The old time woodshop journals

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Blog series by jjw5858 updated 04-16-2014 07:37 PM 48 parts 153841 reads 323 comments total

Part 1: A sunday afternoons pick for the shop!

05-06-2012 11:11 PM by jjw5858 | 3 comments »

Hey friends, hope all is well out there. For anyone that enjoys my type of woodwork and shop I thought that I would have a separate blog series for when I am not actually working on projects but finding cool picks, auction purchases or just adding to the environment inside my new shop space. So…..The old time woodshop journals begins so I at least can sort of look back and see the progress to my tool collections and woodshop madness…...bwaaaaah ha ha haaaaaawww…lol. I ...

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Part 2: From the shop to the fields to the bench

05-11-2012 09:38 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

In the ongoing appreciation of being so lucky to work with wood I thought a small field trip was in order. The trip was designed to get even more in contact with the reasons and values of what makes the fascination of wood work ever growing in my life. It is far too inviting to get lost in the tangle of parkway traffic, impatient attitudes and a breakneck pace that actually lends to a greater amount of stress than one person really would ever believe. How would I be able to have the proper...

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Part 3: A new treasure for the till!!

05-17-2012 09:57 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

The theme of this entire entry of the woodshop journals is pretty simple…......when at a local flea market or auction….....keep diggin’!!! You really never know what you will find….and for some very lucky reason friends I seem to find some very cool things when it comes to this old handtool stuff. This blog will not dissapoint for any of you rusty gold lovers of oldtime galootness….lol I had walked a good half hour….up one way….down the next…...

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Part 4: Sawdust sunday temple (Always stop and listen to the bells)

05-20-2012 08:26 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

This morning was a sunny and clear day out…....the kind of day that actually fit the season. Our earth is ever changing, it seems these days people all over the map are in store for surprises from mother nature, some scary and some just plain hard to figure out…lol. I was driving in my truck…it was crazy out, cars all over, people hustling and racing everywhere. It’s so hard not to find yourself becoming the same way…. impatient, hurried and a bit stressed. ...

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Part 5: An auction pick finds me an added education in handsaws

06-03-2012 11:20 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

Hello gang, thought I would write about a cool learning experience I had in an auction pick from this morning. One of the regular vendors has tagged me…..the saw ”Hey saw guy…I got one here..take a look”….lol. Now….here was the perfect moment for me to decline… big about this madness and say…oh no….I mean, I really need another handsaw? Well, I suppose all of you know the answer…......SURE I DO!.....LOL T...

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Part 6: Tool tote handtool picks & restorations have begun!

06-10-2012 10:37 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

Hey gang hope your weekend was enjoyable. It was a rather humid and….crowded day in these parts of NJ…LOL. But I was happy to get back home from the traffic way back in the woods and on route to my shop to fire up the wire wheel, WD-40 and spirit of better times and clean some nice auction finds for the tool tote! Let’s take a look at some of the pics! Pic 1-2: Found this very cool Disston keyhole saw in an old tool box at the auction this weekend….it was o...

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Part 7: Hidden handplane fortunes (Not going broke for shavings)

06-15-2012 09:49 PM by jjw5858 | 9 comments »

This particular blog goes out to the beginner woodoworking enthusiast as well as the experienced handplane guru who just enjoys looking at planes.I would fall in between the two catagories and more on the beginner end myself by far….lol. But this is something I mostly hope beginning wood workers that want to start building their own handtool kit will see and read. One handplane need not cost $200 dollars and up folks….lol. Lie Nielson makes top shelf tools no denying it…....

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Part 8: The Millers Falls, Stanley, and the 2 dollar saw

06-18-2012 11:04 PM by jjw5858 | 10 comments »

A wonderful day for a handplane… Ok, maybe more than one…they are like a favorite junkfood snack…one is never enough! I thought I would just mill around a bit in the old time woodshop….sometimes after a project I find it nice to take time and clean some past bought auction finds…..or clean up some messes here or there. Just more of my new approach to not rushing unmindfully straight on into the next idea. I find doing that confusing and a inn...

