Travel blogs #2: Paris National Conservatory of Arts and crafts - a lumber jerk in Paris

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Blog entry by mafe posted 12-21-2013 10:19 PM 4840 reads 5 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Saint Croix 2010 November Part 2 of Travel blogs series Part 3: Turkey adventures - a new dawn, a new day a new life »

Paris National Conservatory of Arts and crafts
a lumber jerk in Paris

Some of you know my French history.
Also that my wonderful Paris love story sadly ended.
Was actually back in Paris not so long ago, but Paris was under the dark, so I went back fast and have closed the book with peace in my mind, but a little sadness my heart.

But my love for Paris are still there, especially for the way the French celebrated the crafts, the love and respect they have as a historic tradition for the crafts.
They have managed to bring the crafts with them in to the academic world, to exhibit and celebrate – what in my country Denmark in the same period has become something people looked down at, but now slowly are starting to ask ‘where did it go’.
I hope and pry for a revolution in this, that more people will gain back the respect of the craft of the hand.
So with this post I celebrate the arts, crafts and send my love and thoughts to her who were the reason I got the chance to see all that; may your life be full of joy.

The pictures date back to 2011.

Ok, we start in the streets of Paris.

Ok, this is not wood working, but man is that a wonderful beast!

I can see me on this.

Nice a..

Like going into orbit.

Look up MaFe.
Look in the beautiful sky of Paris.

Perhaps this is more me…
At least you will get dry at work.
It’s BMW!

Ok this one was mine.
The one on the right…
The bicycle I mean.
It’s true!
For four years it brought me all over Paris.
Now it’s sold.

Looking back up.
This was where I was going.
Sorry for the little detour.
But this is really Paris!

This also…

Life just seems to run by.
We are too busy to even see the once suffering in front of us.
What are this world coming too?

We are still in Paris.
No shit!

I think he is trying to tell me something…
‘Get I to that museum MaFe’.
Ok, I’m going sorry, I get so easily distracted.

Now that’s a box!
I love it!
Actually a tabernacle.

Ok, here we are back n my little work shop.
Sorry I got lost again…
On my second travel to Paris, with the mother of my child, eleven years ago, I bought one of these in antique store and brought it back home to Copenhagen.
Ever since that day I have wanted to make one so it was really a eye opener, to kind of see it again.

What is it with the French and that wine!

Now that’s a chess table.

Miniature door model.

Here is something for the delicate turner.

A box is not just a box.

Not in France.

A real man need a place for his cigars.

Another scale model.

Who is the guy in the reflection…

Ahhh ok we are looking at the craft of frame making and adding gold leafs.
In French doreur.

What do you think of this!
I actually own one.

With this you can tell the time at any time of the year, like a sundial.

Old rulers.

Some funny boxes, I think for a kind of heat.

The art of measure.

Imagine all this was made by hand.
No cnc back then.

Clock box

Shape box.
This one is also on my list of want to make.

It’s absolutely amazing.

What do you think?

As an architect this goes straight to my heart.

Talk about creativity!


Simple joints become art.

Less simple also.

Patience must be the word.

On a curve.




Lovely crisp.

Try find the match.







Back to reality.

Now we get into the combination of wood and mechanics.
Making fabric.

Here it starts to become impressive.
even the wood becomes secondary.

Talk about woodworking.

Carpenters tools.
Look what amount of pride the owner must have had.

Ok a collection of carpenters tools…

Files and gouges.


Frame saw.
As simple as it gets.

Typical French hand plane shape.
I have a few my self, they are lovely to work with and make me think of a meeting between the Japanese and the German.

Less is more here.




Stairway to heaven.

Makes m think of Escher.

How they raised the Egyptian obelisk from Luxor, on Place de la Concorde, back in the days where wood workers were needed for that.

This one think many of you US guys will find fascinating.
I did.
This I a model from the workshop, where it was sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.


Notice how they slowly scale up.




Does it ring a bell here?
Shave sure know this type of bench!
The Roubo bench. (actually Roubo did only make a drawing of it, so it’s all wrong he gets the credit).


