Blog — Issue Eight RSS



Strange Times

This is a strange day for two reasons. After canceling the packing party because of the COVID-19 scenario, Mike and I (with help from Grace and our families) wrapped thousands of copies of Issue Eight in brown paper, adhered a wax-sealed trade card (done by my wife and me over many evenings), slid them into rigid mailers with a white pine plane shaving, and applied the postage. Considering that the printing of postage alone takes us 8-10 person-hours per issue, this special wrapping process is a monumental undertaking. We love every minute of it, and that’s why we’ve always invited 25 volunteers to help out for two days. But we knew this wrapping would soon be coming to an end...

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Last Day to Subscribe for Issue Eight!

  Issue Eight is on its way soon! We’re stoked about how this one turned out. Each issue, our printer has been fine-tuning their work to our specifications of premium paper choice, etc, and this one is absolutely gorgeous ­– they nailed it!   Just wait until you see Issue Eight in person! It’s just the kind of reading you need for your socially distanced time off. Tomorrow, Tuesday the 24th is the last day to subscribe to get a wrapped copy of Issue Eight!  Link to order here:  https://www.mortiseandtenonmag.com/collections/magazine/products/magazine-subscription   – Joshua  

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Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Manual Training: What it is and its Place in Education” – Joseph C. Park

Back around the turn of the 20th century, as the Industrial Revolution was reshaping western civilization and driving the working class away from farms and rural areas towards the city, many observers were growing concerned about the future of the traditions, values, and skills that had been employed for centuries. Although technology promised solutions for many of society’s problems, what was the cost in abandoning the lifeways that had allowed generations to thrive? What would happen to the moral character of a population that previously relied on hand skills and now looked to mechanization and infrastructure to meet its needs?   These questions were pondered by many visionaries who were troubled by the trends they saw, and they sought a...

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Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Tool Marks Tell Stories” – Michael Updegraff

How can we put together a well-rounded and detailed understanding of the techniques a cabinetmaker or chairmaker employed to create their wares centuries ago? We have resources such as journals, ledgers, and a few valuable firsthand accounts, but the best information might actually be written with steel on wood, rather than ink on paper.    Join author Michael Updegraff as he explores the fascinating world of tool marks – often intentionally sanded away on modern handmade furniture, but almost universally present on period pieces. From the scientific discipline of traceology (reading macroscopic markings on artifacts to glean new insight) to the experimental archaeology practiced at open-air and living history museums, Updegraff extols the value of learning how an operation was...

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Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Book Recommendation: Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings” – Michael Updegraff

Book Recommendation: Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings – Michael Updegraff   For the book recommendation in Issue Eight of M&T, reviewer Michael Updegraff takes a look at a valuable reference for any hand-tool user. He notes that he recently discovered this book on the shelves of two different woodworkers he greatly admires. If you’re familiar with Aldren Watson, you know that the books he’s written or illustrated are full of detailed, precise, and beautiful drawings. Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings continues in that vein, offering an encyclopedic look at a whole chest-full of tools, how they work, and how to use them efficiently.

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Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Subversive Woodwright: An Interview with Roy Underhill”

Subversive Woodwright: An Interview with Roy Underhill   For 40 years, audiences from around the world have received their first taste of hand-tool woodworking from one source – Roy Underhill, star of “The Woodwright’s Shop,” author of many books, first master housewright at Colonial Williamsburg, and instructor at The Woodwright’s School. For those who have seen him on TV or heard him in person, Underhill is a living legend.   Joshua and Mike had the opportunity to spend a few days visiting Roy at his home in North Carolina (a renovated cotton mill), sitting in on a class at his school, and talking about a wide range of topics. For Issue Eight, we’ll share the conversation, covering Roy’s background, the...

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Issue 8 T.O.C. – “The Legend of the Jimmy Possum Chair” – Mike Epworth

The Legend of the Jimmy Possum Chair – Mike Epworth   Over a century ago in rural Tasmania, there appeared a new design of vernacular chair. Seeming at first glance to draw from Irish or Windsor traditions, the chair utilized a novel construction in which the legs and outer back spindles ran continuously through the seat and arms, a configuration that tightened and strengthened every joint when sat upon.   But who made these chairs? Tales told of a man who lived outside town in a hollow tree, building chairs with simple tools and selling or trading them to area farmers and inns, but today there survive no concrete records of this man’s existence. He was known as Jimmy Possum....

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Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Crafting an Education: Recreating Henry David Thoreau’s Desk with Eleventh Graders" – Cameron Turner

This is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Eight. 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 Eight is open now through March 25th. ___________________________________     Crafting an Education: Recreating Henry David Thoreau’s Desk with Eleventh Graders – Cameron Turner High-school English class is a time often spent lost in the pages of Homer or Emerson, learning the use of metaphors and semicolons – about as cerebral and bookish as an educational pursuit can be. It’s miles away from the grit of the woodshop. But…what if it wasn’t? Author and educator Cameron...

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Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Examination: Grain-Painted Chest Over Drawers”

Examination: Grain-Painted Chest Over Drawers   Sometimes, you just get lucky. In Issue Eight, we will be examining an early-19th-century grain-painted chest over drawers that was found in a thrift shop at a bargain-basement price. As always, we will turn the examination piece inside-out and pore over it from every angle, gleaning as much as we can about how this chest was made. Its unique features (such grain painting all the way around, including the rough back boards), fine but irregular dovetails, and classic proportions make this a beautiful and informative exploration.

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Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Intermediate Technology in the Shop” – Harry Bryan

“Intermediate Technology in the Shop” – Harry Bryan   The classic Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher has been an inspiring read for generations who have sought a human-scale approach to economics. The concepts of wise, sustainable consumption of resources and an appropriate use of technology for the benefit of everyone hold broad appeal – but how might we apply these ideals in the workshop?

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