Kelley Bagby

I grew up around woodworking tools (see picture, age 4-5ish) but only recently started doing some of my own woodworking.

Jun 232017

This article first appeared in the December 2013 issue of The Highland Woodturner.

There was an accident involving a ceramic coffee container, which was a gift from my in-laws. More specifically, I accidentally dropped and shattered the lid of the container. After pondering this tragic accident, I realized I could turn a replacement lid.

CLICK HERE to read Curtis’s lid-turning process

CLICK HERE to take a look at the Highland Woodturner Archives

Apr 182017

Over the last year, we have featured some dream shops in Wood News. We recently collected a few from the archives, including Randy Cordle’s ‘minimalist shop’, Derik VanVleet’s ‘King in his Castle’ shop and more.

Take a look at these workshops for ideas and inspiration, or just for fun.

And to read about even more shops, click to check out our Shops Gallery.

If you would like to submit your shop, just SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800 x 600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

Sep 202016

In the latest episode of The Highland Woodworker, we’ve got a great tour of IWF 2016 with Chuck. He talks with many of the toolmakers who exhibited at the show and shows off some of the new tools that were featured.

We’ve also got an interview with Master woodworker Garrett Hack. Garrett talks about his woodworking history, shows us around his hand-built shop, and tells us about the encrypted masterpiece he is currently working on.

With all this and more, this episode should be a good one – take a look!

Sep 082016

In this month’s Wood News we featured Derik VanVleet’s woodworking shop. Derik says he fell into woodworking doing remodeling work on a house he bought, and the next thing he knew, he was a woodworker! Take a look at the pictures of his shop below, or click to learn more about Derik VanVleet’s shop.

To read about even more shops, click to check out our Shops Gallery.

If you would like to submit your shop, just SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800 x 600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

May 272016

Starrett tools have been known for their high level of precision and quality American-made tools since 1878. It is easy to look at their tools and wonder what makes them worth the price, and the answer to that question lies in the remarkable level of precision as well as the long life of these tools. Plan to hand your Starrett tools down to the next generation!

Starrett precision squares start square and accurate and stay that way, even after years of use. The graduations are precision machine marked – not stamped or printed on. They won’t wear off or become hard to read. The blade can be installed in the head in four orientations – so all four scales can be used in every application. In short, they’re just better than other combination squares.


The Double Squares come in 4″ and 6″ versions. Marc Spagnuolo has recommended the 4″ version as an “always-in-the-apron” favorite.


The Combination Squares are available in 4″, 6″, 12″ and 24″ as well as 150mm and 300mm sizes. While the 4″ and 6″ and 150mm models come only in the standard cast iron head with black wrinkle finish, the 12″ and 300mm sizes offer the option a set that includes a center head and a protractor head, a fitted case, a hardened steel square head and a gloss black finish. You can also purchase an additional 24″ blade to fit the 12″ square head to get more layout use out of your 12″ Combination Square.


And of course the 24″ Combination Square is excellent for your larger projects, such as working with giant redwoods.

The clamping mechanism that holds the rule to the square body is one of the really special aspects of the Starrett squares. On cheaper rules, this mechanism is not milled precisely and that lack of precision causes less-than-smooth operation, including difficulties inserting the blade into the head, sliding it back and forth, locking it down and releasing it. The ruler in a Starrett square always slides smoothly in and out but also locks down square.


Take a look at Matt Cremona’s tour of the Starrett squares to learn more about these precision tools.

Oct 022015
Every time I go to WIA, I am struck by the same things that make the show great – classes taught by master woodworkers in which you can ask questions directly to these folks you have idolized for years, a marketplace filled with beautifully made tools and the expert artisans who can show you the ins and outs of each tool while you stand at their booth, the camaraderie of your fellow woodworkers walking back and forth from class to marketplace and back again. And of course there are the other things you can count on, like the guys at the Lost Art Press booth consistently being the funniest people you will meet all year, like Roy Underhill and Megan Fitzpatrick taking over the loudspeakers at the Marketplace to tell people they are hungry for dinner so get the *bleep* out, like Scott Meek, Jason Thigpen, Anne Briggs Bohnett and so many others gathered in their booths chatting and smiling and welcoming to all.


chriskuehnBut one specific interaction really stuck out for me as an example of why you would want to attend Woodworking in America every year if you are a woodworker. I was standing at Chris Kuehn’s Sterling Toolworks booth, and he was talking to a woodworker who mentioned that he struggled with dovetails and needed to improve his sawing technique. Chris instructed him to come around to the inside of his booth, set a piece of wood in his vise with the endgrain up and pulled out a hand saw, and proceeded to provide him with a way forward to becoming a better sawyer.


Mark straight lines all the way down this 1×6 from right to left, said Chris, and then saw each of those lines. Once you’ve sawed all the way across that board, you are done for the day. If you can stay on the line by the end of the first day, you are ready to move on to the next exercise. If you are straying from the line, then cut off the top 2″ of the board to a clean part, and do another night of the same exercise. Within 3 nights, most people are clearing the lines at will (only kerfs show, no pencil lines). If you are not you have “saw issues” where it is not tracking correctly due to improper sharpening or you have body mechanic issues where you need feedback to adjust your body mechanics.
Once you have worked sawing straight vertically on command, it is time to work on a slope; use a dovetail marker or sliding bevel to mark diagonals from right to left all the way across your board, and saw each of those lines. Again, you are looking to track the line with your saw kerf so that you don’t see a line. You are gaining muscle memory by doing so many of these cuts all in a row. Do the same thing each day until you do it reliably. Then switch to the opposite angle. When you can cut to a line in these three instances, your dovetailing with be 1000% better. Not to mention you will be a much better hand sawyer!


Hearing Chris Kuehn talk to this burgeoning woodworker inspired me. It made me want to practice my sawing and take a better shot at good dovetails. And it made me understand, once again, the true value of attending an event like Woodworking in America. Not only are you in classes and a market filled with woodworking experts and a great selection of tools to work with, but those experts will freely and happily give you their knowledge, if you only stop to ask. I will be returning to Woodworking in America again, and I will make sure to gather my questions beforehand. And I will make sure to stop and ask.
Sep 172014

We were excited to see our friend Scott Meek in the WIA 2014 Marketplace, showing off his beautiful wood body planes. Take a look at Scott demonstrating one of his planes in the video below:

If you want to see this smooth planing action in person, or just meet an amazing toolmaker and a pretty cool guy, you have a couple of opportunities. Our One Day Sale is October 17th & 18th and Scott will be there creating more shavings. He will also be teaching a class on Making a Wooden Smoothing Plane at Highland in November.

And if you are already sold on Scott’s planes just from watching the video above, you should take a closer look at his Highland 35th Anniversary Limited Edition Smoothing Plane. Only a few more available!