Now for the metal working.

Notice how they are hammered in shape.

Rivet holes.




Here we say goodbye to her.

Just another box…

Ok, not just.
The smallest most sexy dovetails I have ever seen.

Some apparatus…

It’s all in the details.

Bow lathe!
This I love.
It’s so simple you can piss a drawing of it in the snow.

The bow, laminated up.


Push board.

The heads and rest.



This must be tool porn.

Here a challenge for our wood turning friends.


Starting to sweat?

It gets worse!





Talk about ornaments.

Mechanic doll.

Scale model of lathe.
This one takes a helper to run the wheel I guess.

Look how beautiful the lathe are put into the table.

This one almost made me cry.
A grease box!

Scale model workshop.

Notice the side wise.



Just like the book binders.



Sharpening station.

Never get tied of all the details here.

This vice must be brilliant for leather working, perhaps a version could be made for saw sharpening.


Here the whole model.

Drawing of the old shops.

That’s what I call a sharpening stone.

So now we go to the aero part.


And I will say goodbye here, with the thoughts of me leaving Paris one last time few months back.

Thank you for joining me, those of you who had the patience to take the full tour, down my memory lane.

The best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

45 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20580 posts in 3127 days

#1 posted 12-21-2013 10:49 PM

Amazing, Mads. Thanks for the tour. that must have been great to go there as see all the first hand!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18283 posts in 3697 days

#2 posted 12-21-2013 10:50 PM

An amazing tour Mads, thanks. That tunring didn’t get worse, it went insane! ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View remdds's profile


29 posts in 2647 days

#3 posted 12-21-2013 10:51 PM

I realize that museums display the best of the best but that makes me want to burn
my projects and throw my tools in the river. Awesome pictures brother.

View ScaleShipWright's profile


253 posts in 1907 days

#4 posted 12-21-2013 11:50 PM

Très beau reportage. Merci beaucoup.

-- God exists... But relax, He's not you!

View woodcox's profile


2037 posts in 2033 days

#5 posted 12-22-2013 12:02 AM

Beautiful Mafe. Thank you.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View CL810's profile


3797 posts in 3009 days

#6 posted 12-22-2013 12:17 AM

That was great Mads! Thanks for posting those pics – I know that took a lot of time.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3903 days

#7 posted 12-22-2013 12:44 AM

Wow. What a tour.
I just got lost in it too.

Thanks Mads,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2819 days

#8 posted 12-22-2013 01:18 AM

Thanks Mads. Next time we’re in Paris at the same time we will have to do a better job of getting together.
Maybe we can blame it on Thomas …....... :-)

Great pictures, I agree about the way The French seem to carry a greater reverence for great craft.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View revieck's profile


263 posts in 3091 days

#9 posted 12-22-2013 01:46 AM

Loved your photo tour of Paris, Mads. Thanks for taking us along!

-- Don't be at the airport when your ship comes in!

View sras's profile


4805 posts in 3151 days

#10 posted 12-22-2013 02:13 AM

What a fun tour! Fascinating! Thank you for sharing your photos.

I think my favorite is the twin spiral staircase – I just need a reason to build one!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3586 days

#11 posted 12-22-2013 02:28 AM

Thanks for the tour of Paris Mads, at least the interesting parts :). The tool porn vice was my favorite!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 2968 days

#12 posted 12-22-2013 02:38 AM

Thank you Mads, just a fascinating tour of the Conservatory of Arts and crafts. I have been in Paris twice, and if ever again, you have identified my first destination!
Merry Christmas,

-- Smitty

View Randy_ATX's profile


879 posts in 2463 days

#13 posted 12-22-2013 02:43 AM

Thanks for the journey – for a few minutes I forgot I was in the states. :)

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View waho6o9's profile


8204 posts in 2598 days

#14 posted 12-22-2013 02:43 AM

Thanks Mads, a favorite for sure!

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2955 days

#15 posted 12-22-2013 03:20 AM

me want to visit…
me want it soon. Hopefully :)

Thanks Mafe, you are the best.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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