Jan 102009

jan10.jpgThere’s usually a woodworking class or two going on in our Atlanta store on any given weekend. Today we had THREE events happening at the same time. Hal Simmons was teaching beginning turning to 8 guys in our woodworking seminar room upstairs. Sabiha Mujtaba was teaching power tool basics to 8 women in our woodworking demo shop, and Terry Chumbler was demonstrating the Tormek T-3 power sharpening system to an ongoing drop-in crowd at a workbench on our sales floor.
Next weekend, Frank Bowers will teach two bowl turning classes, Jane Burke will teach a Saturday class on marquetry, and Ben Arthur will give a lively FREE demonstration of the CarveWright benchtop CNC routing machine.
Sign up for any one of our woodworking classes at our website, or just drop in on the free Carvewright demo that runs 10 AM to 11:30 AM on Saturday.

CLICK HERE to see our complete woodworking class schedule

Jan 092009

The article briefly excerpted below (click to see the entire article) was submitted to us and published this week in our monthly online magazine, Wood News. Within a few hours, the author’s email box was overflowing with heartfelt responses from kindred spirits everywhere. Dilo Fernandino’s story is indeed an inspiring one, demonstrating how someone who is truly passionate about woodworking can “carve out” a remarkably satisfying pastime in a very small space.

My Unusually Small Workshop
By Dilo Marcio Fernandino
Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

My first workshop was the kitchen of my rented apartment. I purchased a small carving bench (23″ x 23″ top) and sharpened my few old chisels. My first adult-age project was a double bed with matching side tables. A few years later we moved into our own apartment where my wife granted me the exclusive use of a 7 ft x 6 ft service closet where I have now been working for over 30 years. Despite its lack of elbow room and my wife’s prohibition against dust and noise, this space became my “paradise” where I have managed to build a few very nice pieces.

Jan 032009

mediumworkbench.jpgBelow is an unsolicited testimonial from a recent purchaser of our medium Hoffman & Hammer premium woodworking workbench (received 12/31/08):
“This workbench is fantastic, especially for the price. It was packed and shipped beautifully and I was able to assemble it in 15-20 minutes. The two vises close flush with the bench surface and the top is near perfect flatness. It had minor racking when used heavily, but I built a short cabinet underneath to triangulate the stretchers and legs… needless to say it is now a COMPLETELY solid bench. I have used an Ulmia bench for years and this bench fits right in.”

Dec 252008

Dear Woodworkers,
We recently received the following nice email from John Fitzgerald, a customer who orders from us via John kindly gave us permission to share it here with our readership. We always appreciate receiving feedback from the people we do business with. We especially love hearing that our efforts to deliver on our promise of satisfaction have been successful.
Thank you, John. And thank you to everyone we have the pleasure of doing business with. We join John in wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Here is John’s email:

Hi, Folks:
I just received my order (number 113577) which I placed on December 18.
As I’ve come to expect from Highland Woodworking, it was very well packed, and very promptly shipped.
I was very pleased with the quality of the Anant spokeshaves and bench holdfasts I ordered (although, since I’ve purchased Anant planes from you, I’d guessed that I’d be happy with them).
I just wanted to take a moment out to tell you how much I enjoy doing business with you — you put together a terrific catalog and have thoroughly mastered the intricacies of Internet marketing.
Most of all, you appear to be people of integrity who honestly describe the wares you have to offer, charge fair prices, and follow through beautifully on every order.
What a pleasure it is to buy from you!
From my house to all of your houses, and from my family to all of your families, have the Merriest of Christmases and a Wonderful New Year!
John Fitzgerald

Dec 222008

woodworking workbenchOur good friend, Roy Underhill of Woodwright’s Shop television fame, has chosen our Hoffman and Hammer large German workbenches for students to use in the new woodworking school he is opening in Pittsboro, NC (about 30 miles west of Raleigh) sometime in 2009. This 7-foot long, 286 pound, 2-1/4″ thick solid beech workbench meets all of Roy’s requirements for the traditional style of hands-on woodworking he will be teaching.
A full container of new premium woodworking workbenches has just arrived in Atlanta from Germany. Twelve of the larger size workbenches are headed to North Carolina to outfit the bench room in Roy’s new school. We’re very excited that Roy will be using workbenches from Highland Woodworking in his new woodworking school. Details on the school’s opening will be announced soon. Check back in early 2009 for more information.

