Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place! These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...
Eventually, in every person’s lifetime, there comes a point when you just know that the time has come to pick up and move on. When you move out of the family home you grew up in, there is always some sadness that you’re leaving something behind that you’ve spent so many years and made so many memories with. But at the same time you’re excited for what the future may hold. So it is with the Logan Cabinet Shoppe.
I have really given this a lot of thought over the last several months and, with mixed feelings, I have decided to shut down a large portion of the web site. This has been in the making for some time now, though I have made some feeble attempts to delay the inevitable. I did manage, earlier this year, to get back into the shop to create some new content for the podcast. While I have been able to release a few episodes and even teased you all with a possible new Q&A series, I am sad to say that it just hasn’t been a high enough priority for me to continue with it. Anyone who has made even a feeble attempt at putting something like a podcast together will tell you that the time required to put together a single 15-30 minute video can easily be hours and hours and hours of work. Unfortunately, priorities these days just don’t allow for that kind of commitment.
So it is with mixed feelings that I have decided to greatly scale back on the web site. I’m not shutting it down completely as I feel there is way to much work that was put into it and way too much information to just hit the delete key on the whole thing. However, I will be moving away from a self hosted blog and web site and transferring all of the content to a free WordPress.com site, starting immediately. While I won’t be shutting down the blog, all of the other pages of the web site will eventually be removed. I am paid up on the domain and hosting until September, so I’ll likely keep some things up until these services are ready to expire. However, once these services have expired, all that will remain is the blog on the new WordPress.com site. So with that in mind, this will be my last post here on my self hosted installation of the blog. All future posts will be found on the new site at:
Because the rest of the site will be gone after the hosting/domain services expire, this will result in a few minor inconveniences for the few folks that care.
First, there will no longer be an option to download any of the past podcast episodes. Since the files are hosted on my web site’s servers, once the site is shut down, the video files will go with it. The videos will still be available streaming through the new blog page and through YouTube. However, they will no longer be available for download. So if you would like to download your own personal copies of the files, you will want to do so before the site shutdown later this year.
Second, there will no longer be a page for hand saw sharpening services. Once the web site has been shut down, I will no longer be offering this service. I have decided that I will continue to offer it for a bit longer, but I honestly don’t know how much longer. For those of you who have already emailed me about getting saws done, not to worry. I am still happy to take care of the saws we have already spoken about.
Third, the podcast archive pages will be going away. I don’t know how many people actually use these pages anyway, and it’s actually easier to just filter the blog to the Podcast category and you’ll have all of them right there.
Finally, the feeds will be different for the new blog content. The easiest way for you to update your feeds will be to go to the new blog page at http://logancabinetshoppe.wordpress.com and click the new feeds in the sidebar. If you are already subscribed to the FeedBurner feed, you don’t have to do anything, your feed will automatically be updated. If you are currently subscribed to the rss feed that comes directly from WordPress, you will need to update your feed if you care to receive future updates. If you are subscribed by email, you’ll also have to re-sign up at the new blog page if you are still interested in following. The iTunes feed will not be available moving forward, but there won’t be much in the way of video content so the iTunes feed is more or less irrelevant anyway.
In terms of future content, I do plan to continue to write from time to time. It is primarily the video content that will not be continuing. And if I do get the rare opportunity to do a short video here or there, it will show up on the new blog page and the YouTube channel.
So thanks for all of your support, kind feedback and encouragement over the years. You all were the ones that made the podcast as successful as it was.
During those two days at the Amana Colonies, Handworks 2015 will take place – the largest gathering of hand-tool makers, practitioners and enthusiasts. The cost to attend is nothing. Handworks is a grassroots event organized by the good folks at Benchcrafted, and is about as far away from a high-pressure sale as Amana is from Wall Street.
Full details are at Handworks.co.
A few minutes away, Don Williams of The Barn at White Run has arranged for a public exhibit of the H.O. Studley tool chest and workbench. This is the first time these objects have been on display since the chest left the Smithsonian (and it might very well be the last time they are on display for another lifetime). This exhibit is being arranged without any corporate or public sponsorship. Williams, who spent a life-long career at the Smithsonian, is personally arranging the exhibit. The cost to see the exhibit will be $25.
