Wesley Tanner, who designed both editions of the book.
On the back will be a witticism. A really funny one that will cause spontaneous knee-slapping and perhaps even a laugh riot (have you ever seen a laugh riot?).
And this witticism will be written by you, our hilarious readers. If we select your slogan for the rear of our T-shirt, you’ll get a free T-shirt, a copy of the standard edition of “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry” and our salute.
To enter your witty saying, simply add it in the comments. The slogan should be no more than five or six words. Long slogans don’t fit on T-shirts (that’s what books are for, duh!). Be sure to include your name so we can get in touch with you in case you are the winner.
The deadline for submitting your entry is 5 p.m. EST on Sept. 22, 2013.
And sign up for Woodworking in America, Oct. 18-20 – the T-shirt might have the nipples cut out with fur around the holes. (Not really.)
Unless tools are well and keenly sharpened, satisfactory work is impossible. Much of the difference between professional and amateur work arises from the bluntness of the tools of the latter. No mortised and tenoned joint can be made to fit closely if the work is not cleanly cut by a sharp chisel; and planed surfaces, if badly done, are more unsightly than if left rough from the saw.
Various contrivances for holding a tool securely during the operation of grinding have been devised, and I may notice the undeniable fact that I never saw them in use among workmen. It is indeed a mistake to rely upon what are, at best, questionable devices, when, by patient practice, we can gain that skill which will not fail us in the time of need. A simple toolrest—a mere bar of iron parallel to the face of the stone, may be a help in steadying a tool; but even this is seldom to be seen in the carpenter’s shop, its absence proving that it is not a necessity. (more…)