Yes, I’m poking fun at Chris Schwarz and his “Anarchist’s Gift Guide,” but also at ourselves (in a tiny nutshell: a hegemonic government is one in which imperial dominance (the corporation) over subordinate states (us and others) is regulated by threat of force…such as, one could presume, a pink slip).* Moving on: Below you’ll find … Read more
These days I am spending far more time slogging than blogging as I work my way through the 125,000 words of To Make As Perfectly As Possible: Roubo on Furniture Making. Deadlines, even self imposed ones (I am determined to get through the manuscript with a complete first pass by mid-December) do have a way of reducing the whimsical charm of a project. But there are moments…
This evening was one of those times that reinforces the delight of beginning and reaffirms my commitment to the Roubo annotation. I was wrapping up the general chapter on the making of seating furniture. The description of upholstery techniques was grand (as soon as I finish the following chapter in the next couple of days I will forward them to one of my readers for confirmation of the descriptions), but the last fifteen pages of the chapter wherein Roubo describes the material technology and techniques of cane preparation and weaving was simply elegant, eloquent even. The wordsmithing of Andre-Jacob as transmitted by Michele melded into something approaching the sublime for those pages. I was honestly sad to see them go.
It made me ever so grateful for the ability to read, to understand and appreciate words and the information and ideas they convey. I simply cannot comprehend the widespread desire for willful illiteracy, which is all about me outside these walls. Heck, only a dozen miles away are a legion of belligerent flaks and flunkies whose duty is the eradication of words, or worse, their meanings, surrounded by a populace that apparently welcomes the relief from being responsible for learning, knowing, understanding, and acting.
Down off the soap box now.
We are now the proud owners of this little chunk of rural Lincolnshire. The aerial photo is from around 1978 shows the buildings looking a little rough around the edges and things have only gotten worse since.
We’ve definitely got our work cut out but this is going to be a long a fruitful journey. The site comes with planning permission for mixed residential and commercial use so along with becoming our home it is also the new and extensive digs for The English Woodworker.
This little blog is having a face lift and will emerge bigger and better than ever. You can expect our usual posting and woodworking rants together with two new focuses;
- A diary of events on the slow and steady renovation together with our daily lives.
- A new focus on producing woodworking videos from our new and enlarged hand tool workshop.
It all sounds simple spread on to those two lines but this is going to be anything but. Getting to this stage has already meant our lifetimes without holidays, without luxuries and constant 5am starts, and this is just the beginning.
We’re running mainly off shear determination and enthusiasm and should likely be considered mad, but then that’s exactly what this is going to take.
The ambition – to create a celebration of the craft, the skills and the lifestyle of ‘The English Woodworker’.
Further details coming soon…
|Artsy photo of my version next to the vintage model.|
This project was one of the most enjoyable I have ever done. The thing that made it so great was when I started, I didn't have a clue as to how to do it. I didn't know how to box the insert, and I had no idea how to make the oval shaped profile on the beam. The joy in this project came from figuring those things out and watching this project take shape.
I have put together another slide show of the last part of this project. I couldn't help but take a bunch of artsy photos of the completed project. This one is just too easy to take pictures of.
In fact, while it is sitting in front of me, I can't quit staring at it. My wife said it is too nice to use.
When I first got the vintage model, I thought it was a left-handed version. I usually hold the stock of any marking gauge in my right hand, as I'm right handed. This one looks as if it is meant to be registered on the left side of a board while being marked. When I used it, I just turned it around and used it "backwards" with the horn facing forward. Then I saw this picture in Salaman's Dictionary of Woodworking Tools:
This is faster! Mary May talks a lot about learning to be ambidextrous while carving so you don't continually have to adjust what you are working on. This could be a result of the same principle.
I also have a concern about using a blade as opposed to a scratcher for marking. A blade should leave a nice, neat line, but there is always a danger of a knife blade following the grain of the wood where a scratching blade would not. After all, ripping will require cleaning up, anyway.
Lastly, this blade only works in one direction - forward. Being a single bevel blade, I forsee problems if I try to pull the gauge toward me. I'll try it out, and if it is a problem I may try re-grinding the blade to a spear point configuration. The great part about this single bevel blade is it should be easy to sharpen freehand.
- Ebony is rather enjoyable to work with. At least in these small quantities.
- Not all maple is created equal. This beautiful piece must be from some softer species of maple. It is very lightweight, and works easily with hand tools, as opposed to the maple I usually use.
