? & A

My About page is a dry read and I would like to change that.  One idea I have is to write it in a Question & Answer format and that’s where I need your help.

Do you have any interesting questions for me?  (They don’t have to be woodworking related.)  Ever wonder who inspires me most, what my first job was, when I began woodworking, where I want to travel, why I cut my hair, or how I came to have three blogs and three Twitter accounts?

Leave your questions in the comments section.

17 thoughts on “? & A

    1. Hi Niel,

      My friend Mike Flaim has some experience with the #55 and may be able to help you. He wrote this post about the #55 he won at an auction, complete with all the cutters plus others the previous owner had made for it.

      You might also try asking for information on a forum, such as The Burl, which is hosted by none other than Mike Flaim.

      Lee Valley also sells a book on the plane which may be helpful.

      I hope one or both of these links are helpful to you.


    1. Dyami,

      That’s a very good question. I share my work as I progress hoping to catch the interest of anyone watching. People are not drawn to inactivity. I document the process and techniques for the benefit of followers as well as myself. It’s about sharing with the online community (both woodworkers and potential customers). Not everybody is interested in seeing how things are made, but those who are…


  1. I really enjoy your blog. I have slowly started my own. I closely followed your sculpted table build. How do you make yourself remember to keep taking pictures as you go? It always seems like I forget to take a picture that I think would be crucial to my blog post. Also, thanks for the inspiration. After watching your table build, watching a 5 1/2 hour Sam Maloof symposium, and staring a big slab in my shop for the last ten years, I finally came up with a design for a Maloof inspired desk.

    1. Hi Mike,

      I’m happy to hear that you enjoy my blog. I’ve added your blog to my RSS feed and will be watching for your desk build.

      My blogged Tweet-Alongs are based on Tweets, which are based on the photos I take. I’ve never had any trouble remembering to take photos along the way and if I’ve forgotten to take a photo, I also forgot that I forgot.


  2. Which woods are your favorite for sculpting? for carving? for leaving virtually untouched in a piece?

    You make bench dogs, but have no dog holes in your benches. Hmm; there’s a story there.

    Taylor you cut your hair.

    1. Paul-Marcel,

      Woods with exciting grain and wild colours are fun to carve, since the grain and colours emerge as the carving progresses. I work almost exclusively with domestic woods and black locust is one of my favourites. The grain is bold, as seen in Something Like That. Pacific yew is another amazing local wood which sometimes exhibits amazing colours. I’m in the sanding process of a yew sculpture with colours you wouldn’t believe! I don’t carve softer woods often as they don’t take the same level of polish as denser woods.

      I have been wanting to build a workbench since 2008 (maybe earlier) but haven’t found time. I have been making do and learning and figuring out alternate work-holding methods. To me, problem-solving is what woodworking is all about. Recently, I did bore some holes in my Tall Joinery Bench so I could take some product photos for Time Warp Tool Works.



  3. How did you come about having 23 blog hits from every living being on the planet in such a short amount of time?

    1. Martin,

      When I started buying things for my workshop, I started an expense log. The first thing I bought for my shop was a pencil sharpener from Staples for $1.99. Then I bought safety glasses, a screwdriver with interchangeable bits, and a metre stick. I already had a corded drill, jigsaw, circular saw and other tools from my dad. As with every purchase I’ve made, I bought these items because I felt that I had a use for them at the time.


  4. Chris, I am curious how long you have been at this. From your blog and twitter feed you are so incredible fast, it makes my head spin. Did you go to any woodworking school? What advice do you have for someone just starting out?

    Is the hair for Locks of Love?

    1. Mike,

      I checked my woodworking expense records and the first item I bought for my shop was in 2002. I had been doing some woodwork before that using tools belonging to my father and uncles, with their guidance and assistance. I am mostly “self-taught”, meaning that I learned from reading, talking to others, and lots of experience and experimenting. I took every woodworking class offered in my high school, but after the first year, I felt that my knowledge exceeded that of the shop teacher. (After the second year, the woodworking teacher retired and the automotive teacher stepped in to run the class. I did know more about woodworking than him.)

      For someone starting out, I would suggest that they not be afraid to experiment and not get caught up in trying to find the “right” or “best” way to do something and just find out what works, or doesn’t. Most importantly, be safe and have fun.

      Yes, I will donate my hair for Locks of Love.


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