Full details are at StudleyToolChest.com.
Lost Art Press will be at Handworks selling our full range of books, and many of our authors will be there to sign their books. Roy Underhill will be there to sign his new novel, “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” and deliver the keynote address on Saturday morning. We also will have copies of Williams’ book on H.O. Studley. Chairmaker Peter Galbert and George Walker will also be there.
The list of hand-tool makers and woodworkers who will be at the Handworks event is like nothing I’ve ever seen since the first Woodworking in America in Berea, Ky. They are coming from all over the world. The following is a preliminary list and will likely change a bit during the next 12 months. Check the Handworks web site for the most current list.
Bad Axe Tools
Blue Spruce Toolworks
Lake Erie Toolworks
Lost Art Press & Friends
Lee and Lindsay Lee
Old Street Tool
Plate 11 Bench Co.
Sauer and Steiner
Tools for Working Wood
This year, the Handworks event is expanding into a second barn and adding green woodworkers, blacksmiths and timber-framers into the mix. Here are some of the exhibitors there:
Jarrod Stone Dahl
Lee and Lindsay Lee
If you attended the first Handworks event in 2013, then you know that the 2015 gathering will be something special, if not extraordinary. Not only will you get to talk with fellow hand-tool enthusiasts and learn about the tools we use from the makers themselves, you’ll also get to wander around the beautiful and bucolic Amana Colonies.
I hope you’ll consider joining us there.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites
We've been itching to write this blog post for quite a while now.
Handworks: Woodworking Tools and Traditions will happen again on May 15-16 2015 in Amana, Iowa.
It's no secret at this point that we got the ball rolling for Handworks 2013, and due to all the great companies and people that participated, the groundwork for doing another one was basically laid out right after the first event. But we don't like to toot our own horn here. No question, Handworks 2013 was what it was because of everyone involved. We simply knew about a neat old barn, in a neat old place. The rest sort of happened on its own.
For those who didn't attend the first one, Handworks is more or less a woodworking get-together for us die-hard fans of handwork and the tools and people that go along with it. Handworks doesn't make a dime on the event, and the donation box covers extras like equipment rental, getting some signs printed, and website hosting. 100% of anything that's left gets donated to charity. The exhibitors all pitch in to rent the barn for the weekend, and they all get to Handworks on their own dime. They also don't pay a lick of fees to be at Handworks. The idea is to get as many of the top hand tool makers and teachers together as easily as possible. Handworks 2015 will be no different.
Here's a basic rundown of what to expect at Handworks 2015.
|Green Wood Barn|
Festhalle Barn. Same as 2013. The best hand tool manufacturers, teachers and advocates under one roof.
Green Wood Barn. Just across the way from the Festhalle Barn is what the locals call the "Market Barn". Shortly after the utopian height of Amana, the local farmers would gather here and sell their produce, hence the name. Nowadays it's still used for this, and also other events. At Handworks 2015 this area will be populated by green woodworking experts and a handful of other demonstrators like Blacksmith/Whitesmith Peter Ross, Carl Swensson (who will be demonstrating coopering), chairmaker Peter Galbert, Don Weber, Jarrod Stonedahl, plus some others. The Green Wood Barn is just a stone's throw from the Festhalle, about a city block down the street.
New Faces. In addition to the new folks at the Green Wood Barn, there will also be some new faces in the Festhalle. From the U.K. David Barron and Phil Edwards, from Australia, Chris Vesper, and we're especially delighted to welcome from Ireland, Daniel and Sally Shaw-Smith of the 1970's and 80's Irish TV Series "Hands" (If you're new to Hands, click here.) And a few folks that had planned to be at Handworks 2013, but had to cancel due to last-minute conflicts: Patrick Leach, Ron and Linda Hock and Konrad Sauer.