- There is no point on hanging onto a special piece of wood for that "perfect project." It turns out, the project you are working on is the perfect project.
- The wedge holding the blade is so small because it is intended to not get in the way of anything. It might interfere if it had a mechanism to prevent it from falling out. The problem is, eventually it will fall out. I can envision in 100 years some woodworker picking this thing up at a yard sale for 50 cents, wondering how to make such a small replacement wedge on a table saw and putting it back on the table for some other sucker to buy. Perhaps a manager will want to nail it to the wall of his restaurant.
- Making a custom scraper is a cheap and easy way to shape parts. However, grinding metal with a power tool is much faster and easier than using a file. I used a Dremel wheel on my cordless drill (I got rid of my Dremel tool).
"The history of mankind is in woodworking; all cultures have a story of how wood has been used both..."
- Nicholas Phillips, in an interview with the Silver Spring Patch.
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In your laſt acceptable Letter dated from Westminster the 2d. of Auguſt, I obſerve that you deſire me to turn my Speculations, and to give you my Thoughts upon ſeveral Appearances relating to a Razor; particularly to ſay ſomething concerning its Edge and Sharpneſs, which in a good Razor is ſo fine and ſo nice, that it is ſubject to the leaſt Change and Alteration in the Weather; and particularly that Cold has ſuch an Influence upon it, as to ſpoil and blunt its Edge, inſomuch that it will hardly cut a Hair aſunder.
In anſwer to your ſaid Letter, I muſt acquaint you, Sir, that I ſhave my ſelf, and that my Razor, which I always uſe twice a Week, and which I have had above Thirty Six Years, was never Ground but twice, and yet it cuts very well; but I ſet it ſometimes upon an Oyl-ſtone or Hone, yet not as I obſerve ſome Barbers do, who ſtroke it above Twenty five Times on one ſide, and then again as many on the other; whereas I on the contrary paſs my Razor once only on one ſide, and that very gently with the Edge againſt the Stone, and then on the other ſide in the ſame manner; and ſo continue about ten or twelve Times; after that I paſs the Razor, with the Back of it downwards, upon a Leather prepar’d with Tripoly [which the Silver-ſmiths uſe, to Poliſh or Clean their Plate with.]
When I look upon ſuch a Razor thro’ my Microſcope, I ſtand amazed at the great number of Gaps and Notches that I ſee in the Edge thereof, and wonder how one can ſhave ones ſelf ſo ſoftly therewith; nor does my Razor refuſe to do me Service even in Winter and cold Weather, tho’ I muſt own at ſuch times the Shaving is a little more painful, but that I have hitherto thought, was only occaſion’d by the Hair of the Beard being harder in Winter than Summer, when ’tis cold Weather I always keep my Razor in a Room that has Fire in it.
Now as to what concerns the Razor’s becoming blunt in cold Weather, I can conceive no other Reaſon for it, but that the materia ſubtilis, or exceeding fine Matter, which is in all Metals, and which we may compare to Fire, is by the Cold driven out of the Edge of the Razor; by which means the Steel becomes so ſtubborn or hard, that in a fine Razor it makes Notches, and is blunted by the Hair. I have alſo experienced, that after having ſhaven the Beard with a fine Razor, and attempting to Cut ſome of the little Hairs in the Eye-brows, which were harder than thoſe of the Chin, notwithſtanding that they were a little ſoftned with Water, ſeveral Notches were thereby made in the ſame Razor.
I asked a certain skilful Barber, what difference he found in his Razors in very cold or hot Weather; who informed me, that when it was very Cold, he always dipt his Razors in warm Water, which made ‘em cut much the better.
I have thought fit to acquaint you with the manner of my preparing my Leather upon which I paſs my Razor. My Shoe-maker furniſh’d me with a Piece of Leather, that is very ſmooth upon the ſide next the Fleſh, and of about two Fingers breadth; this I faſten’d with Glue to a thin Board of the ſame breadth, and when ’twas dry, I ſmear’d it all over with a Tallow-candle; and then I held it over the Fire a little, ’till the Greaſe had inſinuated itſelf into the Pores of the Leather, and this I repeated three times; after which I pour’d all over it a little Tripoly waſh’d clean, which I workt into the Leather with the Greaſe ſo long, ’till the Greaſe or Tallow became warm, when I pour’d on freſh, repeating that Operation four or five times, till my Smoothing-Leather was fit for uſe.
