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Silence at the Job Site

It has been two days since our 35 dear new friends left, and I can still hardly believe it happened. If it wasn’t for the standing frame and the scattered hewing stations with their empty bunks and mounds of woodchips, I’d be tempted to believe this was all a dream. But as I’ve thought about it further, I’ve realized that this was a dream – it was exactly the kind of convivial hand-tool project that I’ve longed to host. Over the years, I’ve had different ideas of ways to bring people into our space to work together on something beautiful. I see our workshops as part of that vision, but I’ve known there was something even bigger out there – I...

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Come Visit Carpenters Without Borders in Sedgwick, Maine

Between Friday, August 23rd to Saturday, August 31st, a team of 35 professional timber framers from France, England, Slovenia, Estonia, and the US who specialize in historic hand-tool methods will be constructing a 16’ x 26’ timber frame outbuilding/blacksmith shop adjacent to the Mortise & Tenon Magazine woodshop in Sedgwick, Maine. This team, Charpentiers sans Frontiers (Carpenters Without Borders), is led by François Calame, ethnologist in the Ministry of Culture in Normandy. Usually they are restoring medieval masterpieces like Château d'Harcourt, Château de Gaillon, or a 1491 barn in Alcou. CSF does at least one of these events per year and M&T is grateful to be chosen for their 2019 project. François and his crew are supportive of the efforts of M&T to promote human-powered, pre-industrial craftsmanship...

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Revealing Our New Timber Frame Project

OK. I’ve kept this a secret for four months, but now I’m finally spilling the beans… During the last week of August, a French team of historic timber framers named Charpentiers Sans Frontières (CSF) “Carpenters Without Borders” will be flying out to our place in Maine to spend a week hewing, joining, and raising a 16’ x 26’ timber frame for us. This outbuilding adjacent to our woodshop will be part woodshed, part storage building, and part blacksmith shop. This team of incredible carpenters, led by François Calame (ethnologist in the Ministry of Culture in Normandy), was written about by Will Lisak in M&T Issue Four as a reflection on his experience with them at their project in Romania. The entire frame...

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