Spoon carving

On Saturday, I took a spoon carving class at Tillers International in Scotts, MI.  The teacher, Paul Rutgers, is a professional spoon carver and decoy maker.  It was a thrill to learn from such an accomplishing craftsman.

In my research, I found this extremely interesting YouTube video of a gentleman making a spoon by splitting down a log.  I may have to try this.  Enjoy!

Spear and Jackson paring chisel

I won this 7/8" wide Spear and Jackson paring chisel on eBay and it just arrived.

.  It is 3/16" thick at the top of the blade, 7 1/2" tip to the bolster and has an oak handle.
The Spear and Jackson logo, complete with crown, is in clear and readable shape, as is the cast steel logo.

I need to flatten the back, regrind and hone the bevel, then replace the cracked handle.  I'll make a traditional 18th century octagonal handle as I think this is the most comfortable style of handle.  I'll post pics when its done.


Book Review: Technology's Past

I was going through an old box the other day. I was excited to find my copy of Technology's Past by Dennis Karwatka, which I thought had been stolen.  My grandfather was the technical editor for FDM Magazine and was always challenging me to read more, think clearer and problem-solve better.  To that end, for my birthday in 1998, he gave me this book. 

Technology's Past: America's Industrial Revolution and the People Who Delivered the Goods

The book tells the story of American inventors who identified problems, created solutions and marketed them to the public.  With a wide variety of subjects, from Ben Franklin to Ole Evinrude, Leroy Starrett to Henry Ford, you will find biographical information and details of their problem solving genius.  There are also special sections that discuss the history of Computers, Television, Manned Space Flight and Robotics.  Anyone who is interested in old technology, old patents or inventions will greatly enjoy this book. 

My grandfather passed away in 2001 but reading this book again reminded me of spending time in his shop figuring out how to fix problems, sharpening tools or building projects.  I highly encourage anyone who visits this site to read it, I guarantee you won't be sorry you did.


Ambidextrous woodworkers?

Gentle readers,

After a crazy bout of work-related travel and the Holidays, I'm back to my shop and the web.  I have a question for you all.  I'm an ambidextrous woodworker, meaning that I saw left handed but use planes right handed.  I wondered if there were any others like me.  If so, how do you deal with work holding? Do you set your bench up to accommodate your plane hand? Do you have more than one vise? I have only a leg vise on the left leg on my Roubo.  I was thinking about trying the vise on the right leg, just to see what it is like.