Baby steps toward anarchy

The question “why”  rests deep in the marrow of my bones. I can’t help myself. When someone says something can’t be done, or someone gives me a directive I don’t understand it wells up and begs an answer. “WHY?” I think that’s why I connected on such a deep level with the philosophy Chris Schwarz…

On things that should never have been built

Think back. Think way back if you have to. Think about the first time you tried your hand at making something from wood. I grew up in an old farm house with my parents and grandparents. My aunts lived on adjacent land, within walking distance if not within shouting distance. Behind my house was an…

Smooth tops and groovy bottoms

The shop is hot. Work is busy. Progress on the (Baby) Anarchist Tool Chest has been slow, but slow is better than nothing. I’ve had a good run of luck at Lowe’s lately and have found some premium eastern white pine for this build. The wood I scored for the lid being a prime example. The other…

An artifact worth saving

My work tends to the abstract and esoteric sometimes. Woodworking calls me back to the concrete, physical world in front of me. It reminds be to pay attention to the sharp end of my chisels and the grain of the wood. To the details. To the practical. Which of course always brings me back to…

Amateur hour

We’re all called to a lot of things in life. As humans we find ourselves in an interconnected web of relationships and responsibilities that vie for our attention on a daily basis. These competing narratives about who we are, what we do and what we want from life can sometimes feel disconnected from one another….

some little progress

My wife is a reader. She easily reads ten books to every one that I finish. We were both English majors in college, but she and I read for different reasons. She reads for pleasure. I read for information. She reads because she likes a good plot. I generally read because I like the characters,…

(Baby) Anarchist’s Tool Chest

A full-fledged Anarchist’s Tool Chest build is on the eventual horizon, but in the meantime I need a place to put my stuff. My hand tool arsenal has outstripped my storage solutions. What started as a no.5 Jack plane tucked harmlessly in my Craftsman toolbox has gotten out of control. Enter the (baby) ATC. At…

An English Layout Square (In the anarchist tradition)

Ever since laying my hands on The Anarchist’s Tool Chest and seeing that mysterious square emblazoned on the front in the form of an “A” I have been wanting to build one. But you know how that is, first I had to build this other thing, and then something else, and something else. Well this week I…

Keeping sharp (or, an update on those chisels)

A week or so ago I posted an entry about some chisel shaped objects that I purchased from the ALDI grocery store as an experiment. I also shared my initial disappointment with the handles on the chisels, but I should really just go ahead and say that when I first took them out of the blister pack…

Tool Chest for New An@%*#!$ (Free Download)

Originally posted on Lost Art Press:
Tomorrow morning I start a class I’ve been waiting a long time to teach through the New English Workshop: “The Tool Chest for New Anarchists.” It’s a low-cost class (I don’t think either N.E.W. nor I am making a dime on the course) for 18 new woodworkers. We’ll spend…

A Saw for Small hands

Remember that Disston D-20 from a few weeks back? Remember I said there was a smaller saw in the lot that I almost left behind. I’m glad I didn’t. The saw in question was a strange little skew-back panel saw with no discernible markings on the plate or on the weirdly shaped and incredibly uncomfortable…

A Saw for Small Hands

Remember that Disston D-20 from a few weeks back? Remember I said there was a smaller saw in the lot that I almost left behind. I’m glad I didn’t. The saw in question was a strange little skew-back panel saw with no discernible markings on the plate or on the weirdly shaped and incredibly uncomfortable…