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New Course Now Available: “The Makers’ Marks: An In-depth Study of Handmade Furniture”

We are excited to announce that our latest production, The Makers’ Marks: An In-depth Study of Handmade Furniture, is now available for purchase. This online course is an ambitious investigation into a number of examples of chairs (Post-and-rung, Windsor, and stump chairs), tables (worktables, tea table, drop leaf), desks (slant-front and standing), a chest of drawers, and a hanging cupboard. It’s quite an assortment of workmanship that displays everything from refined precision to humble utilitarianism. This course covers the gamut. The course is the kind of thing we’ve hoped to do for a long time. Over the years of writing and teaching about authentic handwork, we’ve become convinced that people need to see it to really understand it. But without...

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Video: How to Restore a Wooden Handplane

  Over on the YouTube channel, we’ve put up the first installment of our new “Get to Work” video series where we show you the ins and outs of cleaning up and using antique hand tools. In this video, Joshua walks through selecting, repairing, and cleaning up a wooden-bodied handplane. Sometimes you come across a beat-up old plane in a box at a flea market or antique store and you wonder if it can be saved – this video will help answer that question. These tools are meant to be used, not to decorate the walls of restaurants. Let’s get them back in service. -Mike  

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Video: The Only Tools You Need

This final video in the “Setting Up Shop” video series brings it all together and shows you where we’re heading next. These old tools are not just for museums – they’re for making real shavings. Stay tuned.  

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Video: Why You Need Joinery Planes

This next installment in the “Setting Up Shop” video series takes a look at joinery planes: rabbet planes, dado planes, routers, and plow planes. Hand tool beginners often assume these are for specialty work, but they’re not. These are fundamental tools for enjoyable hand tool work.  

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Video: "The Hole History of Boring"

Today’s installment of the “Setting Up Shop” video series is utterly, completely, 100%, boring. And after watching it, we think you will agree. Since time immemorial, woodworkers have been seeking the best way to make a round hole in a piece of wood. From the use of friction, to Roman-era spoon bits, to modern auger and twist bits, Mike talks us through an introduction to the boring technology available to hand-tool woodworkers today. You know the drill – check it out, and leave any comments below.   

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Captivating Wood Science Videos

Wood is weird. Sometimes it seems like it has a mind of its own and surprises you with its behavior. There is mystique about particular species and their unique qualities, unparalleled by any other. What accounts for these peculiarities? Why is wood the way it is? I stumbled across a pile of excellent wood science videos the other day and thought they were worth sharing here. Dr. Callum Hill makes helpful use of a light board to put into plain English the nature of wood. Anyone who calls themselves a woodworker should understand at least some of this information. There are a ton of videos on their YouTube channel, but check out a few here: As they’ve put it, “The...

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Video: Hammers & Mallets

Just published a new video in our “Setting Up Shop” series. This time, Mike talks about smacky things: hammers, mallets, mauls, and even the polls of axes – tools far too often overlooked.  

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