Mack Headley, Jr., master cabinetmaker at the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop at Colonial Williamsburg, officially retired as of today. It’s certainly not the end of woodwork and opportunities for him. But it is the end of an era for us here at the shop, and a new beginning as well.
Mack has ended his 31 years at CW in rousing fashion: the completion of most of the woodwork for the first of the Mount Vernon candle stands. A few details will be finished by the staff and the second stand will closely follow Mack’s research and practice.
As Mack said today to us all at the shop, “It’s been quite a ride, guys.” Indeed. So much work. And the standards set for us now and for the future. Memorable.
Join us in wishing Mack the best as he continues his life and work and new possibilities. We will continue to carry his name as Master Cabinetmaker, Emeritus, on the staff profiles here on our blog.
Best to him… and to you all.
The Hay Shop.
Just a shame mine has probably been dropped to the floor. The handle was bend to the left and the sawblade wasn't perpendicular to the table anymore.
Luckily only the long tube was bend and crumpled at the handle end. It wasn't difficult to straighten it again with a hammer and an machinst vise. I wasn't really happy with the sawblades that came with this saw. Most of them were dull, and then there was a laser hardened one with very agressive teeth. Sawing with these was very jerky, as if the teeth would bite at random in the wood. So today I sharpened the unhardened 10 tpi blade. Originally it came with a rip tooth configuration which isn't optimal for a crosscut saw. So I filed the saw crosscut with about 15 degrees rake and 20 degrees fleam. Then set the teeth about 0.15 mm.
Now the saw works like it should be! It is absolutely square in the horizontal direction and 99% in the vertical direction. Good enough for woodworking and better then I can saw with a handsaw. There is also minimal splintering at the far side of the cut. I made a short video to show how a saw like this works and should work.
I’ve had a brilliant day teaching a group how to make fan birds. This is the third time I’ve taught fan bird carving at my workshop in Cumbria and I’ve made some modifications to the way I teach which really paid off.
The course was full which meant stocking up on extra tools for everyone and gave me the opportunity to make some new knives for splitting the feathers which worked really well. Extra wide chisels also made cutting the notches easier while the piece of larch I bought for the course was a dream, splitting almost on its own into billets.
Half of the group were complete beginners to woodworking which I really like as they can learn to work wood without dust or the use of machine tools. Jim, a forester from Perth, came especially to get away from the usual noise of his work.
With this course we work through each of the stages together and I demonstrate the cuts along with the important features of the finished shape. By the afternoon we were splitting feathers and, once the body was carved it was time to spread the wings. After making so many fan birds, I’ve got a lot of confidence in how far the feathers will bend but for beginners it’s a nervous time as the culmination of their work. This is the magic of fan birds and the thing that made me want to make them myself so it’s a great reminder for me of that trepidation and wonder.
We ended up with some terrific birds, a testimony to good work from the group and I got some new ideas of ways to make the course even better for next time.
Apparently, Mr. Lowe has a bit of an aversion to block planes. He believes - and I'm sure with some significant knowledge of his craft and the tools used - that block plane origins were primarily designed for carpenters to do light trimming on the job site. They were especially useful for when you only had one hand free, such as when standing on a ladder. He also feels that since the furniture maker has a bench and vise (or "vice", if the alternative spelling offends you) that a bench plane is better suited for the work they do because they can use both hands on the plane. It was stated that Mr. Lowe makes this point in his classes by insisting that if anyone wants to use a block plane in his class, then they should use it one handed while standing on a ladder. I know you can see the horror inherent, in such a teaching technique.