I have alſo taken fine Powder’d Emery [a Powder or Stone alſo uſed by the Silver-ſmiths to Poliſh their Plate] which I firſt ſteep’d in a little Water, and then pour’d a good deal more upon it, which having ſtir’d well together, and afterwards let it ſtand a little, I pour’d off the uppermoſt part of the Water that was impregnated with the fine Emery into another Glaſs, and after that I put a little Linnen or Woollen Rag into the aforeſaid Water, one end of which extended itſelf to the bottom of the ſaid Emery, which I ſuppoſe to remain in the Glaſs, and the other end of the Rag hung out, in order to draw off all the Water from the ſubſided Emery; which Emery being thereby become dry, I rubb’d it into the Tallow’d-Leather in the ſame manner as I had done the Tripoly before, only with this difference, that I work the Emery in with a Piece of ſmooth Ivory, or elſe with a Burniſhing-Steel; this being done, I ſtroke my Razor ſoftly over it, the Effect of which has been, that Razors, with which I have cut Wood, and which I have thrown aſide as uſeleſs, have been recover’d to ſuch a Degree, as to become fit to ſhave ones Beard again.
The aforemention’d Barber complain’d to me, that he had a Razor, which tho’ it appear’d very fair to the Eye, yet was ſo ſtiff, that he cou’d bring no Edge to it, by paſſing it ever ſo often upon a Hone: I deſired him that I might look upon it thro’ my Microscope, and found ſeveral Notches in it; but I judg’d that it had been little uſed to a Hone, because there was ſo little of it worn away, tho’ he inform’d me ſince that be had ſet it above Fifty Times, but cou’d never bring it to bear.
I paſſed the ſame Razor over my Strop or Smoothing-Leather, which I had prepared with fine Emery, and then gave it him again; and a few Days after, askt him if he had made uſe of it, who told me he had, and that he had found it very good, and that in ſixteen Perſons he had ſhaved with it, he had found but one Beard that the Razor cou’d not Conquer. Now as one Razor it ſofter than another, I wou’d adviſe that the ſoft Razor shou’d be paſſed on a Strop that is prepared with Tripoly, and the hard one upon a Strop prepared with Emery.
You ſay further, Sir, that if one cou’d diſcover the fine Particles of the Steel, of which the Sharpneſs or Edge of the Razor does conſiſt, you imagine that one might alſo be able to find out the cauſe of the very different Effects produced in the ſaid Razor.
To which I ansſwer, that as for what concerns the fine Particles of Steel, as alſo Gold, Silver, &c. they are inconceivably ſmall: one may indeed, by the help of a good Microſcope, juſt diſcover the exceeding ſmall Particles of Gold and Silver, but one cannot perceive of what Figure they are; and who can tell of what a Multitude of Parts thoſe little Particles, which we ſee by the help of a Microſcope, are again compoſed: and although we can diſcover thoſe little Particles of which Gold and Silver are compoſed, becauſe we can diſſolve both Gold and Silver in proper Menſtrua or Waters, and can as it were unite them with thoſe Waters, and again collect thoſe Particles of Gold and Silver together, fit for our view; yet this has no Place in Iron or Steel, the fine Particles that compoſe which, we can only diſcover in the broken Gaps or Notches of a Razor, for inſtance; and the greater and courſer the Parts are, of which thoſe Metals are compoſed, as we may ſee in Caſt-Iron, the leſs valuable are the ſaid Metals; but the finer the Particles are, the more valuable in my Opinion will be the Steel and Iron which they compoſe.
Now when we view the ſmall broken Parts of Gold, Silver, Steel, Iron, &c. We muſt conſider that each of thoſe Particles, as ſmall as they appear to us, are again compoſed of a great number of other exceeding ſmaller Particles, which Nature has knit together; and that theſe coagulated Particles are yet more ſtrongly united by Fire, and after that are ſo conſolidated by the Strokes and Preſſure of the Smith’s Hammer, that they ſeem to us to be but one body, tho’ they do conſist of a great many ſmall Particles, the courſeſt of which are always obvious when we come to break the Mettals: and how often ſoever you melt any of theſe Mettals, and break them again after they are cold, you will always be able to diſcover the grainy Particles therof; but you will find them ſo ſtrongly joyn’d and riveted in one another, that they appear to be but one Body.