Studley. At Handworks 2013 we got an insider's view of the Studley Tool Chest and Workbench. If you were there, you remember Narayan's slideshow. You could hear a pin drop in the barn. This time, Don Williams, of The Barn on White Run is organizing an exhibit of both the Studley Tool Chest and Workbench in nearby Cedar Rapids, IA. Yes, the tool chest and bench will be on display the same weekend. Don was so thrilled with Handworks 2013 that he thought it only made sense to schedule his exhibit on the same weekend as Handworks 2015. You don't need us to explain what a fantastic opportunity this is. As someone who's seen the chest, I wouldn't miss this opportunity. In fact, I'm looking forward to seeing it for the second time. More info at www.studleytoolchest.com
And there will be a Saturday morning presentation in the Festhalle Barn as well, just like last time.
More info at the Handworks website: www.handworks.co
If you'd like to see some pics from Handworks 2013, here's a bunch, courtesy of the tireless Jeff Burks.
Hope to see you there!
Just figured I'd give everyone a health update. On March 19th I went and saw the doctor from Mercy Medical in Baltimore that has been trying to keep by biliary drains free from the constrictions of the tumor below my liver. I was to go in to the hospital for an endoscopy and an ERCP and probably stay a night or two. Well, that turned into about 6 procedures and a 24 day hospital stay. Not at all what I expected. After about 18 days I think I lost my good patient status. I've never been so ready to get out of a hospital and get home. It really stinks when you're two hours away from everyone you love and the doctors won't let you leave and there's nothing you can do to get yourself out of there short of leaving Against Medical Advice in which case you run the risk of your insurance not paying for any of your stay. Anyway, they finally let me out 12 days ago. I immediately felt better just getting to sniff fresh air for the first time in almost a month and it really felt good to finally be home and in my own bed and able to walk outside whenever I wanted. I ended up coming home with a pick line for IV antibiotics and two permanent external biliary drains. Not ideal, but the drains are helping me to feel better even though they are a PITA. Bottom line is that the doctors told me that there's really no more that they can medically do for me so I'm pretty much at the mercy of the tumor at this point. I'm feeling stronger every day since coming home though and I'll never quit fighting until I draw my last breath. Ok, enough of that. On to what this blog is supposed to be about; woodworking!
I finished this Roy Undrerhill inspired tool tote about a week before I went into the hospital. It was the first thing I've ever done with compound/slanted dovetails. I admit, I largely faked the layout but I'm pretty happy with how they turned out and they add great strength as they are supposed to do. To make it easier to carry, in addition to the center divider/handle, I added a nice 1 1/2" leather strap to go around my neck and onto my opposite shoulder. This really makes carrying it much easier. The center divider/handle has a through tenon through the ends of the tote. Before I put everything together, I cut a square hole toward each end of the leather strap for the tenon to pass through and sandwiched the strap between the divider and the ends of the tote. Makes for a pretty secure connection.
My original purpose for making this tote was to carry some tools with me to the Fort Frederick 18th Century Market Fair this weekend. My friend, master windsor chairmaker Charles Boland of Storybook Joinery always demonstrates and sells chairs there and very generously offered that I come there as his guest as many days as I wanted and he would teach me some of the finer points of windsor chair making. Well, unfortunately it was just too close to me getting out of the hospital for doing any actual woodworking like draw knifing, etc. so I won't be able to take advantage of Charles' very generous offer. My wife is going to take me there for a few hours on Saturday though if I'm up for it. I'll be sure to visit Charles and hopefully get some pictures of his set-up and beautiful chairs as well as some of the other vendors. So much neat stuff there. I'll be going in full fledged Adam Cherubini style funny clothes; puffy shirt, waistcoat, buckle shoes, etc. If all goes as planned I'll try to do a blog post with lots of pictures and a full report.
|The finished tool tote a couple coats of milk paint and a top coat of|
|A view of the inside of the tote.|
|Close-up showing the detail of the through tenon and the strap emerging|
from the slot in the end of the tote.
|The tote hung up giving you a better idea of the length of the strap and|
what it would look like slung over your shoulder for ease of carrying.
|Detail of the leather strap. I had originally purchased a woven nylon strap|
for this. So glad that I ordered a nice leather strap instead. 1 1/2" wide.
|Detail of the strap with the tenon going through it and sandwiched|
between the center divider and the end piece.