Now, you may think I'm full of sympathy for the poor students that must endure such block plane oppression. On the contrary, I feel sympathy for Mr. Lowe and am embarrassed for the internet woodworking community. Here you have a master craftsman and teacher being ridiculed by what is obviously a bunch of armchair, weekend woodworkers who think they know better. I personally use a block plane on occasion, but, I did see a video of Phil a few years ago showing him using a #4 smoother to flush up dovetails and dados in a fashion that many would use a block plane for. Well, I tried it out myself, and found that having the extra mass of a bench plane made the cuts I was attempting much easier and potentially more stable. It gave me a new perspective on how to use some of my planes and I was thankful for Phil's video. The same can be said for Frank Klausz's "3 minute dovetail" video where he bangs out some decent, workable dovetails quickly with two rather large frame saws. His statement " if they don't fit right away, get a bigger hammer" was funny, but it also disarmed the notion that dovetails HAVE to be so exact in every situation. I believe with that statement, he was trying to lessen the mystique and level of "expertise" of hand cutting dovetails that typically hinders amateur woodworkers from trying to make them when they first start out.
Woodworking was a relatively untouchable hobby for most people not that long ago. To truly learn the craft, most had to rely on previous generations or, if they were lucky, be able to spend time in a cabinet shop as an apprentice. Now we have this huge internet woodworking community that allows the average hobbyist to learn from masters of the craft, free of charge. The problem with the internet is that the anonymity it affords sometimes breeds a false sense of expertise and lack of respect for our teachers and each other. My point that I have been fumbling around trying to make is that we should be thankful for masters like James Krenov, Sam Maloof, Frank Klauz, and yes, Phil Lowe for taking the time to share their knowledge, often free to thousands on the internet. When those masters share that knowledge, we should give them the respect they have earned through years of the craft. Then, filter the info for ourselves, give their suggestions a try and see if they work for us. Finally, we need to stop taking ourselves and the craft so seriously. Most of us are simply hobbyists and we are all taking this journey together. Share your knowledge freely, but remember that everyone has different experiences to contribute and your opinion isn't the only one that matters. True craftsmanship is a blend of technical skill and art, and you can't be successful without balancing daring ingenuity with time honored techniques.
Many of us grew up with the desire to work wood but thought it would never be accessible to the average Joe. Thanks to Phil and other true masters of woodworking for sharing their knowledge and time honored techniques so freely, enabling us to be successful in our woodworking pursuits.
perseverare autem diabolicum.
So… you make one mistake, you’re just human. But, if you continue to do the same thing, the Devil’s in your head, or you’re just plain stupid.
The last time I carved in Ash, I make a solemn promise to myself that I wouldn’t do it again. But hey, I never claimed to be the “brightest penny in the purse”. Recently I decided to replace our old “coffee” table with something a little more..uh, unusual. The goal was a table that had some period influence, but was rather unique. I decided to do a “bandy-legged” design that harkened back to the Oriental origins of much of what we recognize as late 18th century English and American furniture. I decided to do an ebonized finish, which meant I wouldn’t need to use the best of “show” woods. What did I have at hand in large squares? You guessed it, baseball bat material! Here we go again.
After sharpening up the tools, I went to work. There were moments that I wished for a power carver or a 4″ grinder. My design has a very curved “ankle”. The shape is easy to draw, but presents some real challenges when you’re carving it with conventional tools. (Carving against the grain in Ash just isn’t going to happen, trust me.) After hours spent cursing under my breath (and sometimes out loud), the task was completed.
In the Oriental tradition, these legs would be in the “Dragon’s foot” family. Whatever they are, the table frame looks like it’s going to chase me right out of the workshop.
Now to turn it black and “top it off” appropriately.
[crosspost] La Settimana Mondiale Del Girobacchino
You probably do not know it, but this is the World Drill Brace Week.
This week we celebrate and pay homage to this half-forgotten, mistreated and underestimated cordless drill.
Probabilmente non lo sapete, ma questa è la Settimana Mondiale Del Girobacchino.
In questa settimana si celebra e si rende omaggio a questo semi-dimenticato, bistrattato e sottostimato trapano cordless.
So you are vibrantly invited to post photos of your drill brace or braces.
Siete quindi vibrantemente invitati a postare le foto del o dei vostri girobacchini.