woodworking workbench

Hoffman and Hammer premium large German woodworking workbench, model 114103

Dec 182008

guitar3.jpgFREE Saturday morning demonstration at Highland Woodworking
Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008, 10 AM – 12 PM
Inside the Acoustic Guitar with Billy Rhoton

The acoustic guitar is an iconic symbol of American music. Few people, however, have ever had the opportunity to look inside of one, at least until now.
You are invited to join Billy Rhoton at 10 AM on Saturday, December 27 at Highland Woodworking’s Atlanta retail store for a rare visual tour inside one of his handcrafted instruments. He will discuss bracing patterns and carving techniques and their relationship to tone. He will also discuss the necessary woodworking tools and traditional construction methods. The demonstration is free, and no advance registration is necessary. Highland Woodworking is located at 1045 N. Highland Ave, NE in Atlanta.
Using his talents as an instrument maker, Billy is able to combine his passion for both music and woodworking. A student of master instrument maker Ivon Schmukler, he has studied guitarmaking at the Leeds Guitarmakers School in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Having worked as a cabinetmaker since 2001, Billy founded W.R. Rhoton Guitarworks in 2008. As a musician he has toured regionally and nationally in various bluegrass and American bands, and is currently a member of the Athens, GA-based rock band, Lake City. He also gives technical assistance to woodworking tool customers at Highland Woodworking 4 days a week.
MAP/Directions to Highland Woodworking in Atlanta
Billy has a guitarmaking website under construction at

Dec 082008

Woodworking machine
Is it a sculpture or a machine? For the past several years, woodworker Erich Schatt of Zurich, Switzerland has used his free time designing and building an exquisite machine built entirely of wood. What exactly does the machine do? Well, mainly it causes people’s jaws to drop whenever they see Erich sitting in the driver’s seat pedaling away on this amazing contraption, spinning the dozens of wooden gears whose movements are intricately intertwined using wooden chains (that resemble the drive chain on a bicycle). It even features wooden universal joints and a wooden transmission.

Woodworking machineWoodworking has been Erich’s hobby and passion since he was a child. At a very young age, he was already scavenging through condemned houses salvaging timbers and flooring. Some of this beautiful wood he used in his own woodworking. The rest he sold to others to help fund the purchase of new woodworking tools for himself. Old-fashioned joinery and antique furniture continued to fascinate him as he began his woodworking career as a furniture maker and machinist. Eventually he made the restoration of antique furniture his specialty.

Woodworking machineFor the last several years, Erich has devoted about six hours of woodworking each Saturday building his machine. It had its genesis in 1998 when his interest in sprocket wheels and chains led him to successfully build a bicycle chain entirely out of wood, a process which required numerous complex calculations to get all the parts to fit together and function correctly. This led to the idea of building a wooden machine which eventually grew to occupy more than 400 cubic feet of space.

Woodworking machine
Using his considerable woodworking skills, he completed the machine in 2002 and successfully exhibited it at the annual convention of the Swiss Sawmill Association in Schaffhausen where it drew considerable interest from members of the timber industry. Since then he has continued showing and demonstrating the machine at European conventions and exhibitions.

Woodworking machineThis woodworking machine is of course not the only thing he has built out of wood. Besides furniture of every type, he has also built toys, games, lanterns, attache cases, a guinea pig stable and six-foot model of an American truck. He has turned down offers from people who want to buy the truck. Instead he hopes to complete a second trailer for the truck equipped with two chambers from which red and white wine can be dispensed at company celebrations.

Woodworking machineErich never lacks for ideas. He is already underway building a second machine, which though not as large as the first, will be considerably more intricate, featuring a planetary gear system nearly three feet in diameter. It is driven similar to the first machine using a wooden chain. The operator sits on a wooden saddle which slides backwards and forwards along “a swallowtail butterfly guide rail.” He expects it will take another three years of woodworking before it is ready to exhibit.

More photos of Erich’s woodworking “holzmaschine” can be viewed on his website

Visit our free online woodworking magazine Wood News