‘Till we come round right

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free        ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right,        ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gained,    …

A little holiday zen

One of the most popular things in my office is a tiny Zen garden that sits on the edge of my desk. My children cannot leave it alone. Very few visitors can avoid interacting with it on some level. Some comment on it. Some rake the sand around while they talk to me. Some people…

I love the cyber

(UPDATE: all shirts are sold) There is one Daily Skep T-shirt from the first printing (size large) still waiting for a new home. In honor of the almighty Cyber Monday I’m discounting it to $15 shipped within the Continental US I am almost certainly losing money on that deal, so grab it while you can.

Your taste is still killer

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential,…

An American Trestle Table (guest post)

Editor’s note: In America, we celebrate Thanksgiving today and as we gather around tables with those we love I could think of no better way to mark this day than with a story about a table and its family. Just a few posts ago I mentioned a table that had inspired me while doing an image search…

A curiosity

I found this today at an antique shop. it looks like a stand-alone tail vise with its own set of dog holes. The beam is roughly 2″ x 4″ and the overall length was close to 5′ Does anyone have any ideas about what this is or what it was used for?

A beautiful tool, but not the right tool

Fair warning: this post isn’t all that much about woodworking. This morning I was playing a little guitar before work. With three small kids in the house, my episodes of rocking out have grown few and far between and my gear collection has slowly dwindled. There are reasons for this. Kids are hard on instruments. Kids…

Michael Mascelli: Perfect in 1000 words or less

Thoughts on the Nature of Quality Workmanship By Michael Mascelli I have for nearly 40 years practiced the upholstery trade, and for most of it wrestled with the way we Americans use, and often overuse words like tradesman, craftsman, and professional. As the level of what is considered acceptable craft work diminishes all around us,…

A panel discussion

Making panels might not look as glamorous or as complicated as an expertly fit mortise and tenon (and it certainly receives fewer pages in your average woodworking text) but there is an art to this joinery just as any other, and it is an art I’m learning in stages. It is also, in my experience,…

A more palatable visual environment 

“Let us have nothing to do with the idea that the crafts, regardless of what they make, are in some way superior to the workmanship of certainty, or a means of protest against it. That is paranoia. the crafts ought to be a complement to industry.”  -David Pye, ‘The Nature and Art of Workmanship’ (1968)

A reminder of home

I’ve noticed that in North Carolina (at least down East) people treat wide black cherry boards with a sense of awe and reverence repeating the mantra: “You just don’t get cherry like that anymore.”   Well, yes and no. There are some places where cherry of this size is hard to come by, but as a…

Dutch under development

A tool chest is never done. Creativity is one of the things I love most about woodworking; probably because it’s a close cousin of problem solving in my mind. The Dutch tool chest solves a host of problems on its own, but as of late I’ve been especially interested in seeing how people tackle fitting…