Turn this invitation also il all the forums you have subscribed, it is time to break down the fences that divide us, let's we do it with a 3/4" auger bit. Promote this event on your blog, Facebook, Instagram and Tubblr. Infect all your contacts. Put a picture of your drill brace as the wallpaper of your smartphone or set the noise (noise? Sound!) of the ratchet as the ringtone of the incoming messages.
Girate questo invito anche a tutti i forum in cui siete iscritti, è ora di abbattere gli steccati che ci dividono, facciamolo con una punta da 3/4". Pubblicizzate questo avvenimento sui bostri blog, su Facebook, Instagram e Tumblr. Contagiate tutti i vostri contatti. Mettete una foto del vostro girobacchino come sfondo del vostro smartphone o impostate il rumore (rumore? suono!) del cricco come suoneria per i messaggi ientranti.
This is my contribution:
Questo è il mio contributo:
This year, the World Drill Brace Week is dedicated to the Thrust Bearing Of The Top Knob. So make a tribute to it by spraying in a bit of WD40, blowing it properly with the air compressor and oiling it with care.
Quest'anno, la Settimana Mondiale Del Girobacchino è dedicata al Cuscinetto Reggispinta Del Pomello Superiore. Quindi rendetegli omaggio spruzzandogli dentro un po' di Svitol, soffiandolo per bene col compressore d'aria e oliandolo con cura.
Long live to fraternity, long live to freedom and long live to drill braces!
Viva la fraternità, viva la libertà e viva i girobacchini!
I’ve never been accused of being a tease, but I’ve tried! The first ever Weekend with WOOD is currently underway and I’m about to head out the door to day 2.
I was able to get some great clips of Jim Heavey talking about spray finishing, finishing your finish (making it look even better when you think you’re done) and then also on choosing a topcoat.
I’ll post more about these much later, but in the meantime here’s a short snippet of Jim explaining the difference between HVLP sprayers and Turbine sprayers…
I am beyond delighted to announce that Charles “Chuck” Bender is Popular Woodworking Magazine’s new senior editor…Chuck joins PWM June 3, and will be working from his Pennsylvania-based shop through the summer as he wraps up classes at his school, Acanthus Workshop, before moving to Cincinnati with his wife, Lorraine, this fall.
Congratulations to Chuck on his new position, and to Popular Woodworking Magazine for the new hire. I’m going to miss having him so close to New Jersey.
I’m also sure one of the things that attracted Chuck to his new gig is that the greater Cincinnati area has two locations of his favorite restaurant.
I finished the walnut cabinet on a stand a while ago and positioned in the lounge. To begin with, it looked great and I couldn't see anything that looked out of place. The cabinet itself was fairly chunky...as it was intended to be and the doors lined up perfectly.
Happy bunny so far...but the more I glanced at the stand, the less enthusiastic I became about it...it just didn't look right. The colour contrast was too great, but the most annoying thing is that the legs (at 32mm square) are just a mite too chunky.
The more I glanced at it, the more certain I became that something had to be done.
So last Saturday, some more legs and rails in English Walnut were cut (well over size) and are now quietly conditioning in the 'shop. With any luck and a following wind, the new stand will be a nice little project for next winter.
In the meantime, I have to finish off the current Japanese lamp by making the shoji panels (frames are already made) then repeat the performance by re-making the panels on another lamp (this time in English Oak), then make a curved door, wall hung cabinet in Oak...
Wish I had a Kit Kat.
Although this blog’s focus is mainly on late seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century English and Irish furniture, I do have a number of North American readers, who, on occasion, struggle to keep up. In their defence, attempting to decipher North American dates, periods and styles is notoriously fraught with perils.
Luckily enough then, several notable New England institutions have collaborated in an interactive on-line venture, Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture, heralded as “A celebration of craft and industry, tradition and innovation”.
