Hillbilly Hat Rack: Grunt

My stepfather doesn’t have an affectionate bone in his body. Well, that’s not quite true, but his way of showing it is different than most. I knew the hillbilly hat rack was a hit when I heard him grunt. In that moment it didn’t matter if anyone else on the face of the planet liked…

No, really, you can build one yourself.

Let me begin by saying that if you haven’t watched the plane build video on The English Woodworker website, go do that now before reading the rest of this post. No really, go ahead, I’ll wait. Watched it? Good. Now, I have to say this. Since moving to hand tools I’ve taken the path that…

Before I Die

I think it’s safe to say that most people have a list of things they would like to accomplish before they die. Most of the lists are a combination of places to visit and crazy things to do (which may bring you much closer to the end of your list). Not mine. I’m measuring the…

Look Again

In 2010 I was staying at the Alexander Hotel in Bethlehem (on Manger street—not kidding; look it up). In the gift shop they were selling hand crafted souvenirs made of Olive wood—mostly nativity sets and other religious paraphernalia. But it wasn’t just things, it was a statement. One local patron was supporting other local patrons…

Want. Need. Deserve.

The other night I sat propped in front of the TV for family movie night. Wonder Woman graced my screen. In one of the scenes, a few of the “men” heroes are celebrating with a sort of toast; “Here’s to getting what we want, what we need, but not to what we deserve.” Not a…

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….

hold on there son…

Although my knockdown English workbench has been “finished” for a week now, the one remaining task was to shape the leg vise chop into something less, well, monolithic. I had already added the suede inside the chop, but I hesitated to do the shaping for so long because I wasn’t entirely sure about the design and…

Brace yourself

I am a graduate od Duke University, and for a time shortly thereafter I worked in Chapel Hill, NC. I have known what it means to experience rivalry. Given that statement, I can think of no other topic that sparks such rivalry and debate amongst guitar players as acoustic guitar bracing. The methods, the placement, the…

rollercoaster of wood

After building the form, the first thing I did was glue in the tail block and the neck block. I fashioned both the neck block and tail block from solid mahogany. After cutting out the rough shapes I did the rest of the carving with chisels. Sharp chisels. The tail block is pretty standard. The…

Back where we began, with a step in the right direction.

I’ve been a musician since the third grade, and a guitarist for at least two dozen years, so it didn’t seem that far fetched to me a year ago when I decided that I was going to try to bring together two passions and build an acoustic guitar. Having built several electric guitars I knew something…