I don’t give names to my pieces of furniture. I have nothing against people who do, but it’s just not my thing. But sometimes a piece of furniture reminds me of someone as I’m building it. When I look at this backstool I can think only of Joe Kent Wagg.
For three years I attended a Lutheran school that was populated by a volatile mix of smart kids, token charity cases and trouble-makers. In fourth grade, our resident bully was Joe, who was older, bigger and had questionable dental hygiene.
I was the kid with a bowl haircut, glasses and a smart mouth, so naturally Joe had it in for me on the playground. Thanks to Joe I learned a lot about scuffling, chewing dirt and hiding in the bushes – all valuable skills in the corporate world.
While Joe ruled recess, he struggled in school. He would get out of his seat several times a day and sprint around the classroom. Eventually the teacher brought a roll of duct tape to class and adhered him to his chair by wrapping his midsection to the chair’s back.
This did not stop him. Partially mummified, he would tip backward in his chair all day, a clear violation of school rules.
So the teacher taped him to a chair that with casters on the feet. When Joe tipped back, he would fall on the floor like a crippled turtle unable to get upright.
We were commanded to ignore him, and Joe was left on the floor for what seemed like hours.
I think it was that day that I started to have a problem with authority.
Here’s your chance to buy a completely finished and fitted Anarchist’s Tool Chest that is chock full of premium hand tools (more than $8,300 worth) – and help a great woodworking school in the process.
Here’s the story: Last summer I taught my first class in England for the New English Workshop, which was held at the shops at Warwickshire College. As a way to give back to the next generation of woodworkers, Paul Mayon and Derek Jones of New English Workshop completed and finished the tool chest I built (very nicely, I might add). Then a bunch of generous toolmakers donated a load of premium hand tools to put in the chest.
On March 28, 2015, the chest and its contents will be auctioned off by David Stanley Auctions and all proceeds will be donated to Warwickshire College, which offers an excellent furniture program. You do not need to be in England to bid on the chest – David Stanley accepts internet bids and can ship the chest if need be. Check the David Stanley auction site for details.
The chest is finished exactly like the one in the book “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” including the sliding trays and black-over-red paint job. The chest is signed by me and all the students who participated in the class.
The list of tools is nothing short of amazing. Here’s a list of the tools, who donated then and the value in English dollars. Check it:
Ashley Isles MKII bevel edge cabinetmakers chisels x 6, donated by Workshop Heaven, £133
Aurio Rasps x 3, donated by Classic Hand Tools, £252
Bad Axe Sash Saw 14” 12ppi Hybrid, donated by Bad Axe Tool Works, £186
Blum Tool Company #5 ½ Mesquite Jack Plane, donated by Blum Tool Company, £210
David Barron 9-1/2” lignum vitae smoothing plane, donated by David Barron, £175
Classic Bow saw 400mm Turbo Cut, donated by anonymous, £56
Chris Pye carving chisels set of 11, donated by Classic Hand Tools, £290
Clifton #4-1/2 Heavy Smoothing Plane, Donated by Clico, £310
Czeck Edge Kerf Kadet II Marking Knife, donated by Czeck Edge, £35
Karl Holtey #10 Mitre Plane, donated by Karl Holtey, £2,000
Jeff Hamilton 5” Lignum Vitae marking gauge, donated by Jeff Hamilton, £65
Veritas 10” Sliding Bevel, donated by Lee Valley Tools, £39
Lee Valley 12” Dividers, donated by Lee Valley, £18
Veritas Medium Shoulder Plane, donated by Lee Valley, £200
Lee Valley set 5 parallel tip screwdrivers, donated by Lee Valley, £30
Veritas Small Plough Plane, donated by Lee Valley, £200
Veritas Router Plane, donated by Lee Valley, £170
Veritas Low Angle jack Plane, donated by Lee Valley, £295
Pax 1776 10” Dovetail Saw 20tpi with pear handle, donated by Peter Sefton, £120
Philly Planes Coffin Smoother, English Box, Donated by Philly Planes, £215
Sterling Tool Works Saddle Tail, donated by Sterling Tool Works LLC, £70
Rob Stoakley Japanese panel gauge, donated by Rob Stoakley, £150