If, like me, the end-grain-rich mouldings of the William and Mary, Queen Anne and early Georgian periods are your thing, then you might want to begin at From Joiner to Cabinetmaker: The Early Baroque Style, 1690-1730.
Filed under: Distractions Tagged: baroque, Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture, Georgian, Queen Anne, rococo, William and Mary
By James Francis
A GREAT MANY men who use as common a tool as a plane cannot do a good job in keeping the tool in order. It is quite a knack to sharpen a plane in good shape, especially to set an edge on the plane iron with an oil stone. Figs. 1 and 2 show how to do it, and how not to do it. Supposing the plane iron has just been ground: it is placed upon the oil stone in the position shown in Fig. 1. The bevel of the tool is brought to bear flat upon top of the stone, then the back of the bevel is slightly raised, perhaps two or three one-hundredths of an inch, and while in that position the plane iron is carefully moved along the stone from end to end. The required pressure is applied by the finger, care being taken not to give the plane iron too rocking a motion.
Some mechanics fall into the habit of moving the tool as shown in Fig. 3. This motion is fatal to good work, and makes the bevel of the tool as shown in Fig. 4. The bevel is supposed to commence at a and should run nearly flat to b. Instead of this it is rounded, and as a good mechanic would term it, “is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.” Fig. 5 shows a tool that has been whetted many times upon an oil stone and is ready for grinding. The bevel proper extends from a to c. The effect of the oil stone is shown from b to c, where the secondary bevel has been formed. This is the correct way to whet a plane iron. It should not be done as shown in Fig. 6, which represents the type of plane iron known too commonly among careless workmen.
Fig. 7 shows a plane iron that has just been ground, the bevel being sharp and clean from c to d. When the tool is placed on an oil stone it should be held in the position shown in Fig. 1, and in larger view in Fig 8. In the latter cut a represents the plane iron and b the stone. It will be seen that there is very little difference between the heel of the plane iron c and the stone. As the tool is used and the sharpening must be repeated it is necessary to raise the heel of the bevel more and more each time the whetting is repeated. After the tool has been sharpened a dozen times it will occupy a position on the stone shown in Fig. 9. Here it is seen the actual cutting bevel of the tool has become more stunt and the heel e is raised considerably further from the stone. When a tool gets whetted down as stunt as shown in Fig. 9, it should be taken to the grindstone and given a dose. Fig. 10 gives a view of a plane iron that needs grinding. It will be seen that the oil stone has extended only one-third of the way up the grinding bevel. Trying to whet a tool like this on an oil stone is a mere waste of time and elbow grease. A tool should be ground until it looks like Fig. 11. It will be seen that there is the least possible bevel to be distinguished. In fact it is impossible to draw a picture of the slight bevel left after the tool is ground; it is less than the width of one of the lines used in the drawing. When looked at with the eye it appears to be a mere line extending along the edge of the tool. It is so narrow that one or two rubs on the oil stone will remove it entirely and give a keen edge to the tool. The careless grinder is apt to grind a tool more than this, and raise what is called feather edge. This is somewhat imperfectly represented by Fig. 12, where what should be the cutting edge of the tool looks like a mess of iron filings stuck in a row on the cutting edge. It is to avoid such an occurrence that the slight bevel shown in Fig. 11 is left after grinding.
When the edge shown in Fig. 12 appears, either from carelessness—and that is the cause nine times out of ten—or otherwise, the edge of the tool should be drawn over one corner of a board. Usually the grindstone suffers from this business, and the writer has seen several frames which looked as if the rats had gnawed them. Fig. 13 shows how a feather edge is removed; indeed, it is about as well when such an edge appears to touch the tool square upon the face of the stone for an instant, as shown in Fig. 14, thus removing the edge entirely and leaving the end of the tool blunt, as shown in Fig. 15.