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Part 9: Tin cutters and old yankee revival!

06-19-2012 10:06 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

Well….... a cleaning we still go here at the old time woodshop. The oil and wire wheel spin on and try their best to revive some oldies but goodies. These particular two pieces were from the old tool box I got at the auction a while back, here is the link if you would like to view. Some really fine tin cutters and this great old Yankee Screwdriver were in great working shape…...but not so much great looking shape…lol. Let...

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Part 10: 3 dollars, 3 classic braces

06-23-2012 07:42 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

It was a humid mid morning…...I mean so humid that most of the outside auction tables were packing things up to head back home from all the uncomforable temperatures and lack of sales. As soon as we exited the truck my Father and I felt as if we were going into a suana, the small breezes were even warm….not the best weather for an energy filled pick…lol A few tables up on the left there were two very beat down and rusty braces on a table of assorted junk, I picked them up...

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Part 11: Transitional inspiration and a revival for a galoots tool tote

07-02-2012 10:52 PM by jjw5858 | 10 comments »

It’s something about the color of the aged wood mixed with black iron that gives it a feel of a time far gone and yet of great interest to the modern day handtool enthusiast. I think simply put…my love of traditional handtools and their uses are because in todays high tech modern society it has no business being conducted at all…lol. I love that fact…it’s a dinosaur and caveman pastime…and the masses of hurried gadget grabbers and stressed out overachiev...

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Part 12: Fourth of July shavings with the 71 and 48 Stanleys!

07-04-2012 09:10 PM by jjw5858 | 12 comments »

Wire wheel, wd-40, sandpaper and my hands filled with dirt, grease and hard work…...I truely get a chance to see and feel the contours of these wonderful crafted pieces…...I can’t help but to ask myself more than once…what happened to such well made and designed tools? The curves…the artwork, iron and wood highlighted sometimes with brass…...the time and quality these instruments were made with….I can only hope to give back half of the hardwork in ...

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Part 13: Country spoon carving

07-09-2012 11:43 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

Well it sure has been a heat wave over here on our side of the farm… oh man the daily temps in the high 90’s with a good dose of humidity to boot. I sure hope all of you are taking your woodwork slow and carefully if you are working outdoors or like me in a non air conditioned shop with fans only. I took a bit of a break for a few days to keep things cool…....literally…lol. My Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table is still ongoing with the top being worked on ...

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Part 14: Surprising sunday shaves GET SOLD!!!!

07-15-2012 09:50 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

On any given sunday, you just never know what lies in the back of an old van or pick up truck when it comes to digging out old hand tools at a flea market. I usuallly try to visit my friend Ralph once a month to see what tools he has come across in his picks. Ralph gets around here and there during the weeks….and I am very sure more than a few old New Jersey barns as well as other interesting places are where he acquires things like he was about to showcase for me today. Yes…...

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Part 15: Mr. Ludwigs key and the log cabin

07-24-2012 10:43 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

I always find it amazing that no matter what we plan on any given road in our lifetime there are no guarantees of where you will be or how it will work out…. only that you are here right now and alive. Finding the old angled key dowel the other day from that old trestle table (to help work on my table) woke up some thoughts and visions of many years gone by. I decided to get into my truck soon after that feeling with camera in pocket and take a few snapshots of the cabin where I r...

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Part 16: Thoughts without pictures

07-28-2012 10:04 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

The simple pleasures of enjoying my shop include the sounds of nature. I love to hear the birds talk their own language or maybe listen to a late afternoon breeze announcing it’s arrival and sending a small wave of coolness into the shop as if it were saying a friendly hello. The sound of the saw when it is freshly sharpened and greets the wood with that strong crisp command of a kerf to a clean cut. Looking at the handle when placing it down on my bench and having just a minute o...