Hi again Wilbur, I'm the same reader with the blade fitting & mortise chisel question. In one conversation that I had with an American Japanese woodworker, he told me that using a mouth piece (kuchie ire??) in a dai is a bad practice. Different wood...
All things considered, it’s probably better to make a new dai than it is to patch the mouth of an old one. Having said that, it’s going to be a lot faster to patch the mouth of an old dai than it is to make a new one.
It is true that different species of wood move at different rates. But so will different samples of the same species of wood. Different parts of the same dai will move at different rates as well, which is why one should check the body of a Japanese plane every so often for twist. If the patch really gets to a point where it’s not working well, you can always make a new one. Or make a new dai, if you have the time.
Located along the Mississippi River over the Parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and possibly a bit of St. James the German Coast is the earliest successful European Agricultural Settlement in Louisiana. Though brought over by the Parisian French West Indies Co, German's arrived in mass to settle here 30 years before the Acadians, or Cajuns as they are often called.
So why is Louisiana known for the Cajun French instead of the Cajun Germans? Though the German settlers, brought here by the European French predate the French Acadians there were far less of them. The Germans were mainly only German in Culture as they hailed from areas such as the Alsace Lorraine Region ruled by France. It's an unfortunate oversight by us for not teaching this history.
The reason I focus so heavily on the German Coast in regards to subjects of Timber Framing or Early Agriculture is because they were the first to really tackle the task is South Louisiana - at least to the scale at which they did. I try to start stories on the first chapter and while this is by no means Chapter One for those cultures or for the America's it is just that for South Louisiana.
There is a lot of information out there on Early Louisiana and I by no means consider myself an authority on cultural history. I have intentionally withheld from delving too deeply into the history or time lines of the Louisiana people as there are dozens of books on the subject by credible and respected authors - yet they all differ in story from one to the next. I encourage you to do further reading on the topic on your own and form your own impression based upon the information out there.
For a bit more here on the Early German Settlers see: Lumbering on Louisiana's German Coast
- Jean Becnel
Also for additional information on the early days of settling on both the German and Acadian Coasts, please visit these fine sites below.
Historical & Genealogical Society
The Historic New Orleans Collection
Germans in Louisiana and New Orleans
Genealogy & History
With humble delight I am able to announce the exhibit “The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” accompanying my now-in-progress book “Virtuoso” from Lost Art Press. My thanks to the owner of the incomparable tool cabinet and work bench for his generosity in sharing these treasures with us cannot be fully expressed.
For the first time in history (and perhaps the last) the incomparable tool cabinet AND its companion workbench, which has never before been seen by the public, will be available for viewing in an intimate exhibit that will be an amazing experience for all Studley Tool Chest aficionados and anyone who cares about brilliant design and skillful craftsmanship.
This three-day-only exhibit will be at the Scottish Rite Temple of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, May 15-17, 2015. The admission for this once-in-a-lifetime event with a unique visitor’s experience will be $25. The number of tickets available will be restricted by the logistics of the schedule and the venue.
As additional details are known they will be posted both here at www.donsbarn.com and over a new dedicated site for the exhibit, www.studleytoolchest.com (that site is already loaded with a ton of information). The schedule and location of this event coincides with the nearby Handworks, so you are bound to risk tool ecstasy overload for one glorious weekend in eastern Iowa next spring.
I hope this explains some of my gaps in blogging, and will reveal the full plate I have facing me now. Roubo 2. Studley book. Studley exhibit. Recovering from the carnage of winter on the homestead. Developing and distributing traditional finishing materials. Yup, pretty full.
No matter what medium I am working – I love creating.
I especially enjoy things like woodworking and illustrating, because they are tangible and obvious. The plane takes a shaving. The pen leaves a line. You see everything you do, as you are doing it. Even when I’m doing graphic design in software where my tools are a mouse, and the arrow at its command, I get to see what I am doing and how it’s affecting the project.
Then there is the dark side of design work – namely the backend of websites, and their vast underworld that is code. It’s not something I particularly enjoy, but like sanding it is a necessary aspect of a project. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had times where code and I had fun together, but tonight I’m sitting in the aftermath of a 72-hour ordeal that’s left me worn and temporarily jaded.