The bevel must now be carried up to the dotted lines a b, making it necessary to remove enough of the metal to have lasted many weeks with careful use. This shows how careless grinding will wear out a tool much more than ordinary use. Sometimes the apprentice boy has had luck with a plane, running it on to a bench hook or a nail, and giving the tool the appearance shown in Fig. 16. This means a grind right off. If a tool in this condition is to be ground the metal must be removed to the letters c d of Fig. 17. In doing this nine times out of ten the man who grinds will place the tool on the stone in the usual way, and the first thing he knows one corner of the iron is ground off too much, as shown in Fig. 18 at c. The only remedy is to keep grinding, but it is much better before attempting to carry the bevel up to the line c d in Fig. 17 to square off the front end of the plane iron, as shown in Fig. 14. Grind boldly the whole edge of the tool up the line a of Fig. 19, which will remove all the nicks and broken places, and goes about up to the line c x, shown in Fig. 16.
With the tool in the condition shown by Fig. 20 it can be ground to an edge very quickly without the possibility of grinding off the corners, as shown in Fig. 18. A man who uses planes a great deal finds that he must grind them differently for different kinds of wood. For pine he will grind them about as shown in Fig. 21, leaving a long, thin bevel. If oak or walnut is to be cut the bevel is more like Fig. 22. The latter would not cut pine worth a cent. The one shown in Fig. 21 would cut hard wood all right as long as it remained sharp, but the edge would be gone by the time the first shaving had been made. For soft straight-grained wood the plane iron may lay very flat, as shown in Fig. 23; but for cross-grained and hard wood it should stand at a greater angle, as shown in Fig. 24, and also have a cap fastened to the upper side of the plane iron, as represented by a in this cut. The action of the cap is to break off the chip and prevent slivering up the wood that is being planed. For finishing curly maple and other very cross grained wood the iron should be very stunt, as shown in Fig. 25; while for planing the ends of wood for fitting the ends of clapboards, for example, the iron lays very flat and is turned upside down, as shown in Fig. 26.
These last few engravings will be a useful guide to the man who has planes to grind. He will in all cases adjust the angle of bevel so that it will just clear the work after the tool has been whetted several times. This is shown more particularly in Figs. 28 and 24. They also show that if he whets a plane too stunt or lets it get too round, the false bevel given by the oil stone will strike the work before the edge of the tool touches it, and the poor planer man will make more “cuss words ” than shavings.
There is one thing that should not be done when whetting the plane iron, and that is rubbing the face of the iron over the stone as shown in Fig. 27. This is often done by mechanics and some good ones at that, but if a good mechanic will do it, he is sure to lay the iron perfectly flat upon the stone, not raising the back end a particle. By doing this he brightens up the edge close to the end and greatly assists in sharpening the tool. A plane iron, however, can be sharpened without it, but it is a great test of proficiency in setting an edge on a plane iron to be able to whet up a cap plane iron in the manner shown in Fig. 28, and to stop whetting when an edge has been brought up sharp, so that it will not be necessary to remove the cap and rub the feather edge off the plane iron.
This trick is done by a number of first-class mechanics of the writer’s acquaintance, but there are not more than three in a hundred carpenters who can do it. It requires an accurate eye and a steady hand, and the man who can successfully perform the operation is a first-class mechanic.
Carpentry and Building – August 1891
- Jeff Burks
Filed under: Handplanes, Historical Images
By A.S. Atkinson
A combination mushroom cellar and workshop is a most useful adjunct to the farm or rural home where it is necessary and desirable to economize in space and material. The growing of mushrooms is quite common today on thousands of small county places, and those very fond of these edibles resort to all sorts of methods to raise sufficient for the home table. The cellar of the ordinary house is not a good place for mushroom culture, and very few barns are provided with a good cellar suitable for the work.