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Part 17: Handtool finds and realizing the value of simplicity

07-29-2012 11:00 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

This was a cooler sunday morning, the sun took some time to hide away and let the clouds make for a mood that told me….it’s time to visit Ralph at the auction! I enjoy when the sun sleeps in on a sunday morning, and somehow for me every sunday has that certain aspect of relaxed and lazy with a touch of depression as well mixed in it. Not sure why or how that happens in my mind, but it seems to find a way of doing it. I guess that’s why when the penned Kriss Krosstofferson...

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Part 18: Lessons in spoonery!

08-01-2012 11:13 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

Hi gang, hope all is well out there! Well, as the sanding is getting underway for my trestle table I have really been learning more and enjoying this spoon carving craft. It really is a great way to refresh your outlook and break patterns that may become repetitive in the process of executing your creative ideas. I have enjoyed the hatchet work and learning just how much you can produce with 4-5 tools. For me…... a sloyd knife, smaller knife, hook knife, camp hatchet, and sp...

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Part 19: Rhythms of woodwork

08-02-2012 10:05 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

As I have stated a few times before I have only been at this wood working game for just over 2 years now. A few months into this journey I graduated up to some chisels and mallet simply trying to understand the elementary basics of paring down wood. I believe the first task was a very green horn lap joint followed by smashing a mortice Maybe smashing is the only way of the untrained hands as they yearn to make masterpieces, only while seeing them in our dreams until we can put as man...

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Part 20: From maple shaves to maul

08-08-2012 07:35 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

I decided to turn the shop inside out recently moving some things about and bringing out my shavehorse with a maple branch in hand. I have been yearning to get back on this horse needing to get some draw knife work in and let the shaves cover me with a wisdom that only nature hides inside itself. Handtool woodworking has some mysterious outlet of stress and satisfaction I gather only us newave hobbiest’s need to feed our efforts of taming its addicting applications. The drawing of th...

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Part 21: Technology and woodwork

08-15-2012 09:03 PM by jjw5858 | 10 comments »

Wether your shop is filled to the walls with the latest and fastest powered equipment or you may entertain the challenges of hand tool work, technology has definitely taken great force in our modern times for almost anything you can think of. Just the other evening I found myself being reminded of just how much information you can click and save on woodworking, music, history, etc….it is so present in our daily lives we all have become quite expected to be instantly served data of an...

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Part 22: Wonders of German Woodcraft!

08-20-2012 09:42 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

I always try to be as open as possible to anything that can jut a feeling of inspiration for my impulses of creativity. Recently I was lucky to catch a wonderful episode of Rick Steves. This particular trip he was in Germany and I caught the portion of the show where he was in Rothenburg at the St. James Church. Contained within this massive glorious structure was something that definitely made my jaw drop….the fantastic woodcarving held as the center piece of the church by Tilman Rieme...

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Part 23: Why I make spoons

08-22-2012 11:56 PM by jjw5858 | 5 comments »

The shop is filled with a wonderful strong scent of fresh Cherry wood and the mission is on to evolve a cut branch into a country spoon. Very interesting this country spoon making is, so many great “spoonists” with their different styles and approaches but I suppose my greatest influence so early on is Peter Follansbee. His episode this past season with Roy Underhill in The Woodrigh’ts Shop truely captured my creativity and fascination to have a go at this kind of work. If y...

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Part 24: Dominy inspirations and tales of a turnscrew

08-26-2012 09:29 PM by jjw5858 | 9 comments »

Recently I was lucky enough to purchase The Woodrights Shop Season 4 (1984) on DVD and was absolutely treated to a hand tool lovers dream watching the episode featuring the Dominy Workshop. The knowledge of this episode is truly a must see for any hand tool or machine enthusiast wether veteran or beginning in the craft. The show stars Charles Hummel who helped to restore and recreate the original Dominy workshop which now is on display at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, 5105 Kenn...