When the Steel if prepared and made into a Razor, and ſet upon a Hone, we may perceive a great many long Streaks or Scratches of the ſaid Stone upon the Razor; and the Courſer the Hone is with Sand, the Courſer and Deeper thoſe Streaks are in the Steel. They Paſs the Razor thus prepared upon one Stone, oftentimes upon a finer, to the end that they may Grind out the aforeſaid long Streaks, which it had acquir’d upon the courſe Stone; for every one of ſuch Streaks in the Steel, when it is Sharpned or Ground again, becomes a Notch: when ſuch Notches are Ground out of the Razor upon a fine Oyl-ſtone or Hone, the Steel, where any of theſe Notches were, appears to the Eye as ſmooth as Glaſs; but when we come to view the Razor with one of our beſt Microſcopes, one may diſcover that thoſe long Streaks which cauſe the Notches, are no more taken away by the Oyl-ſtone, than when the Razor is Ground on a rough Stone; and the only difference is, that the Streaks of the former are finer than the latter: in ſhort, when one obſerves with a good Microſcope the many Notches that are in the fineſt Razor, one wou’d wonder how any of them cou’d cut ſo well. This, Sir, is all that I have to ſay to you upon the ſubject of Razors at this time.
Delft, Sept. 10, 1709.
Your Humble Servant,
Antony Van Leeuwenhoek.
Philosophical Transactions, Giving Some Account of the Present Undertakings, Studies and Labours of the Ingenious, In many Considerable Parts of the World – Vol. XXVI (London) – 1710
Filed under: Historical Images
OK, I’m going to sound like I have a “man crush” on Joel Moskowitz with this blog entry. But when I think about the simplest inventions in my lifetime that have changed my work, the Gramercy holdfast is pretty much at the top of my list. For just $35 you can get a pair of … Read more
This week I must finish off the order for 35 wooden spoons for the USA. I decided to make them from scraps; fire wood or recycled wood from a safe resource. Elm is a wood I and all woodworkers of old loved to work with. Some old doors were discarded from the castle and I couldn’t stand to see them thrown out. They are made from elm. It is not so available as it once was, but it’s such a beautiful wood. At one time it was predominantly used for chair seats and kitchenware but those days are long gone.
Another commitment I have is to show you how to make stars for hanging in a mobile, decorating a door wreath, hanging at the top of your tree or to create a stunning centrepiece for the table at Christmas dinner. We will be posting a video on woodworkingmasterclasses very shortly for this and I know you will enjoy it. In the meantime we will be wrapping things up in readiness for starting the new year filming and classes. It’s been a wonderful year for me. I look back on it with affection when I see all the faces I met, work with and enjoyed.
Star sizes are governed by the thickness of the stock you use. In this case I am using material I have milled to two sticks of wood measuring 10mm thick. This can be varied and the method of making remains the same. Cutting the wood about 30mm wide and 25cm long means you have enough length to hold it in the vise and make more stars later if you want to. I used a variety of woods but my favourites are mahogany and figured maple. Ebony and maple give striking contrast but there are many others you could use too. I think pine makes lovely stars.
More on this shortly.
Trying out materials from different suppliers is always an adventure. Some time ago, I ordered a “medium” sized block of plateaux briar wood from a vendor who came highly recommended. When I got the block in the mail, I was at a loss as to what to do with it–it was so big! It was 2 1/2″ tall and a good 3″ long. I had planned to make one pipe out of it, selecting the best figure and discarding the rest, but now I began to wonder…. Could I get two small pipes out of one block?
I drew out and then erased several designs on the side of the block until I had a plan. I cut it neatly in half, so as to make myself two small blocks fit for tobacco chambers about 1 1/4″ deep. (I am grateful for backsaws that cut thin kerfs!) Here are the results:
This bent Dublin takes advantage of the natural top of the briar burl–called “plateaux”–creating a rough, irregular surface to contrast with the smooth surface of the pipe’s sides. The lucite stem came from my first pipe kit. I broke it while assembling the kit, and it has been lying around my workspace ever since. I finally repaired it and fitted it to this pipe, which I think it fits pretty well.
The second pipe is a churchwarden. Although I enjoy doing freehand shaping, I also need to work on making some classic shapes. This is one of my favorites–the “apple” shape, which I should say doesn’t look at all like an apple to my eye. Nevertheless, I find it a pleasing shape, and I think the grain pattern in the wood complements the shape pretty well.
As usual, these pipes are both available for purchase at my Etsy shop.
Tagged: apple pipe, bent stem pipe, briar, churchwarden, dublin pipe, etsy, lucite, plateaux
This plane looks like it did the day it was made. It’s a Chapin Stephens #12 round. The sole is properly shaped to cut the intended 7/8″ radius profile. The iron is in great condition, but it needs to be reground to match the sole profile and sharpened. This is easy to do on a regular flat grinding wheel. I already have a 7/8″ round so I don’t need this one. It’s in really great shape though and will make a really nice user. I’d keep it myself if my #12s weren’t a matched pair.
