Highland Staff

Jun 152021

For the June 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Bob discusses the smells of the woodworking workshop. He analyzes how some of those aromas are created from the wood we work with, and shares some fond nostalgic memories brought on by those scents:

Recently, a client was picking up a piece of furniture at my house. As they were leaving, they commented, “Does your living room always smell like wood and finish?” People often comment on the smell of the shop — “I love the smell of wood shavings!” or “This reminds me of my grandpa/dad.” We appreciate wood with our senses, but we often focus on visual character (color of the wood, grain patterns) or tactile perception (smooth and glossy or textured) rather than smell.

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Jun 082021

For the May 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Temple Blackwood discusses his preference for ‘best-tool-in-the-box’, the Fingernail Gouge:

My natural preference for favorite tool is the skew chisel, But if we’re talking “best tool in the box” – my tool-for-the-day is the versatile and dexterous fingernail gouge, which in my shop comes in three different sizes: 12mm, 8mm, and 6mm.

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Jun 012021

For the May 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Char interviewed Larissa Huff, who started off as a woodworking apprentice and now owns the Lohr Woodworking Studio and the Lohr School of Woodworking with her business partner:

Unique, timeless, and beautiful…these are a few words one would use to describe the work of Larissa Huff. In this fast pace world, it’s easy to lose sight of the enthusiasm that can be created when furniture design is labored over and hand crafted. Each of Larissa’s original designs exhibits functionality and passion. Whether it’s Kestrel chairs or Biedermeier inspired pieces you will feel the genius of a true craftsperson.

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May 272021

For the May 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Bob shares his love of Black Walnut, his favorite type of wood for his woodworking projects.

Yesterday I was breaking down some walnut lumber to make leg blanks for a coffee table. This is some of the last of the rough sawn lumber that Dad put up in the rafters about 60 years ago. My brother, Ken, said that Dad bought a pile of walnut and a pile of cherry for $25 each. Over the years it has turned into napkin holders, furniture, candlesticks, and mantel clocks. While I treasure other wood species, I think I have made more things from black walnut than anything else. Let me tell you about my old friend, walnut.

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May 182021

For the April 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Norm Reid reviewed the 10th issue of Mortise & Tenon Magazine:

What began a few years ago as a tentative exploration of the possibilities for a new and decidedly fresh approach to woodworking literature has now reached a milestone. This, the 10th issue of this intriguing and enlightening contribution, follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. If its diverse essays have any unifying themes, they are the nobility of craftsmanship and the respect for tradition. This accords well with earlier issues but, though similar in content, this issue is bright with fresh ideas and alive with inspiration.

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Purchase your own copy of Mortise & Tenon Magazine, Issue 10

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Apr 302021

Maine is very special to the Bagby family, owners of Highland Woodworking, for a number of reasons. Not only is it home to Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, but it is where Molly Bagby first learned how to cut a dovetail at the Center For Furniture Craftsmanship. It also happens to be where the Appalachian Trail ends, a hike that owner, Chris Bagby, has completed several times. Starting this Summer, Maine is getting a new woodworking school, the Maine Coast Workshop, which will be focused on Traditional 18th Century woodworking and carving, with an emphasis on hand tools.

Founder, William Francis Brown, had the following to say about why he wanted to start a woodworking school, particularly in Maine where there is already an abundance of fine woodworking education:

“When I started thinking about starting traditional woodworking classes, focusing on 18th century tools and techniques, I had to consider that there are a number of craft schools out there and the Maine coast happens to have a particularly high concentration.  Would another school be viable?  Fortunately, my areas of interest happen to provide a niche that dovetails and nicely complements the other surrounding schools.  Peter Korn’s ‘Center For Furniture Craftsmanship‘ is 15 minutes away.  I’ve taken classes there over the years and am a big supporter and admirer of his school.  Their multi-acre campus focuses more on contemporary work and longer-term apprenticeships.  The focus of Kenneth and Angela Kortemeier’s wonderful ‘Maine Coast Craft School‘, an hour away in Bristol, ME, is primarily green woodworking and strictly hand-tool work. The Shelter Institute in Woolwich teaches post-and-beam home construction; The Apprenticeshop in Rockland focuses on traditional boatbuilding.”

“We welcome all skill levels from complete beginners to advanced professionals.  Suggested skill level for each class will be clearly marked in the descriptions. Class size will be as small as 5 students in order to maximize one-on-one time with the instructors.  So, in sum, our focus is traditional hand-tool techniques, small class size, world-class instruction, and classes for all skill levels.  I am very proud of the quality of teachers this first year: it’s a veritable who’s who of world-class makers and carvers.” 

Some of this year’s teachers include Mary May, Matt Kenney, Alf Sharp, among many other talented woodworkers who will be offering a variety of classes that can be found on the Maine Coast Craft School’s schedule of upcoming classes.

If the Bagby family makes it back to Maine again this Summer, maybe you’ll find them at one of these great new classes!

Apr 292021

For the April 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Norm Reid reviewed James Krenov: Leave Fingerprints:

James Krenov is a man who, to woodworkers at least, needs no introduction. And yet, the life of this iconic cabinetmaker and teacher contains far more richness than is generally understood. Though he seldom spoke in detail about his upbringing and the influences that led him to working in wood, there was a time when Krenov toyed with the idea of an autobiography. It would, no doubt, have been a fascinating addendum to what his writings reveal about the inside of his mind. But it was not to be. Fortunately, Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney has done the next best thing by providing a richly detailed exposition of Krenov’s life and work in this book, James Krenov: Leave Fingerprints.

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Purchase your own copy of James Krenov: Leave Fingerprints

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