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Part 25: Practices in Spoonology: Part two

09-03-2012 10:26 PM by jjw5858 | 5 comments »

I have entered an important stage creating these smaller more swedish styled spoons. That stage is simply practice and seeing if I can produce a sufficient rhythmic pattern by exercising more than one roughed result. It’s best to let a green wood piece dry for anywhere up to a few days to 2 weeks before doing any serious finishing work so I thought this to be a good time to keep the ideas flowing and hone on beginners skills. It’s surely an exercise of challenge and chance when axing down ...

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Part 26: The last blogs forgotten

09-24-2012 07:26 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

Hey everyone, well I guess I was just plain not paying attention when posting my last blog explaining my rustic sassafras hiking stick and cherry spoon work. I totally forgot to add some pics in of these…lol. These would greatly add to the experience of my past Saturdays wood working session. So here they are! Pic 1: Some new fresh cherry ready for some spoon making! Pic 2: Roughed out blank ready for greater detail. Finished project can be found here: http://lumberjocks...

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Part 27: Spoon for a tote!

10-03-2012 10:20 PM by jjw5858 | 5 comments »

After the piles of shavings, sawdust and sweat has been had the broom sweeps in a satisfied rhythm. While my inner happy finality of the spoon makers tote still brings me good feelings of inspiration to hew and chop once more, I ponder over at some fresh cherry and the task takes a hold of my crazed passion. The urge is in my spirit for the creative kind of dance only a happy fool with his old hand tools knows how to do. Oh well could be worse….I could be an old fool with new cheap t...

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Part 28: A message from me to you!

10-04-2012 11:55 PM by jjw5858 | 2 comments »

Hello friends, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you very much for your encouragement and interest in my project and blog work. For me this is a real joy to share some simple pleasures of wood craft and the great outdoors as well. I am so happy that many of you get something positive from the blogs. I feel it is of great importance to keep the spirit of woodworking alive and well. If these blogs motivate, excite, or just get you wanting to start a project of your own then for me ...

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Part 29: Trip to simplicity

10-09-2012 10:08 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

Friday morning found our travels set upon faster paces than normal with New Jersey traffic in high demand and far from giving any neighboring driver a brake. For me and Jenn this is not really our favorite part of living in NJ but we make the best of where we are at and adapt to the madness as best as possible. Soon we were moving past the welcome to NY sign and the scenery was growing in color and in country as we progressed farther north to upstate. When possible it’s good to get away an...

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Part 30: The man on the mountain

10-10-2012 09:45 PM by jjw5858 | 3 comments »

Although I was glad to share my overall opinions and enjoyment of my journey north I thought it to be sort of empty of me if I forgot the man on the mountain. In past blog work you may have recalled a short mention of a man named Topper. Topper is Jenns dad and always supplying Jenn after a Thanksgiving or Christmas visit with some great cuts of hunted Venison to bring back for us to enjoy. I had never had the opportunity to actually go and meet him so this was a sure adventure to see j...

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Part 31: Learning more with different woods

10-15-2012 09:27 PM by jjw5858 | 3 comments »

There is so much enjoyment in the learning of different species of wood. Recently I was lucky enough to get some good advice from Peter Follansbee regarding spoon making and trying different woods. He said “Try anything (almost) – you get practice, you learn about timbers, and you get some good spoons, and some that might not hold up as well. Nothing to lose.” This is in fact a great opportunity to discover many new timbers and makes for an added education for the road of appreciating our ...

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Part 32: All the things of wood and wonder

10-23-2012 09:50 PM by jjw5858 | 4 comments »

The greatest expression of any art is the freedom of too many rules, regulations, or minds closed to new ideas. I continue on this journey of woodenware or treenware with extended spirited expectations. My additional study on the matter finds me in a revival of enthusiasm and fascination in the complexity of what reveals simple pleasures with trusted methods and tools. There is something so honest of this work in a modern world that can be so packed with bull pippy and boring commercial...

