Wednesday, July 27, 2016

today in the woodshop.

I have started a couple more boxes for guitars and am making a full size neck for a six string. If you can make a 4 string or a 3 string, adding two or three more strings is easy. I am also getting ready for my class at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts in two weeks, and beginning to plan for the coming school year.

Readers interested in learning hand-tool woodworking may need to look no further than the turn of the 19th century for all the information required. The Course of Study, Manual Arts Training Department, Chicago Public Schools, 1899-1900, offers a full and useful range of knowledge for teachers as well as for those who would simply like to learn on their own. It provides information on over 100 different species of wood, but also information that many woodworkers no longer know. For example, the various types of teeth on saws, and about saw set, and the like.

One of the great things about woodworking is that through it we cultivate both intellect and skill. For those who would like neither, tools are being designed that remove the necessity of both. For instance, Wired magazine this month has a hand held router that adjusts itself for the inexact motions of the operator. Instead of watching your work, you watch the screen on the router as you move it through inexact motions and the router adjusts itself to a perfect cut. I am certain that many woodworkers will be lined up to buy skills that they've not earned through practice and application of mind. For the rest of us, old books from the tail end of the 19th century may suffice. 

The image above is of the Gamble House in Pasadena.  I was there on Saturday to see the lovely woodwork. Interior photos were not allowed, but there are many images to be enjoyed on the web and in books.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the love of learning likewise.


  1. Come to Buffalo. We have five Frank Lloyd Wright houses with woodwork and windows that would overhwelm you.

  2. We have a FLW house featured at the Crystal Bridges Museum that they had moved to Arkansas from it's original site. I've not been to see it yet, even though it was over 2 years in disassembly and reconstruction. The only FLW house I've been in was Falling Waters. But they are lovely.