Our first “Question Time” livestream is at 11 a.m. (Eastern) Saturday. We’ll broadcast here from the shop and answer the questions you sent in beforehand.
Megan Fitzpatrick estimates we received 125 questions. Yikes.
She’s been answering directly the ones that are narrowly focused. And if we don’t get to your question during the live session, we’ll try to address it on the blog in the coming weeks.
If you aren’t able to watch us live, we’ll post the Q&A session along with the questions (and timecodes) so you can sort the wheat from the chaff.
You will be able to watch the livestream here. Above is a window where it also will be broadcasting. And we’ll post another portal on the blog on Saturday morning.
Why are we doing this? We like to experiment with new technology to help expand the woodworking community. For example, we experimented with Instagram and now reach 114,000 people, many of them beginners. That’s a success, and so we put effort into it every week. Other experiments, such as a forum, didn’t take off and so we snuffed them out.
My hope is that we will do a livestream every month. Some might be bench demonstrations, some will be Q&A, and I hope that some of them will be interviews with our authors. If we do a good job and attract an audience, we’ll put more effort and time into it.
There won’t be ads or sponsors. We won’t be selling you a multi-level awl program. No animals will be harmed, though we hope Bean the three-legged shop cat will bless us with a cameo.
I had a few requests for plans for the cutler’s stool I built during Colonial Williamsburg’s “Working Wood in the 18th Century” conference over the weekend.
The Sheffield stool was a common sight in the factories and workshops of the tool-making city. And while the stools are rarely identical, they are similar enough to suggest they were made to a common plan. This version is a typical one, but without the incised rings on the legs.
My version is made from a single board of 8/4 red oak and is about 20” tall when finished. Here’s the cutting list:
1 Seat 1.75” x 10.25” x 18.5” 3 Legs 1.75” diameter x 22”
I shaved the legs round with a jack plane and then cut a 1.5” diameter x 2.25” long tenon on one end of each leg. I used a hollow auger in a brace and bit. I then used a tenon saw to cut a kerf in the end of the tenon for the wedge.
Saw the seat to shape and lay out the location of the mortises on the underside of the seat. The sightlines for the front legs intersect the location of the mortise for the rear leg, as shown on the drawing. Set a sliding bevel to 18° (the resultant angle). Drill all three legs using the sliding bevel as a guide. I used a 1.5” diameter “Scotch eye” auger, with a broomstick as the bar.
Then use a jack plane or a drawknife to bevel all the corners of the seat, adding comfort. Cut some oak wedges for assembly. Mine are 1.5” wide, and 2” long. The included angle of the wedge is about 2°.
Assemble the stool with hide glue, driving the wedges into the kerfs. You can then saw the legs so the seat is level to the floor. When the glue is dry, cut the protruding tenons and wedges flush with the seat. Do any “make pretty” that is necessary for a shop stool. Add a finish if you like. I used a beeswax and organic linseed oil paste.
For the first time ever, we have the ability to live stream stuff from our shop in Covington, Ky. It’s still pretty low-tech (it will be through a laptop camera) but it’s a start.
To break in the new technology, we will hold a live “Question Time” session at 11 a.m. (Eastern) on Jan. 30. Megan Fitzpatrick and I will answer as many questions as possible about woodworking, publishing and possum menstrual cycles as we can handle in one hour.
You will be able to tune in live, or watch the recording later. Here’s how to participate:
Send your questions *beforehand* to Megan at email@example.com. The earlier the better. Please make the subject line of your email “livestream question” to ensure it’s not a question about where your darn book is. Like I said, we are happy to answer any sort of question about woodworking, woodland animals or our books. Please send your question as early as possible so we have time to make up a response that involves an Estonian limerick.
Tune in at 11 a.m. Saturday (Eastern). Use this link to watch it live. We’ll also put up an embedded window on the blog Saturday morning to make it easy for you. If you cannot watch live, we will post the recording sometime Saturday afternoon on the blog.
Please remember: We are not professional actors. The talk will likely be PG13 (partial nudity, strong language, adult situations). So take that into account if you are working at a day care facility.
Most of all, please send questions beforehand so we don’t have to make some up.
We’ve wanted to bring the Crucible dividers back into production and (here is the crazy part) actually not lose money in the process. The original dividers took entirely way too much time to polish. There was a lot of waste. And they were fussy to assemble.
With the help of mechanical designer Josh Cook (also a woodworker), we are now inching toward production. We have a working prototype. A hinge mechanism that is robust. And we are working with our machinist to streamline the production process to make the parts easy to mill and as inexpensive as possible.
Still, these won’t be cheap. We are shooting for a retail of $100 to $120.
There are lots of changes inside and out on the dividers. The surface finish is different. And the tension will be adjusted with a straight screwdriver. But they work just as well (in my opinion, and I use dividers every day at the bench).
I don’t have a timeline, yet. I hope we will have these in the store this summer, but that might be optimistic if we hit a snag.
On Feb. 1 we will discontinue all the “print on demand” products in our store. That includes all the T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. You can see our current selection here.
We are not (repeat, not) discontinuing our bandanas, chore coat, vest or pullover work shirt.
So if you want one of these print-on-demand products, place your order before Feb. 1.
Why Chris, why? Two reasons: We want all our apparel to be made like our books, tools, chore coats and vests. In other words, we want them made by small companies that take pride in their work and produce top quality. Until now, I viewed T-shirts as a commodity product. I don’t anymore.
Second, the “print on demand” service we use has done a good job (considering the pandemic), but I think the prices are a bit high for what we get. And we don’t control the stock. Or quality control. Or customer service.
So Tom Bonamici, our clothing designer, is now investigating offering a nice USA-made T-shirt. Something high-quality and special, like our books. We also will have new hats in the store from Ebbets Field Flannels next month.
Make Your Own Dang Shirt What if you like having a scruffy T-shirt with our logo on it? We have you covered. You can download the logos we use on our shirts here. You have our permission to use them to make shirts for your personal use (or gifts). There are lots of places that will make you a shirt on demand (or a baby onesie, thong or hotpants). Go nuts.