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Part 33: Return from the storm

11-02-2012 10:07 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

My words from my last project began with….. “Well friends I am here inland in NJ, they say the storm known as Hurricane Sandy is fast approaching us.” My friends I am here to write that it approached, and sadly this time she wasn’t a very kind lady at all to the tri-state area. For me and my family I am amazed, blessed and happy to report all is well and we have electric back as of yesterday morning. For millions the Jersey Shore has simply been blitzed, almost reminds me of being...

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Part 34: Back at the log

11-07-2012 10:05 PM by jjw5858 | 5 comments »

Barely a week past the misadventures and tragedy of hurricane Sandy and ole New Jeyyyyessssy has a new storm to deal with. Although much lighter than Sandy’s roar this experience provides snow mixed with freezing rain. The hell with it I say and time to get back out to the log and craft something from some of this large quantity of newly handsawn black cherry wood….(you know I was not going to let that sit too long…lol) A few hours here and there each afternoon and the end res...

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Part 35: From hearts, to trees, to hands

11-13-2012 09:31 PM by jjw5858 | 9 comments »

The latest snow storm fast approached and sadly it was a hellish mix of heavy wet snow just perfect for falling many limbs and trees that had been loosened up by hurricane sandy. As I posted my Kuksa blog I was warmed and inspired by all of my LJ friends but soon enough the sounds of various cracking branches giving forth from the weight of the wet snow was an alarming sound throughout my yard. One after another as the evening moved on. I tried to ignore such sounds but there was no way my...

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Part 36: Additional training in treenware

11-21-2012 10:48 PM by jjw5858 | 2 comments »

Like any process through the creation of wooden spoons this has enabled me to become more adept at understanding the process of making bowl shapes. This work is small, and I find it to be just the correct size for beginning to grow the skill. A spoon carved from pine: Hopefully as time goes on I will have more equipped larger timber, a hand adz and a bowl horse for correctly jigging in the blanks and working them to finality. For now this small piece of cherry wood presents a strong first ...

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Part 37: Woodworkers thoughts by way of world works

12-06-2012 10:43 PM by jjw5858 | 2 comments »

The birch wood I rescued was fast sawn and put to work from hatchet to knives. I eagerly progressed through this grain I had been longing to find shaping my first spoon of this species hoping the sheer victory of acquiring it may lead to something new and improved. I have been trying to look at more classic spoon designs, and realized my quest has been interrupted due to my lack of taking enough wood away…lol. I guess my fears were discovered as I tossed through my tote of past creat...

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Part 38: Woodworker's Revival

12-29-2012 10:11 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

Many times I ponder the current state of our lives on this pale blue dot better known as earth. I witness the more than horrible events of random shootings of children, firemen, and street kids in poor neighborhoods and sometimes think that perhaps my childhood was way too easy, maybe even a bit unrealistic. I have never been a member of any church or one set in stone belief, and I am fully accepting of anyone who believes full on in theirs as long as your not at my door pushing it on me. ...

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Part 39: Trials of the pine

02-04-2013 10:45 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

I was having a rather cold and uninteresting time trying to draw up plans for my recent Country carving throne project so I set my feet to the woods for some pine that may allow me to create a piece to use in my shop. I knew just off the edge of the woods where I could fetch a pretty good chunk for a rustic bench to use for various tasks from sawing, hewing, etc. I needed to connect with some outdoor timber work, get the blood flowing (it was a cold day!) and have some challenges to try and m...

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Part 40: Wandering in the woods

03-07-2013 11:00 PM by jjw5858 | 9 comments »

I try to get out to the local parks as much as possible to have a hike along the trails and enjoy the wilderness. As you may have noticed I also enjoy doing some timber work on the outskirts of my own woods around my work shop. Funny thing this past weekend, I had cabin fever of a different kind I suppose. I was in fact feeling cooped up in the house but the actual “cabin part” was revealed to me as I did something so easy to do yet something I had not done in a such long time. I walked alone...

