It is far easier to talk about than to do, but you have to get right in order to do good work. You have to think straight, to get your concentration right, to get your mind working with your hands and not against them. Now this can take hours for me some days before I finally get focused enough to work. But when I do then the work just flies and the time whizzes by and I get something done. It feels great. But it’s a matter of concentration and when we enter the shop our mind is in a hundr...
For those LJ members who are interested in learning about some of the “older” methods of woodworking, there are a number of free, downloadable, books on line at the following site. You can either read the book on line, or download a copy in a variety of formats such as Pdf. Lots of methods, and other information from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. http://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-books/wood-carving-books.html Enjoy.
Human all too human to quote Fred N. Yes we makers are too human. We’re too ready to find error in our work. The voice in our head keeps repeating: Not good enough, not perfect enough. We are always so ready to point out our mistakes, to find the tiniest of errors. When our client never sees them. When another maker doesn’t see them nor care. They see the whole, the entire piece and they’re delighted. So I say, keep your standards high but learn to forgive yourself for your errors that no ...
The measure of an eye, of a thumb extended, of one cubit is seen in the result and how well things fit. We all know it when we see it. One can sense the art in craftsmanship by simply looking at the product. Some things we have made work better for the eye and hand. It is not luck. It is the experience of your efforts showing. It is the mistakes you have made along the way and their lessons learned that now inhabit your work. Confidence is gained by your error and more importantly your und...
As a furniture maker of a few years time, I realized something important about my work. Oftentimes my clients wouldn’t notice the extra work I had put into pieces. Some times they noticed things that were just so automatic for me that I barely thought of them and they missed the really fine work I had done somewhere else! My realization was that I had to pick my moments on some pieces. Sometimes I needed to do the extra work to make it just so, whether or not the client would see it. Other...
Joinery is the art of knowing what wood to remove and what to leave behind. Reductive & simple, yet seductive in its intricacies balancing negative space with strength. Take too much wood away and you leave no strength. Take too little and you’ve compromised the tenon. You are the joinery designer/ engineer. There are several important details to know about wood and its properties. Double a board’s measure in height and it is twice as strong as doubling a board in its width. Hmm. Wood ...
Anxiety is something none of us like to admit we have from time to time. That could be because we don’t recognize it or understand it. Sometimes it comes out in the form of an angry outburst and we think, “Where did that come from?” It probably came from something your anxious about and don’t even realize it. Tomorrow morning I go into the hospital for my second Arterial Chemo Embolization. I had this done just four weeks ago and it was difficult to recover from. Us...
By Joshua Farnsworth (Writer at WoodAndShop.com) This above video is a continuation of my amazing recent visit, with my family, to the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia. Click here to see the previous video and photos. Steven Gallagher took time to give me a tour of his mid-19th Century tool chest. I love old tools, so this was like Christmas for me! We also had a really great time talking about handle making. I was surprised to see that he uses the same method...
By Joshua Farnsworth (Writer at WoodAndShop.com) My family and I recently visited one of my new favorite woodworking destinations: The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia (see the above video). We planned to stay 2 hours, but stayed 6. I loved my visit and the historical tools and furniture so much that I went back a week later to interview the head furniture makers. So I’ll be sharing several upcoming videos & photos from my two visits. Some of them will focus just on the...
By Joshua Farnsworth (Writer at WoodAndShop.com) In the above Video I show a visit that I made to the workshop of legendary guitar luthier and bluegrass musician, Wayne Henderson. Wayne’s shop and home sit along a quiet country rode in the rural village of Rugby, Virginia. Read my original article here. Wayne Henderson’s performance resume stretches from The White House to Carnegie Hall, and all the way to the Queen of England. He is perhaps even more well-known for his world-cl...
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