Kelley Bagby

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

Oct 032010

Day two at the Woodworking In America conference was just as packed as Day one, including more classes with Roy Underhill, Ron Herman, Frank Klausz, Bob Lang, Jim Tolpin and George Walker. I realized about halfway through the day that I was going to miss out on taking a class with Michael Fortune…a very sad realization. I heard his classes were fantastic from the other folks at the conference.

As for the classes I did attend, they were just as good today as yesterday. Watching Roy Underhill and Frank Klausz banter back and forth while describing their individual methods for dovetailing drawers (pins or tails first??) was a treat, as was seeing Roy Underhill cutting tenons by hand.

Roy Underhill was standing ON the workbenches almost as much as he was standing OFF the workbenches.

Ron Herman is a fantastic presenter, and his class on shooting boards was as informative as it was hysterical. I pity the person in the audience who admitted to not owning a #4 or #5 handplane, because Ron had surely convinced him that it was a necessity by the end of the class. He also made the great point that every woodworker should be an amateur meteorologist, and “if the barometer is diving, clean up your shop instead of starting that glue-up job.”

Ron Herman showing off the uses of one of the many shooting boards he brought to class.

Jim Tolpin gave a great class on handplaning boards, with tips about making your own winding sticks, keeping the base of your plane well lubricated, (Keep a piece of camellia oil soaked carpet on a block on your bench, and then run your handplane through the carpet to lube it up whenever you need it! So simple!) and an easy-to-follow rundown of his method for planing a board from rough to smooth.

George Walker gave a master class on design using simple shapes and forms, and at least for this beginning woodworker, the world has started to break down into circles, squares and rectangles wherever I look now. George certainly helped me to see things that I hadn’t seen before, and I loved the comparisons of the flourishes at the top of a Queen Anne style highboy to the neck of a swan.

Overall this has been an amazing weekend, with great classes that worked at all levels. Even as a relative newcomer to woodworking, I found the topics easy to follow and inspiring for my own future woodworking plans, and I talked to many experienced woodworkers who were also excited about the tips and tricks they were learning. I credit the fantastic teachers as well as the warm and friendly group of woodworkers who attended the conference for this great experience. It was inspiring to see so many people gathered in one place who have this enthusiasm and passion for their craft.

I think Roy Underhill summed up this dedication to all things woodworking best when he said “Some people remember all the dirty parts in movies…well I remember all the woodworking parts.” Pretty sure after this weekend I will too, Roy.

Roy Underhill, reenacting a scene from his favorite woodworking/gladiator movie.

Oct 012010

Well, that was a packed day!

It started early, running into many fellow woodworkers in the hotel lobby, and directing instructor Ron Herman to the orange juice at the breakfast buffet. The excitement for the day was palpable in the air, and we were all getting fueled up for a long day of learning.

My class list included Sketchup with Bob Lang, Tenons on the Tablesaw with Glen Huey, Routers with Marc Adams, Router Planes with Chris Schwarz, Bowsaws with Roy Underhill and Dovetails with Frank Klausz. With so many options, I know that I was missing out on some great classes, and wished I could be in 6 places at once. And that’s not even mentioning the exhibit hall downstairs, featuring many exciting vendors and demonstrations, including Lie-Nielsen, Festool, Glen-Drake Toolworks, Epilog Lasers, Handcraft Woodworks and dozens of others. And to top it all off, the Sindelar Museum Traveling Roadshow made the trip down from Michigan and drove right into the convention center for all to see.

The tools in the Sindelar museum were intricate, strange and beautiful. Really amazing stuff and a definite highlight of the day.

A few other highlights:

Seeing the first tablesaw cut made at a WIA conference in Glen Huey’s Tenons on the Table Saw class.

Learning the history and details of ‘the Misunderstood Router’ in Marc Adams’ incredibly thorough class.

Hearing Chris Schwarz giddily discussing the historic use of the “Hag’s tooth” plane, one of the original versions of today’s router plane.

Getting to see Frank Klausz cut dovetails – there were only a few people in the class who hadn’t seen him demo it before but it was certainly an impressive thing to behold. Made me want to go try it at home.

Seeing Roy Underhill climb up on the bench to show the use of one of the bowsaws in his class. The picture shows him about to try to beat his previous 8 second record for sawing off a certain thickness. I’ll upload the video when we’ve got a better internet connection!

