Good Work – The Chairmaking Life of John Brown is a book that, when I first laid my hands on it, I was not so sure I would want to read. Or more to the point, I was pretty sure it was a book I could let pass me by. After all, I had just read another book about an English woodworking magazine columnist and more of the same did not seem especially appealing. But I picked up this book somewhat reluctantly, perhaps because it’s a beautiful book, and then something unexpected happened. I got hooked, on the book, yes, but especially on John Brown the man.
My new 4′ x 8′ Bora Centipede needed a workout, so I stretched it to its limits and went looking for a sheet of plywood to place on top. What? What kind of woodshop doesn’t have a full sheet of plywood? That’s OK, a partial sheet will give me all the flat surface I need.
Click here to read the rest of Jim’s article on using the Bora Centipede in the Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.
In the September 2020 episode of The Highland Woodworker, Chuck looks at the Festool Kapex KS 120 Miter Saw with Stand and Extensions. He demonstrates setup, explains the Miterfast, built-in holddowns and the UG Mobile Miter Station, just a few of the details that would make the Kapex a great addition to any workshop.
Take a look at the video below and see if this Miter Saw setup is the right one for your shop!
In the October 2020 issue of Wood News, Bob Rummer unpacks a collection of shop-made tools from his Great Grandpa’s toolbox, and it led him to reflect on the connection between toolmaking and woodworking.
One reason we make tools is to meet the special demands of unique projects. As a luthier, Grandpa Burnham made a lot of scrapers. Hacksaw blades seldom went in the trash, they were cut up and turned into tiny knives and scrapers for particular tasks. He modified his drill press to rough out body blanks and to precisely gauge the thickness of complex curves. In his shop there were drawers full of custom clamps made from dowels and bolts (you can never have too many clamps) as well as a special jig for re-hairing bows. In many cases these were not tools you could go buy at the store. Grandpa had an intimate knowledge of the woodworking tasks involved in creating instruments. He also had a knowledge of the principles of tool design and function. His specialized tools made his work more efficient and precise.
Click here to read the rest of Bob’s article on the making your own woodworking tools.
We at Highland were very proud to recently be featured in Nancy Hiller’s “Little Acorns” profiles on the Lost Art Press blog. A lot has happened in the past 40+ years and Nancy did a great job capturing some of our favorite stories, including a dinner with President Jimmy Carter, Roy Underhill’s infamous fried chicken SawStop demonstration, and much more.
Take a look at Nancy’s article and learn a little of the history of Highland Woodworking.
In the September 2020 issue of Wood News, Marshall Knox describes his own woodworking journey, and offers some ideas for how to improve your own woodworking capabilities.
In years past, people acquired skills through a slow process of apprenticeship. Long hours under the watchful eye of a master craftsman. Today some may still follow that path though traditional apprenticeships are not as plentiful. But there are many other paths…