This adventure actually began last month. After going live last summer, this website was stout and dependable. Sure there were a few tweaks here and there, and some added security as news of increased hacking activity spread last fall.
Then last month we started having issues with the server that hosts the website getting hung up on Apache scripts, causing the site to not load (believe me, you do not want me to explain that – unless you’re having trouble sleeping). After chasing that problem for several weeks and working with various support specialists at our hosting company, they finally moved everything to a new server and all seemed well – until Sunday evening.
As my family was finishing Easter dinner, I saw an email from Don pop up on my phone. The site wouldn’t load again, and this time there were two words you never want to see – fatal error.
Long story short, the problem that eluded us was ironically caused by that added security I mentioned. Last month’s update had a bad line of code, and it was not playing nice with others. To assure that the issues were completely eradicated, a colleague and I spent the last 72 hours rebuilding the website.
It is now running strong, and even faster than before. I’ll be doing better tomorrow too, as I’m putting down the mouse for the rest of the week – and picking up a plane.
Jason Weaver is the webmaster for the Barn on White Run. He is a graphic designer, woodworker and pastor, in Topeka, Kansas.
The guys over at Bell Forest were keeping us in the dark about something happening over at their Facebook page for the past week. But the lights have been turned on and they revealed what they’ve been up to yesterday, a contest to win a $100 Gift Card.
According to the post:
Contestants will receive one entry into our drawing after posting a picture of their finished product (using Bell Forest Products’ wood) in this thread – an example will be provided. If a picture is posted on anything other than this thread it will not be eligible to win. Only one picture will be valid per person, so pick your best one. Contestants who “share” this post will have one additional entry in the contest (for a maximum of 2 entries).
We want to allow people of varying backgrounds and skill levels to show off their work in a safe environment, so please be constructive with your comments. We encourage you to support the other artists by commenting on and/or liking their work.
The contest will begin Wednesday (4/23/14) at 8am EST and will go until 8am EST the following Wednesday (04/30/14) where the winner will be announced on Facebook.
As you’re already aware Bell Forest is a longtime supporter of Matt’s Basement Workshop, and one of our deals is that I can accept lumber as payment for the ad spot. $100 can go pretty far towards some insanely beautiful lumber from these guys, trust me I know!
You have a limited time though, so for those of you who have purchased from Bell Forest in the past this is your opportunity to show off those projects and maybe earn a gift card towards that next jaw-dropping creation.
To visit the Bell Forest Facebook page click here
Chairmaker Caleb James shared this amazing video on how skilled joiners used to construct sash windows. I loved it so much that I want to share it with my readers! So what did you think?
The beautiful traditional art of joinery, brought to life in the construction of a sash window frame from raw pine boards through completion using only hand tools.
Commissioned by the Arnold Zlotoff Tool Museum in South Hero, VT and featuring joiner Ted Ingraham.
Over the Easter weekend, my wife and I went out to Mid-Missouri for the holiday and to celebrate the significant birthday of a family member. I didn’t grow up in Missouri. My family moved there (via Denver) after I left for college. So, it’s not like going home when we visit. It’s just a nice, small Mid-Western town with no memories or emotional attachments. There was enough family coming to town that we had to stay at a hotel. What a shame.
On Saturday, my wife and I were looking for something to do to avoid the inevitable family drama. Been there, done that. Looking at a list of nearby towns, we settled on a road trip to Hermann, MO. It has antiques, museums, historic houses and food. And wineries. In Missouri! Who knew.
Hermann was founded 1837 by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia to support the “almost utopian goals of a “heart of German-America” where it could perpetuate traditional German culture and establish a self-supporting colony built around farming, commerce, and industry.”
We visited the Historic Hermann Museum. It had a nice collection of antiques and other artifacts. One of the more interesting things there was this adjustable school chair and desk:
Unique adjustable seat:
We then went and sampled some of the many local antiques shops. Nothing too spectacular but a nice assortment of furniture you would expect to see in a Mid-Western town. Much of the furniture is oak and made in the late 19th century. There are a few older piece just to keep things interesting.
One of my favorites was this chest with a single small drawer on the top. I couldn’t get better picture because the shop owner and her friends kept congregating around it. Hard to ask them to move.