First comment that says I’ll take it gets it. Price is $40 plus shipping.
R.A. Salaman, Dictionary of Woodworking Tools, 1975
I am a little tired of my tool chest.
As soon as I close the lid things magically appear on top of it.
I remove these items so I can rummage through the chest to find what I need.
And the stuff reappears once the lid goes back down. I think the wood working elves are having fun with me.
I work in a small studio, it's 10'x11' and is between our bedroom and kitchen. I have some storage with shelves, but I desperately need another work surface for finishing my guitars.
I spent most of last week working on building the carcass (yes, I am using the American form of the word) for a new work bench. I sawed out the tenons by hand, I drilled all the mortises with a brace and bit. While doing all that I remembered why I never got into furniture making, I really don't enjoy making squares and rectangles. When you make a guitar you work with voluptuous curves, you can't mistake the feminine shape of a classical guitar. Curves are more fun to look at and handle than sharp corners.
I found the plans for this bench at Shop Notes, click here to see the plans. I like the looks of the bench, but I found the plans to be a little over worked and who ever came up with it loves dadoes! All I really need is a flat working surface and some nice storage space. I am going to adjust the drawer sizes to fit my tools and because of limited space I will make a set of sliding doors instead of those that swing out. And no vises. There isn't enough room in my studio to have the vises that are on the plans!
Just having the unfinished plywood top done has made my work life a little easier, it is so nice to have an extra work surface. I plan on spending one day a week working on finishing the bench, I need to start assembling some guitars!
If I were ever to make another bench, one out of hardwood instead of Douglas fir, I would make a close copy of Norm Vandal's Shaker inspired bench that is in Scott Landis Workbench book. His bench makes much more sense when it comes to its construction than this one does. This one will work and serve it's purpose.
I do know that as soon as this bench is finished the tool chest gets the boot!
Merle Burnham, my father, 1976
This is a neck for a copy of a 1929 Santos Hernandez guitar, it's all glued up from heel block to head stock. In this photo I am adjusted the sides of the neck with a draw knife so I can carefully plane the sides of the head stock perfectly square so the tuning machines can have some where to sit.
What happened next is that I drilled all six holes in the head stock only to find out that I had laid out the positions for the holes using the wrong reference line. Whoops!
Spanish cedar is getting scarce, I bought this blank from Stew-Mac just before they stopped selling Spanish cedar neck blanks. I didn't want to throw it into the wood stove, I owe it to the Universe to persevere and use this neck.
With my trusty knife, block plane, Porter Cable 14 volt drill and a 13/32 inch hole drilled into a piece of bubinga, I made three dowels from a scrap piece of Spanish cedar. Some fish glue from Lee Valley and a few taps with a live oak mallet and things are as right as rain again!
Yes, you can see the plugs, but when you a play a classic guitar you are watching your hands, not the headstock! This will not affect the sound quality of a guitar.
The tuning machine's plate cover the plugs! Don't they look great!
The headstock carved and slotted.
Now, to finish carving the heel!
On the subject of creating a passable keratin substitute for genuine tortoiseshell, the eminent French lawyer and aristocratic handyman, Louis Georges Isaac Salivet, wrote in 1792 (under the allonym of Louis-Eloy Bergernon – in order to obfuscate any associations with his avid readers and clientele at the Royal Court and thus hopefully evade the guillotine):
“Horn is very extensively used, and especially the horn of cattle. The best kinds come from Ireland. It is worked and soldered in much the same way as tortoise-shell. The following is the method adopted.
Select a good piece of cow’s horn and saw it about two to four inches from its solid end, and cut it in the direction of its length with a back-saw. Then hold it for some time in front of a moderate fire, seize it with pincers and dress it until it takes the form of a flat-board. Next remove by means of a tool called a scraper, the surface which has been exposed to the fire, and finish the process by trimming it by means of a rasp-file. The plates now made in France are at least equal if not superior in transparency to those made in England.
Dissolve in a pint of boiling water about three ounces of potash. Allow this mixture to boil for about a quarter of an hour, and then pour it out into a vessel of double the capacity, and containing about half a pound of quick-lime. Stir the whole well up. When the lime has become thoroughly slacked and cool, add to it about three ounces of red lead, and one ounce of cinnabar or vermilion, and agitate the whole again until all the elements which compose it are perfectly united. When they are, the mixture should have the consistency of thick soup and be of a soft red colour.
