One of the bright parts of this year has been working with Aspen Golann and The Chairmaker’s Toolbox to lend a hand to budding toolmakers who are underrepresented in our craft (female, NBG and BIPOC).
My role was tiny: I consulted with Eleanor Rose on developing a fantastic chair devil and a reproduction of the H.O. Studley mallet. Eleanor didn’t need much help from me, but I am happy to shine a light on her work, and I hope we get to work on another project that might become a production tool.
As someone who has handled/fondled/might-have-licked the Studley mallet during photography for “Virtuoso,” I know exactly how the mallet should feel and look, even close up. Eleanor’s version takes a small liberty with the handle material (to save the rosewoods), and she improved an interior structure. I think Studley would be pleased with the result. (I bought two of hers.)
Her chair devil immediately became one of my favorite chairmaking tools. Yes, you can easily make your own, but it won’t look this nice, or have the same nimbleness. Last I heard, Eleanor is still tooling up to make a run of these. You might want to send her a message to let her know you want one. I bought the first sample she sent me.
The other toolmakers in The Chairmaker’s Toolbox have produced some great-looking tools that are now for sale. And the project is ongoing, with educational opportunities and a way to transfer tools to future generations.
I was grateful to play a small part in the launch of this program, and I hope to do more (if they’ll let me).
– Christopher Schwarz
17 thoughts on “Make Time to Visit ‘The Chairmaker’s Toolbox’”
That is one gorgeous hammer!
I can’t really justify getting one (read: find the funds) right now (also, a spare CT Lump Hammer is actually higher on my shopping list, to allude to a [recent post on this blog[(https://blog.lostartpress.com/2021/09/08/doubles-for-unexpected-troubles/)), but having followed your link to The Chairmaker’s Toolbox, I did do something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now, and sent an e-mail to Claire Minihan to inquire about a travisher …
You won’t be sorry. It’s an incredible tool.
Wow! The Hammer is gorgeous.
And the hatchet (Kalthoff Axe) on their website is simply stunning.
Not only is the Kalthoff a stunning axe, but a great carver, too – I’ve got one, and am very happy with it!
One slight caveat, though: if you have large hands, you might find a choke hold behind the beard to be a tad on the tight side. My hands are just under 3-1/2″ across the palm, with fingers to match, and I have no problem, but from what it feels like, I’d say the margins upwards might not be enormous.
But my, oh my – a wicked edge, top notch balance, and just an all-round real pleasure to work with.
It’s a great little axe.
Can you please explain NBG and BIPOC to the politically incorrect? I’d make an attempt but……
Non Binary Gay.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
NBG can stand for many things, including an important part of number theory, but in this context likely refers to Non-Binary Gender.
Everyone knows mathematicians are wildly overrepresented in woodworking.
Good that we’re being inclusive and including the National Bank of Greece. i never would have guessed they had so many woodworkers…. I’m sure it is something else – but google doesn’t tell me what NBG is – and its 1st answer is fun. Thanks
Great idea to form this collective. The website is fantastic, very well done!
That is a great resource for when I go to buy my chairmaking tools! And also for all of the staked furniture I’m hoping of building soon. Especially with LV being infinitely out of stock!
Finding this post was a huge bright spot today. I am super happy to see visible and successful white guy talent turn the spotlight on the near invisible BIPOC, NBG, and female craftspeople in woodwork. Thank you for stepping up and welcoming them into the fold. P.S. Eleanor’s work is dope!
I was eagerly following CMT launch. I was hoping to get a chance at one of Eleanor Rose’s mallets before the Schwarz effect — that ship has sailed.
I have several tools on that list, and they are all superb.
Any idea on the MSRP of this hammer? The links kindly provided don’t list the price. My dad has a birthday coming up and I know he doesn’t have this one.
I recognized the Axe, and just realized where I had seen them before. Lie Nielsen is carrying those. Beautiful, I enjoy the beauty of axes more than knives for some strange reason.
As the father of a wildly creative nonbinary kid who loves working with their hands, this couldn’t have come at a better time, and yet it’s long overdue. Thank you!
Cool to see! Hope LAP can represent more BIPOC and NBG makers and their work.
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