More stuff to see. Click HERE to see the rest of the photo set.
The latest video lesson that I have added to my online school is how to carve a Fleur De Lis. It will be a total of 2 episodes, and so far the first episode has been added to the school.
But WAIT! There’s more! This first episode can also be watched as a “sample” lesson for FREE if you go to the home page of my online school. Scroll down to “Try a Sample” and you can watch this 32 minute lesson in fabulous HD quality (probably won’t be able to view this in HD on your computer, but it still has improved the quality and clarity of the videos by leaps and bounds).
Check it out!
Now that Roubo 2 is winging its way to the desktops of the LAP magicians I wanted to take a minute to reprise our work thus far. That 5-inch thick stack of folders next to my laptop is the version Chris Schwarz will be working his way through in the coming days. Yes, it really is that big.
I hope to have a bound version of the submitted draft at the local chapter meetings of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers the next two Saturdays; the Virginia Chapter is meeting at the Leesburg, Virginia, the following Saturday is the Chesapeake Chapter at the Woodworker’s Club in Rockville, Maryland.
Even before Roubo on Marquetry was in the production pipeline in early 2013, we were hard at work on Roubo on Furniture Making. By May of 2011 we began assembling translated sections, with editing and rewriting as time allowed. Now we find ourselves on the cusp of the editorial phase, and for an abbreviated peek behind the curtain, here are the innings of labor for a project like this.
1st Inning – Michele creates a transliteration from the original text.
2nd Inning – Don chops up all the Plates into individual figures and plugs them into the transliteration; Don engages in in-depth review, editing, and rewriting of the transliteration to make it comprehensible to a contemporary world
3rd Inning – Philippe and Michele review Don’s edits and returns the sections to Don with copious edit tracking
4th Inning – Don reviews the edits and incorporates them into the manuscript, then forwards it on to external readers
5th Inning – Don and Michele sit together at the dining table and Don reads sections aloud while Michele follows along in the original French. These sessions, usually four hours because that is all the longer I can read out loud, have been astonishingly helpful in catching typesetting errors, syntax, word choice, and overall literary flow.
6th Inning – Don revises the manuscript sections based on the notes from our read-out-loud sessions combined with any comments from the outside readers, and sends them along to Lost Art Press
7th Inning - Lost Art Press edits the thing; Don reviews the edits
8th Inning – Wesley designs the books, Don reviews the galley proofs
9th Inning – the book gets manufatured and distributed
And that is where we are right now only thirty-six short months since beginning in earnest, in the bottom of the sixth.
Go ahead, write a book. I dare you.
We are happy to announce that we now have a UK dealer for our vise hardware. For many of you who send us so many emails asking for shipping quotes from overseas, this will come as welcome news.
Please head over to the CHT website and take a look.
Our next market is going to be down under. We're shooting for sometime in the fall.
During the last four months I’ve had some odd encounters with customers at shows, classes and the like.
Customer (holding a book): “I understand that you aren’t signing books anymore. But would you mind signing this one book for me?”
Me: “Huh? What? I’ll sign anything. Got a baby?”
I am happy to sign anything and with anyone’s name (I do a passable “Roy Underhill” and a crappy “Norm Abram”) on your books, DVDs, T-shirts and bare flesh when you see me. I’ve signed a man’s chest (and I have bad dreams still), and I’ve signed a dozen books in blood in Australia.
What I cannot do is personally sign every book we sell through the Lost Art Press web site. All of our inventory is two hours away, and it changes so rapidly that I would spend a significant amount of time driving, unpacking books and packing them again.
That is why I now sign books via a letterpress bookplate printed by Steamwhistle Press in Cincinnati, Ohio. These are printed on a treadle machine, one-by-one, on quality adhesive-backed paper. I have signed each one individually with an ink pen (non-treadle-powered).
These are not cheap. In fact, they cut into our profit significantly. But that’s OK because we like them.
So next time you see me, lift up your shirt and hand me a Sharpie.
