delight in the details

For those of us who love process it is easy to obsess over details. I’ve lost count of the number of conversations with my wife that I have led off by saying, “What do you think about this _______” Nearly all of these conversations end with glazed eyes because she knows two things: 1.) I…

from a place of privilege

  “It is right and just that all men (sic) should have work to do which shall be worth doing, and be of itself pleasant to do; and which should be done under such conditions as would make it neither over-wearisome or over-anxious.” -William Morris

Once you’ve got a box that locks…

…it’s time to figure out how to finish it. In “The Joiner and Cabinetmaker” young Thomas fits the lock, tacks on an escutcheon and calls it a day. There is no mention of a finish. In the build notes, Chris Schwarz suggests a wiped on finish of thinned oil and varnish which is a very…

The schoolbox locks

The closer I get to the end of a project, the fussier I get over the details. I think that’s probably pretty universal for those of use who do hand work, and for craftspeople in general. I do not mean to say that I do not take great care in each step along the way,…

patience

  Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it…

On Lost Arts

I had the esteemed opportunity to guest-blog over on the Lost Art Press blog today. Here is the link. A big thank you to Chris Schwarz and anyone who takes the time to read it. –Jim

Guest Blog: Kieran Binnie

(Editorial note:  During the past year I have had more than one occasion to consider and question the idea of perfection as it relates to craft in general and woodworking in particular. This has mainly been an interior monologue and it occurred to me at some point that maybe it would be better as a conversation….

A tale of four arrises

To buy tools, or make them? That is the question. On one hand I have made enough tools to appreciate the precision, care and expertise of tool makers who can create such functional pieces of art that I feel absolutely privileged to use them. On the other hand, I’ve bought enough of these tools that…

look up ^

  It’s small, but in the upper right hand corner of the blog you should now see a “menu” button. This menu contains two important tabs that were inadvertently removed from the site during the last re-designed: “About” and “Submit” Please feel free to read the first and do the second. -Jim

Stickley style

After posting this picture of my “home office” on Instagram I’ve recieved some comments and questions about the book stand next to my desk. Here’s a better shot: The piece in question was built by me last year based on a design found in Gustav Stickley’s catalog as part of a series of projects he put…

A till for all seasons

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemmingway If I have learned nothing else in building the schoolbox from The Joiner and Cabinet Maker it is this; that no matter how much I may think I know, there are always…

the cove

I’m mostly set on how I’m going to let the till into the schoolbox, but before doing so I decided to take a break and try my hand at the lid moulding. Young Thomas chamfers the moulding. That seemed like it wouldn’t compliment the bottom however, and so my immediate thought was to repeat the…