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Part 41: Time

03-17-2013 09:20 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

Sitting inside the shop gazing at the shavings, I milled around recalling more projects and techniques to try out. I found myself looking at the hand planes displayed for future use and I began to think it is amazing how everything in our lives is connected with time. From the age in our own faces to the growth rings in our wood working grains time spins forward. Approaching the bench I found myself perhaps wasting time as I began dabbling more in debate versus positive production. Like an...

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Part 42: My website is complete!

04-04-2013 06:21 PM by jjw5858 | 11 comments »

Hello friends, I am proud to introduce you to my new website. It has taken me a little while to get it all together and I am learning as I go. I hope you may join me on here for my continued blog work and extras not shown on lumberjocks. My work on Lumberjocks will carry on and I will use both arenas to display my ideas, projects and share comments! This website will be informational (I hope), entertaining, as well as a store to sell my works or finds. The theme will continue to be t...

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Part 43: Across the Seas of Woodcraft!

05-01-2013 07:55 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

I was a very fortunate woodworker this week to receive correspondence from a special friend. Of course it is MADS! Mads for the few who may be unaware of his positive presence on lumberjocks is a fantastic woodworker, designer, and all around spiritual character. Basically he makes the entire experience of sharing on Lumberjocks all the more interesting and fun. As I opened the envelope there before me was a wonderful letter full of good things. A handmade Origami Crane…wow, I lov...

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Part 44: Back to the bench!

05-09-2013 08:59 PM by jjw5858 | 3 comments »

Since taking such an extended time learning many aspects of carving spoons from green timber, I began to miss the other parts of working wood. I missed the use of my old Stanleys, Disstons, and Millers Falls! Yeah….I am a hand tool galoot for sure….GALOOTS UNITE!...LOL. Of course while just starting to excel at carving, understanding the grips and sculpture of spoon making, it was easy to have a worry that my other skills were getting some rust as much as the tools began too!.....

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Part 45: Old treasures, green mountains and great fortunes.

09-23-2013 07:23 PM by jjw5858 | 10 comments »

Hello friends, I have been meaning to share some tales of a wonderful trip I took at the end of August to upstate NY. Finally I have the chance to get this story and the pictures uploaded. I hope you may enjoy this blog and I thank you for taking a moment and reading….here we go!.......... The road was a winding ride through the beautiful tall green trees of upstate NY. The mountains were a backdrop of a totally peaceful environment showing strength and inviting calm. Around this are...

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Part 46: A book worth more than just shavings

01-22-2014 10:00 PM by jjw5858 | 4 comments »

What book is that? Oh, it is the rereleased printing of Wille Sundqvist’s “Swedish Carving Techniques” For a few years now this fine book has become a sort of cult classic and being that this book was out of print the powers that be that did have it for sale were sure to put a hefty price tag on it. I have seen copies in various condition ranging anywhere from $150-$500…..yeah…..It pays to wait. Finally about 8 months or so back this book by popular demand ...

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Part 47: Resurrecting craft in a throw away society

02-04-2014 08:56 PM by jjw5858 | 12 comments »

Somehow things in our modern world have moved so fast that I think the craft, care and pride has become second to strictly making money off of dumbed down consumers. Tools, automobiles, furniture, so many things seem spit out of a robotic assembly line and tossed in our faces through constant visual media. The machine of the marketing world I think at most depends on our stressed out, overworked lifestyles to cave in and just except modern junk. It attempts to pacify our weary minds with f...

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Part 48: Tool pickin', cleaning and using!

04-16-2014 07:37 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

For the many of you out there that are always on the hunt for great hand tool buys at a Flea Market this one is for you. I would say this is also for the beginner or curious onlookers that may want to start using hand tools but may feel overwhelmed by the catalog prices of some of the leading brands that are making outstanding top quality tools. I know for myself at times I have to take a deep breath after drooling over a Lie Nielson catalog and seeing a hand plane upwards of 200-300 plus ...

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