Or, on second thought…. lift up your girlfriend’s shirt and…. Oh nevermind. I’m in so much trouble as it is.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites, Products We Sell
When you wake up in the fire wood pile with a nose bleed you know that something is going to have to give. I’d been having migraines for a little while which was odd as headaches are not something I’ve ever suffered with, and I’m rubbish at putting up with it. I’m not one to moan about feeling ill though and I’m very well looked after (Helen feeds me like a king!), my job keeps me active and when I think about it I can’t actually remember when I was last unwell, or Helen either.
It’s typical then, that our neighbour at the workshop has been gassing me out. It’s odd how things can creep up on you and catch you unaware. We’d started to keep a diary of the migraines to put some sense to them, but then within the space of a week I started to completely fall apart – rashes, nausea, dizziness.
It came to a head suddenly and on realising what the cause was, Helen banned me from work.
Our workshop neighbour is a fibre glasser. We’ve noticed his fumes in the past when passing by his door but felt sufficiently away to not be in danger when working. Maybe he’s changed the way he works, or perhaps my body has just had enough of a faint but daily dosing of chemicals? Either way, after Helen’s extensive digging we were certain of the cause and that these chemicals were not to be messed around with – there’s some horror stories when you get looking.
I’ve stayed away from the workshop for over a week now and feel perfectly well, to be honest I haven’t felt this well in a long time. Though I’m free from chemicals, I’m acutely aware of time creeping up on us. We’ve kept busy, since there’s so much to be done at the barns, but keeping to deadlines on workbenches for our customers is far more important.
Much digging, thinking and brainstorming later, it seems that there are many loop holes when in comes to health safety in the workplace. I probably couldn’t employ someone with that air pollution, but there seems to be nothing to protect me when it comes in from a neighbour. Though I’m sure we could get something sorted out, chances are it would take months at best, and it’s got to the point when as soon as I get a whiff of that place I’m as good as out cold. I popped the other night to pick a bag of fire wood up, and let’s start back at the beginning of the post. After a lot of thought we decided that we needed to make a positive move out of this situation rather than spending energy declaring war on the estate.
We’ve found in life, that if we allow things to get comfy for too long then something disruptive is probably about to happen. We’ve had half a year of feeling very settled with our business, and now it seems like life is telling us it’s time to move forward. This situation is causing us some massive stress and the only way we can face it without falling in a heap, is to let it push us in a positive direction.
We have a huge amount of work on at the moment which is certainly the biggest concern – along with being busier than ever with the workbenches and many vice orders, we also have ‘Project X’ in the pipe line – all I can say on this one is that it is not a simple job. Then there’s the videos which we’re also busy creating at the minute.
We’d love to take somebody on as an apprentice but it hasn’t really felt like the right thing to do just yet, and the situation that we’re in at the moment really highlights why we’ve been wise to hold off on that.
We’ve come up with what should be a very nice solution to this unfortunate situation. There’s going to be some hard graft to get us there, but this is one of those realities of being self employed. It’s the realisation that we’re not indestructible and that something small can tip the whole balance, in fact people can cause you grief and it’s simply your own problem to solve. We’ve done this for long enough to know that there’s no time to feel down about it, and if we plan things right we have a chance to push ourselves in to a more beneficial outcome.
All I ask is that you don’t worry… we’re pros and everything is in hand. Plus, Helen’s just bought me a tractor! (it’s like a Shetland pony… or hamster). We’ll brief you on the plan as soon as it’s confirmed.
Both are made in the classic style in oak with nice leather details.
What caught my eye were a couple of construction details. One that I like, and one that makes me say “Hmmmm.”
The one I like is the way they attach the arm straps to the back of the legs. I assume there is a threaded insert in the leg. Then the strap is secured by a brass thumbscrew. Even better: the maker has punched holes in the arm strap so you can take up the slack. After studying a bunch of old Roorkees, the arms always go slack.
I’m sure I’ll try this method out on a future chair.
The other detail is the way the maker adjusts the straps on the reclining back of the chair. The adjustable straps use Sam Browne buttons and punched holes. It creates a clean look and requires less hardware than a buckle, but the straps cannot be adjusted as finely as a result. Perhaps it’s no big deal.
All in all, very nice examples.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Campaign Furniture