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Mike: Our Friendly Voice

Mike and I first became close friends through the house project my wife and I began last summer. I hired him as an extra pair of hands and was blown away by his efficiency of work. He worked carefully and precisely at a rate not many could keep up with. That is not common. I knew that when the time came to hire someone on part time in my studio Mike was the very first person on my list. Since December last year, Mike has been working on projects with me to try and keep some furniture moving through my studio. This has worked out wonderfully. Not only is he a conscientious worker but he is also a good friend and...

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T-Shirts Back in Stock!

 For those of you that have tried to order an indigo shirt the past few weeks only to find your size out of stock, good news: they’re back. These shirts have been pretty popular with folks. Besides appreciating the saying “We Plane. We Saw. We Conquer.” on the back, customers have been giving feedback that they really love the soft vintage feel of the shirts. I don’t personally wear t-shirts much but these might convert me. It almost feels like an old worn pair of jeans. I called the printer, Shannon Brantley (IG: @nubthumb) to ask him, “Why do these feel so nice?” He said that they are 4.3 oz rather than the standard 6 oz weight and also because...

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The Best Kind of Review

  Courtesy: Oldwolf Workshop I have been following some of the buzz going around about M&T since its release. Although there are a few folks that were hoping the magazine would have been something other than what it is, I would have to say that 95% of what I’ve seen people saying is very positive. For that I am very grateful. There are also some official reviews that have been published. These are good for folks that have never heard of it and need an introduction. They assess the value of the publication and give a final thumbs up or thumbs down. I find they generally approach the task in a distanced and clinical way. At times, the legitimate desire...

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Yesterday at the Showcase

Spent yesterday at the Northeastern Woodworkers Showcase and, wow, what a blast. My presentations went well (with folks standing in back and out in the doorway) and the Mortise & Tenon booth was super busy all day long. I’ve had a great time chumming along with the other presenters, Garrett Hack, Jeff Miller, and Phil Lowe and a whole cadre of amazing other folks. As you can imagine, going out for beers with these guys is amazing. We’ve had some lively discussions/debates about authenticity of details in reproduction work versus a high level of refinement and premium stock choice. Our diverse furniture making objectives opened up a series of discussions related to craft work and the business of it. I’ve got some great stories to...

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Meet Me in Saratoga Springs This Weekend

As I’ve been putting together preparations for my presentations this weekend at the Northeastern Woodworker’s Association Annual Showcase, I’m rehearsing the building blocks of furniture conservation theory and practice. I’ve found that teaching a basic introduction to a topic is the real proving ground to see if you have a good grasp on it. This weekend, I have a one hour time slot to present the overarching framework of a profession that presumably none of the listeners are involved in. With this in mind, I always make it a point to try to teach in a way that not only intrigues the listeners but also equips them to learn more on their own. Questions of the “right” thing to do,...

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A New Chapter in Blogging

  This post is the beginning of a new chapter in my blogging. For years, I’ve blogged at The Workbench Diary sharing the ins and outs of my little conservation practice on the coast of Maine. I’ve regularly posted about furniture related research, preservation, and recreation with the occasional glimpse into happenings on my homestead including goats, chickens, gardens, etc. Even as Mortise & Tenon Magazine has been growing and blossoming far beyond what I ever envisioned, I’ve been maintaining (sort of) The Workbench Diary alongside. What has been happening lately is that because so much of my time has been spent on M&T it has naturally started to become the M&T blog. As I’ve been sharing these M&T-related blog...

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Respite

Late last week I finally got a two day break from this magazine craziness. Early Thursday morning my studio assistant Mike and I got on the road to head down to the Yale Furniture Study in New Haven, CT. Even though this was technically a “business” trip it was an immense “pleasure” to be away from my computer screen and M&T mailing responsibilities. This magazine has been a real stretch on my ability to keep it together while being pulled a million different directions by urgent matters. I survived a few months like that but I was beginning to reach a breaking point.This Yale trip was a totally different experience. Road tripping 6.5 hours down the coast with my good...

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2016 Events

Every year I have a number of lectures, presentations, and demonstrations booked. Here are the events for 2016. April 2nd – 3rd Northeastern Woodworkers Association Annual Showcase in Saratoga Springs, New YorkI will be presenting two workshops on both Saturday and Sunday. Between sessions, I will be at my booth with M&T merchandise talking about building furniture with hand tools and conserving our furniture heritage. Below are the workshops I will be presenting:1. “Conservation in Practice: Restoring Antique Furniture" – This workshop is a discussion of conservation theory, the relationship to “restoration”, determining “what to do” for a given project, and is a demonstration of executing some of the most common repairs without jeopardizing historic integrity. This is an introductory...

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It Was Never Supposed to Be Like This

The plan has been since last fall that I was going to dedicate the month of January to working on the magazine exclusively. I knew there was going to be a lot of editing and design work that I couldn’t get done in my “spare” time alone. Also, the public excitement about M&T really forced me to step up my game and make this thing as polished as I reasonably could achieve with the time and resources I had at hand. Giving M&T this concentrated January time worked out well with the exception of one thing: it’s still not over. As we were packing magazines and dropping off van load after van load at the Post Office last month, things...

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