A country resident who wished to raise his own mushrooms decided that he would build a cellar for this purpose back of his house, but as there would necessarily be a great amount of waste space in such a structure he built the combination house here shown. He wanted a mushroom cellar at least 14 x14 ft., but in the plans submitted the cellar was made 18 x 20. An excavation was dug 6 ft. below the soil line, and the bottom cemented in 2 in. of good concrete. An opening was left in the middle to serve as a drain. The walls of the cellar were made a foot thick and composed of field stones laid in cement. These stones were of all sizes and shapes, and no attempt was made to secure a particularly even surface except on the inside. Some of the stones projected several inches beyond the line into the soil, as it was easier to do this than to break them off even. The work of building the walls below the soil line was, therefore, so simple that anyone could do it.
A foot above the soil line 2×6 beams were carried across to furnish a foundation for the floor above. Space was left in the walls for two shallow windows on opposite sides of the cellar. The tops of these windows projected above the soil line, but the lower half was below it. The dirt was scooped out to a level of the stone sills so as to admit light. This made it simple to exclude the light and cold from the cellar if necessary by piling straw or litter into the holes. When open the windows admitted sufficient light to make the cellar suitable for mushroom culture.
Above the cellar a ventilation pipe was carried to the upper part of the building. A trap door at the other end when left open produced a circulation in the cellar. It was possible in this way to secure just the atmosphere desired, and also any degree of moisture necessary. The heating of a mushroom cellar is chiefly by the manure piled in the bed, but an oil stove was used for increasing this if needed. Any fumes from the oil stove escaped up the ventilation tube, and any excess of moisture dripped away through the drain in the middle of the floor.
The workshop above the cellar was enclosed by ordinary joists and sidings, with a shingle roof to produce an artistic effect. The upper part of the building had sufficient room to keep the tools and implement of carpentering and gardening, and also gave space for the owner to work at little odd jobs. Two windows were placed in this workshop, so that ample light was obtained. A door at one end led directly into the workshop, and a trap door with a pair of steps admitted one to the mushroom cellar.
The whole structure cost less that $75, including the labor and lumber. From this mushroom cellar the owner raised all the mushrooms his family used in one year, and besides he sold nearly $25 worth at good market rates. He estimates that he could pay for the building in one season if he sold all of his mushrooms, and after that could secure big interest on his investment. But the design is intended for a private home and is not a commercial affair, although one on a large scale could be built for this purpose.
Carpentry and Building – Oct. 1909
- Jeff Burks
Filed under: Historical Images
I got an email today from Brock Jobe at Winterthur about the website for a very involved project that is a collaboration between several museums. It’s called “Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture”. Here’s the link: http://www.fourcenturies.org/
The Winterthur Forum that I was part of in March was the inaugural event – but there will be more exhibitions, lots of web content and more.
It’s very much worth the time to explore the website, and come back to it for additional content as it expands.
If you’re at all into hand tools, the place to be next Friday and Saturday (May 24th – 26h) is HandWorks, taking place in Amana, Iowa. Many of the country’s major hand tool makers will be there, along with some prominent teachers, writers, and hand tool authorities. Check out the schedule on the Handworks web site!
Me? I’m along for the ride to promote my school and my books, and to demo some cool hand-tool techniques. Mostly, I’m looking forward to great interactions you all, and with some of the finest proponents of hand tool woodworking anywhere.
I hope to see you there!
I loved them before I put them on, actually when I put them on at first I wasn't sure because they are very stiff, like jeans used to be, very tough, hard wearing and made to last. I am sure most folk would be horrified at the price but it is possible to pay more for naff designer label jeans. My last jeans were made by howies from tough thick organic cotton. They lasted 5 years. If these jeans do the same and I am sure they will they will cost less than £25 a year so they are good value. Why not treat yourself and wear your clothing with an easy conscience. see the story here http://hiutdenim.co.uk/
I can't wait for my boots to be ready they will go so well with my new jeans.
On today’s Follow Friday we have the work of Denis Hermecz, a woodworker from Silverhill, AL, who we featured in our Show Us Your Woodcarving column in the May 2013 Issue of Wood News. Throughout his woodworking years, Denis has created a variety of pieces including cabinets, nightstands, and bookshelves, and lately he has been focusing on woodcarving.
