Building Without a Plan

I am continuing to work through back issues of the magazine Woodwork and found this quote which I like: What I enjoy about my work is that because there's no sketch, you feel much freer about experimenting with where something might go, or how the thing might look. Michael Cooper in Hardly Davidson by David Colman, issue #49, page … Continue reading Building Without a Plan

A Single Defining Element

I found another good quote from the back issues of Woodwork. This one is from the article titled Judy Ditmer: The Power of Acceptance by Kerry Pierce in issue #45, from June 1997. It resonates with me, as this way of working is not unfamiliar to me. “‘Stephen Jay Gould, the archaeologist and teacher... discussed a … Continue reading A Single Defining Element

Good Tools Work for You, Not Against You

Nearly every tool is designed with compromises. In some cases, the compromise is made to increase the ease of production (and therefore lower cost). Other times, the compromise is made to make the tool more appealing to a broader audience. After using a tool for a while, these compromises become very clear. You'll think, "I … Continue reading Good Tools Work for You, Not Against You

Power Tools vs. Hand Tools, and When Can You Modify the Design?

I am continuing to work my way forwards through back issues of the since discontinued magazine Woodwork. If you are proficient with the tools at your disposal, the decision to use either hand tools or power tools can be based on pleasure or efficiency. I use a combination of hand and power tools, and my choice … Continue reading Power Tools vs. Hand Tools, and When Can You Modify the Design?

Defects Are Hints For Something Better

In all the creative work I have done with live-edge material, I have always looked at a cut section - where a limb was removed or the material cut to length - as a shortcoming. But recently, I had an epiphany. Like so many of my revelations, this one came while experimenting on a piece … Continue reading Defects Are Hints For Something Better

Willingness to Try

Unlike some, I don't shy away from trying techniques and processes that are new to me. If you rely on somebody to show you how to do something, you may learn how to perform that task proficiently but you may not ever know how to do it another way, or develop your own methods of … Continue reading Willingness to Try

Woodworking Digitally is More Convenient, But Not Better

What Do I Mean By "Woodworking Digitally"? First, let me define digital. I don’t exclusively mean the use of measuring tools with LCD screens. I mean the use of any numbers at all, whether Metric or Imperial, decimals or fractions. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: digital: of, relating to, or using calculation by numerical methods … Continue reading Woodworking Digitally is More Convenient, But Not Better

Mounting Shelves and Pictures on Walls

Since moving into our new house last year, I have hung dozens of pictures and shelves. Okay, maybe not dozens, but very likely a dozen. Every time, the challenges are the same: what is the best location, where are the studs, and is it level? While not immediately obvious, we always do reach a consensus … Continue reading Mounting Shelves and Pictures on Walls

The Maker, the Buyer, and the User

As a creator (in my case, of designs, artwork, furniture and writing primarily), it is necessary to understand to whom one is accountable. The maker doesn't want it, the buyer doesn't use it, and the user doesn't know they're using it. What is the object? This classic riddle illustrates the difference between three types of … Continue reading The Maker, the Buyer, and the User

Designing a Wall Shelf – Mounting Options

For a wall shelf, the best place to start is at the beginning - the wall. How will the shelf be mounted to the wall? Perhaps the biggest challenge in designing a successful wall shelf is attaching it to the wall strongly enough to support it and whatever it supports. The method of attachment will … Continue reading Designing a Wall Shelf – Mounting Options