Catching up and first class

First off: sorry for the long hiatus! Back in November, I suffered a severe shoulder injury, and my woodworking wound up dead in the water for weeks. We thought I could get by without surgery, but alas… Twas not to be. So for the next several weeks, I’m going to shift the focus of the blog to tools and ideas I can write about with one arm in a brace.

Before surgery, the Roubo progressed – largely to the help of my friend Rafe. While waiting to be able to work, the whole (unmounted) top of the bench warped. We had to cut it into sections, joint and plane it, and reassemble it again. Then I had time to make the legs and stretchers, and mount the base. It’s actually starting to look like a bench. The top is mostly flattened, and the first mounting holes are cut for a Benchcrafted leg vise.

Which reminds me: I’ve decided on a Benchcrafted face vise, and a Veritas quick-release tail vise. Extravagant, but this bench is gonna rock. It’s short for a Roubo – about 6’6″ x 231/2″ but I can fit it into my workspace, and hang 24″ casework off the sides.

When my arm is back in the game, I’ll finish flattening the top, shelve the stretchers, and build the sliding deadman, face vise, and tail vise out of mesquite (just because it’s beautiful).

Upcoming Class

I’ve been invited to teach a class in western New York on July 2nd. The class will be on the advantages of adding hand tools to your power tool workshop – and will cover sharpening, chisels, planes, files, saws, safety, the joys of making your own tools, and whatever else we have time for. Teaching this class is an especially great honor for me, because it’s the first class being offered at the new Lawson Center of Boating Heritage on Chautauqua Lake. It will be split between lecture and demos, as my arm allows… But I promise you’ll get your money’s worth!

Hopefully, I’ll see some of you there. Next entry: more on drawboring, new tools, new saw till, and more. Be there!