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Choosing a Decent Vintage Plane

“When you’re looking to restore an antique plane for use, the good (and bad) news is that half the battle is often getting a good plane. Although you can bring most anything back into service, if you’ve secured a decent example, the restoration will be minimal.… Restorable examples can be obtained at antique stores, flea markets, tool swaps, or tool dealer websites. Be warned that they are usually pulled out of barns and attics, and often have the grime to prove it. In dimly lit antique stores, it can be hard to know which examples are worth investing time in and which are better used for stove fuel. There are a few simple things I look for, the first and...

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Now in the store: “A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity”

You’d be hard-pressed to find a work more influential in inspiring M&T’s values and philosophy than A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity, written by Bill Coperthwaite. And now, we’re delighted to announce we are offering this book in our store. Originally published in 2002 by Chelsea Green (White River Junction, VT), A Handmade Life brings its readers on a meandering path of exploration. Coperthwaite spent his life honing a habit of simplicity, learning new skills and gleaning what he could from the many cultures he experienced in his travels. He ventured around the world to teach yurt construction, and never failed to bring home some new insight or handmade object to contemplate. Coperthwaite was always asking questions: Why do we do things this...

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A Trail of Real Things in the World

  “It has become clear to me that perfection is not a product, it’s a process. Our journey toward perfection begins with a hint of an idea that will not let us go – perhaps a graceful curve that we saw once on an armoire or a chair that surprised us with its strength and perfect lines. Maybe it is a need for a place to put books or something upon which to write stories. Our creative spirits hover over that sort of chaos waiting for a spark, and when that spark comes we get to work on creating something new. Sometimes with great effort and a little luck, the results will bear faithful witness to our intentions, but even...

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Last Call to Subscribe for Issue Nine!

This is the last call to subscribe for Issue Nine!!! Tomorrow, Friday, August 28th, is the final day to order. After that, the subscription window for Issue Nine closes. If you’re not already subscribed, click here to subscribe to order your copy. (Please email us at info@mortiseandtenonmag.com if you'd like to inquire about you subscription status.) If you haven’t seen our Table of Contents blog posts, you can see the full series here. As always, our families thank you for your support of independent publishing! - Joshua  

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Podcast 20 - Working Wood Outside

Mortise & Tenon Magazine · 20 – Working Wood Outside   We recorded Episode 20 of the Mortise & Tenon Podcast last week and it is now launched! The summer has been about working outside for both of us, so we thought we’d talk about ways we’ve enjoyed doing just that. We have a deep passion to encourage folks to engage the natural world, and working wood is a powerful way to do just that. Whether you are growing veggies in the garden or walking in the woods, you know the power of being outside. Join us in this episode as we recount our experiences in the woods. How can you enjoy this big, beautiful world    Items Mentioned in this...

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Issue 9 T.O.C. – “The Scribes of Nature: Dendrochronology & the Deeper Story of Wooden Objects” – Michael Updegraff

Trees capture and store a remarkable amount of information as they grow. From seasonal variations in rainfall to larger climatic trends, growth rings reflect the many variables that influence a tree’s steady climb skyward. Chop that tree down, mill it into boards or hew it square, and use it to raise a barn or build a table, but that information remains –  safely stored away, until someone fluent in the language of trees can read it. 

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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. 

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