The mode of using this composition is very simple. Take a small portion of it on the end of a spatula and apply it to those parts of the horn which are to be coloured, avoiding those parts which are to remain transparent in order to imitate as much as possible the caprices which nature displays in distributing the colours of the tortoise-shell. The shell must remain covered with this paste till the whole has completely dried. Then wipe the piece of horn with a moist sponge; it will be found to be so well coloured in some places and transparent in others that it might easily be taken for tortoise-shell. The thicker the patches of plate the richer will be the different colours. It is then very easy to vary the tints so as to increase still further the resemblance of the piece of horn to tortoise-shell.”
Filed under: Materials Tagged: keratin, Louis Georges Isaac Salivet, tortoiseshell
To a man, we all have delusions of grandeur sometimes. For a woodworking blog writer such as myself, that may mean believing that what I write actually inspires another woodworker, or helps another woodworker, or at the least shows woodworking from another perspective. Maybe I have accomplished those things in some small way, or maybe I haven’t. The problem I have is that as a woodworker/blog writer I have little or no credibility. I am not a professional woodworker, nor am I a professional writer. I’ve had little training in woodworking, and my instruction in writing is limited to general high school and college English courses. I am a rank amateur. In fact, what I probably should be writing about is electrical work and tools, which are subjects where I may be considered an expert, or at the least accomplished. But while I make my living in the electrical world, it is not a field that draws many hobbyists. It is very much a technical field following fairly strict rules and guidelines. i.e. it is not something most people would do for fun in their free time. Woodworking, on the other hand, thrives on the weekend warrior.
The financial success of woodworking magazines and web pages depends on the hobbyist. The hobbyist is asked to contribute to the “woodworking community” nearly every day. I am somewhat cynical, I freely admit. I do not often trust the motives of many, especially when they are selling something. But just as I am a cynic, I am also an optimist, and there have been times when I thought that my contributions, as it were, have made a difference, at least a little. The real, sad, truth of the matter is they have made no difference, not really. My blog fails on two levels. Firstly, I am not selling anything here, therefore it generates no capital whatsoever. Secondly, it generates no capital whatsoever. I’ve discovered that in the world of woodworking, when you aren’t selling something, and you aren’t making anybody money, you are not considered a contributor.
I like to read other amateur woodworking blogs such as my own. I’ve found some good ones right here on WordPress, among other places. These blogs feature some good writing but more importantly, good woodworking. Besides the fact that they are amateur blogs, what else do they all have in common? Well, it goes without saying that they aren’t selling anything woodworking related: tools, furniture, or both, and secondly, nowhere will you find them on any “must-read” blog list. That second point bothers me, a lot. Why does it bother me? It has nothing to do with recognition for me or anybody else. Recognition to an amateur means next to nothing when it comes down to it, other than a feather in your cap. But it does have something to do with what is “good” for woodworking. Most of the “must-read” blogs that I’ve read have two things in common: they are selling something, and as far as blogs go a lot of them suck. Maybe my blog sucks, too, but it isn’t selling anything, and it isn’t on a list of blogs considered culturally significant in the world of woodworking. The optimist in me likes to believe that a list of must-read woodworking blogs would not only be entertaining, they also wouldn’t require a credit card number and expiration date. The cynic in me knows why they do.
Before I finish, I would like to say that I am not implying that all professional woodworking blogs/web pages are bad and not worth a look. Some of them are quite good. I would also like to acknowledge that I am all for seeing the financial success of professional woodworkers and blog writers everywhere. In fact, I can say without hesitation that I’ve tried my best to solicit some of these blogs, because they certainly deserve the support of the woodworking community. Not to sound like Dr. Seuss, but I have to think that what is “good for woodworking” doesn’t always have to carry a price tag. I’ve learned as much from amateur blogs as from anywhere else, and I’ve been much more entertained; I can’t be the only woodworker to make that claim. I also have to think that a must-read woodworking blog list just by the law of averages should have its fair share of amateur blogs on it and sadly almost none of them do. So what is the message being sent, to be a contributor to the woodworking community you probably should be selling something? For me, a contributor to the woodworking community is not selling, but making, and then sharing his/her experiences with the rest of the group. There’s just not much of that going on. So I am going to do my part and not contribute to any blog but an amateur one, and of course my own. That may be nothing more than the statement of a self-important ego maniac, but it didn’t take a credit card number and expiration date for all of you to find that out.