In an interview he did with Woodworking Network, Denis discussed how he started his career in woodworking. In order to earn money for school, he worked as an apprentice boat builder, where he was able to find a passion for the craft. In college, he majored in English and like a lot of people do when they graduate, he focused in getting a career where he could use his major whether it be as a Writer or English Teacher. He didn’t realize it right away, but once he figured out he could make woodworking into his career, he was set on his path.
My favorite piece that Denis shared with us is the mirror frame that he custom made for a client who had already installed the mirror that she wanted the frame to fit. The process that Denis used to carve this piece is also very interesting:
“I drew the vines directly on the assembled rectangular frame. I cut out the shapes with a Bosch sabre saw and I carved most of the shapes with a Bosch 12000 rpm side grinder–an extremely versatile tool. There is some carving done with hand held chisels out of my mixed bag of old chisels, but I try to design a big piece like this one so that hand carving is minimized. I sand a lot of the pieces like this one with Festool random orbit sanders and some with a Fein multitool sander.”
The frame takes up an entire wall at 54″x103″, and a lot of the vine work that Denis put into this piece was freestyle form, which is what I think makes this piece stand out to me.
Below are a few more pieces that Denis has made. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website HERE.
Fridays on the Highland Woodworking Blog are dedicated to #Follow Friday, where we use this space to further highlight a woodworker or turner who we have featured in our monthly e-publications Wood News or The Highland Woodturner. Would you like for your shop to appear in our publications? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800×600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.
I am beyond delighted to announce that Charles “Chuck” Bender is Popular Woodworking Magazine’s new senior editor. He’ll be writing project and technique articles (lots of articles) for the magazine and web site, serving as one of our a technical editors, handling tool reviews and Tricks of the Trade, answering e-mails from you on all … Read more
The post Chuck Bender, Senior Editor, Popular Woodworking Magazine appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Yesterday I had to make a tool run up to my backyard antique tool shop. Since Eden had plans to be watched, we decided that Julia and I would make a date out of it. I don’t know if it’s because we haven’t had an official date for months now or if she really is coming around to be a tool lover, but she remarked several times during the shopping trip, “This place is awesome!” Oh my. I am a blessed man. I never thought I would hear my wife sing the praise of antique tool shopping!
But she’s right. This place is awesome. Owned by the same owner of the legendary Liberty Tool Company, the Hull’s Cove Tool Barn is not to be missed. I’ve been coming here for the past years to purchase most all of my tools. The condition of the tools varies but most are usable after a quick sharpening. The prices are amazing and the inventory turnover is regular. This shop is smaller than the three story 19th century Liberty Tool company building, but the items in stock in Hull’s Cove are all high quality.
Julia and I really scored this time. We got some great garden tools and a load of woodworking tools for a few dollars apiece. To cap off the morning date, Julia and I continued down the road a few minutes into downtown Bar Harbor and got lunch at Geddy’s, always a good stop.
In homestead news, we have been hard at work on seed planting, mud oven and beehive constructing, and we have been working out the kinks in our sourdough baking. We spent the other day over at our friends’ place, Tinder Hearth Bakery. Tim and Lydia were gracious to help us fine tune our recipe for our soon-to-be-built mud oven.
Finally, we planted a Winter Gravenstein apple tree from Five Star Nursery this week. We had been planning to plant a fruit tree in commemoration God’s faithfulness and goodness to us during that rollercoaster of a pregnancy four and a half years ago.
We dug the hole, filled in the fish emulsion and compost and followed the planting recommendations from Five Star. We also were happy to thaw the placenta from Eden’s birth, patiently waiting in the freezer for four years. Many cultures have used the placenta rather than discard it: everything from planting it under a fruit tree to indigenous peoples eating it. Since we are weak-stomached westerners, we left the place settings in the cupboard and opted for the spade shovel.
Okay… so maybe you suspected we were hippies. Consider your suspicions confirmed.