And finally, the keynote dinner, with a speech/roast/entertainment by Roy Underhill and Frank Klausz, and getting to hang out with the Lie-Nielsen folks.

Getting ready for another big day tomorrow!

Sep 302010

We are in Kentucky (right across the river from Cincinnati) attending Popular Woodworking’s Woodworking in America conference this weekend. We’re looking forward to an action-packed weekend of classes and opportunities to meet the woodworking celebrities we usually only see on TV and the internet!

Tomorrow includes classes with Chris Schwarz, Roy Underhill, Frank Klausz, and many other impressive woodworkers, all experts in their fields. In all of our spare time (actually whenever we can take a second away from the amazing instructional classes) we will be checking out the Marketplace, where more than 70 exhibitors will be showing off their wares. We already ran into the fine folks from Lie-Nielsen at our hotel…

Looks like it is going to be a great weekend – we’ll be blogging and tweeting so check back to see what else happens!

Sep 272010

Blending her talents as a master craftsperson and designer, Sabiha Mujtaba creates original custom wood furniture and art pieces. While adhering to the functional principles of furniture making, Sabiha’s primary focus is on the aesthetic relationship between rigid and flowing forms. Her work is influenced by her South Asian heritage and by her love of nature and organic forms.

Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, Sabiha was raised and educated in London, England. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1981 where she apprenticed at Sutherland Studios, a nationally renowned custom furniture studio. In 1986 she opened her own studio, Chrysalis Woodworks, which today operates from the basement garage of her home.

Sabiha’s work is part of several private collections and has been exhibited in various shows, galleries, museums and publications. She has also been a featured artist on the Discovery Channel’s “Lynette Jenning Designs”, a nationwide televised program on homes and interiors.

The Woodworker’s Journal eZine featured Sabiha’s work in their most recent issue.

Sign up for Sabiha’s upcoming Creative Furniture Design hands-on class!

Visit Sabiha’s website

Sep 162010
In early August, five hopeful woodworkers traveled to Highland Woodworking to make their Maloof Inspired Rocker with master chairmaker Charles Brock and his assistant Mark McGowan. They all came from different places but interest in learning new skills and building the rocker was their common reason for attending. A retired shop teacher/school administrator from California came to build a rocker for his first granddaughter and a young man from a nearby Atlanta neighborhood came to build a rocker for their first baby coming in December.

They spent seven days learning to sculpt the contours of a coopered seat; bending laminations on a glue form for rockers; cutting all the joinery using the SawStop table saw and fitting them precisely with hand tools and patience; band sawing and shaping all the parts with rasps and scrapers; and preparing the chair for fine finishing in their own shop back home. Their woodworking will never be the same after the intensive experience.

Check out the great slideshow from the class! 

Charles is opening his own facility for teaching Maloof-inspired furniture classes in Columbus, GA, about 100 miles from Atlanta. The link for his classes can be found at

Charles’ website is at

Sep 082010

Highland Woodworking wants to help you improve your hand tool collection. Enter our Lie-Nielsen sweepstakes for a chance to win an impressive selection of beautifully made Lie-Nielsen hand tools.

One winner will receive the following heirloom-quality hand tools:

# 60-1/2 Low Angle Adjustable Mouth Block Plane
# 4-1/2 Smooth Cast Iron Bench Plane
Low Angle Jack Plane with 3 extra cutters
# 7 Cast Iron Jointer Plane
Dovetail Saw
5 Piece Bevel Edged Socket Chisel Set

Don’t delay – get your entry in at today!

Sep 022010

The newest edition of Wood News is now available for your reading pleasure.

This month, our Down to Earth Woodworker, Steven Johnson, offers up a perspective on turning pro that most people probably haven’t considered. Customer Richard Rank tells the story of his family’s woodworking wishlist for him, and how he was able to check the first item off. Ed Grant’s inspiring shop and Ted Marrinan’s impressive first-time woodworking projects are featured in our Show Us Your Shop and Show Us Your Stuff columns. Highland Woodworking’s new and improved YouTube channel is up and running with many entertaining videos for you to watch. And the usual truckload of great deals on our products are there too, of course. Take a look at the September edition of Wood News right now!

And if you aren’t receiving Wood News yet, sign up today!