Blog RSS



Issue 9 T.O.C. – “A Useful Third Hand: Shop-made Viking Clamps” – Zachary Dillinger

“You can never have too many clamps,” the old adage goes. And it seems that this universal truth dates back well over a thousand years. Norse Vikings were a dominant force on both land and sea, and the majestic lines of their hand-hewn ships still inspire awe today. The construction of these vessels required great skill and mastery of tools (especially the axe) and raw materials, but it also necessitated the invention of a “third hand” to secure planks to the hull for riveting. The simple, elegant design of the Viking clamp was the result. 

Continue reading




Issue 9 T.O.C. – “Examination of an 1815-1830 New England “Salem-type” Rocking Chair”

For the Issue Nine examination, we’ll take a closer look at a well-preserved 19th-century New England classic. The Salem-type rocking chair was the forebear of the widely popular Boston rocker, and shows its Windsor roots proudly. Likely built in an early factory setting, this particular example features many interesting tool marks that shed light on the workflow of the maker, as well as an updated paint job as the Hitchcock-style black paint and bronze stenciling became popular. This chair has endured through many New England winters and still offers the best seat on a shady porch during a summer’s evening.

Continue reading



Issue 9 T.O.C. – "Iterative Design in Vernacular Workholding; or A Dumbhead’s Guide to Holding Stuff” – Joshua Klein

There is no more evocative symbol of vernacular woodworking than the humble shaving horse. Commonly found in barns or front porches in much of the Western world until quite recently, this foot-powered workholding vise allows for efficient use of the whole body in shaping, rounding, and peeling stock with a drawknife or spokeshave. 

Continue reading




Issue 9 T.O.C. – “Making an Icon Panel” Symeon von Donkelaar

This is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Nine. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come.  Please note that the subscription window which includes Issue Nine is open now through August 28th. ___________________________________   “Making an Icon Panel” – Symeon von Donkelaar How do you embody the sacred with common, everyday elements? Using carefully gathered materials – pigments of various hues from the earth, winter-harvested lumber long dried in the attic – author and iconographer Symeon van Donkelaar brings us through the process of creating religious icons, in a tradition that has been passed down through millennia.  “Traditional icons are...

Continue reading



Issue 9 T.O.C. – “The Sussex Chair” Abdollah Nafisi

In 2019, U.K.-based studio craftsman and author Abdollah Nafisi joined 5 other artisans in exploring the ideologies and innovations of the Arts & Crafts Movement for a BBC television series. For Issue Nine, Nafisi recounts his experience of recreating William Morris’ iconic Sussex chair for the series, utilizing only hand tools. 

Continue reading



“Apprenticeship: Greenwood” Now Available!

  Yeeesss!!! Mike’s new instructional video Apprenticeship: Greenwood is now in our store for immediate streaming and download! We are also offering a DVD version, but please note that those are still in production and will not be shipping for at least a few weeks. Mike’s been working his tail off on the production of this third installment in our Apprenticeship series for the past couple months, and the filming has taken place over the past few years. (We wanted to cover all four seasons.) He’s made an incredible film that we are delighted to be offering to you all. It’s not only a totally new type of content from us (working outdoors, bucksaws, shaving horses, using carving knives, steam bending,...

Continue reading



T-Shirts and Stickers Now in Stock!

The new t-shirts have just arrived, and this might be our favorite design yet! The front features a large ripsaw in action taken from Joseph Park’s 1908 book Educational Wood Working for School and Home. The back has a detail of the saw’s teeth and our long-standing motto, “We Plane. We Saw. We Conquer.” The last time we had a shirt with that phrase on it was a long time ago, and we’ve gotten numerous requests for it. We think it fits perfectly with this design. These unisex shirts are screen printed with water-based ink by Triple Stamp Press. They have a wonderfully soft vintage feel. The shirts are $25.00. Order yours here. This time, we’re going out on a limb in...

Continue reading



Reglazing Our Historic Windows

This spring and summer, it’s been all about windows around here. Mike spent several weeks dedicated to reglazing our woodshop sashes so that we can (finally) get those installed. We’ve already replaced the clear plastic over the openings on the south side once – don’t want to do that again! This month I dove headfirst into reglazing a pile of sashes for the cottage my wife and I are working to complete. The restoration process is pretty straightforward, but there are a lot to do. First, we gently chip out loose glazing with a putty knife, and use an infrared heat gun (a Speedheater Cobra) to soften stubborn bits. Once the glazing is removed, we pry out the glazing points...

Continue reading