Roman Workbenches Book

I received the letterpress edition of Chris Schwarz “Roman Workbenches” last week and I cannot keep my hands off it.  It is truly a work of art.  But not just art, it is tactile art.  Running my hands over the pages is something like running my hands over a freshly planed piece of maple.  It’s one of those tingly, shivery feeling producing kind of things.  It’s why I woodwork.  It’s why this book now takes a prominent place on my shelf.  Oh, and the content is pretty dang good too.  Now, time to stop this online nonsense and get to work building my own Roman workbench.  Progress blog posts to follow.  



Japanese Inspired Bed


This bedroom suite is housed at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  It is Asian inspired but was crafted by a furniture company in Cincinnati about 100 years ago.  The sleek lines but intricate detailing on the entire suite are simply beautiful.  I would love to know more history on these items and the company that produced it but there was little information available at the museum.  



Handworks 2017


Lincoln Knobs Woodworking will be attending Handworks this year.  This is the premier handtool woodworking event in the country so I encourage you to attend if able.  Admission is free and there will be tons of information to gather.  Please stop and say hello if you’re around.  See you there!

Forging a Classic


The history of the holdfast dates back hundreds of years, and in fact can be seen in frescos adorning ancient Roman art and architecture.  Its of little wonder this tool has survived for so long.  Its usefulness is hard to argue against once put to work.  There have been a myriad of designs and adornments over the centuries and this seemingly simple bent steel rod consistently makes its way onto workbenches around the globe.  It is, indeed, one of the woodworker’s best friends. 

It is because of the holdfast’s storied history I forged a pair this weekend with the help of my friend/mentor.  The process is fairly basic and even scrap metal can be used.  As you can see from the photo we re-purposed some old plain steel J-bolt anchors.  They aren’t pretty but they will serve well, cost nothing, and helped hone some basic blacksmithing principles.  I encourage you to take the plunge and fire up the forge.

Log Corner

We have deliberated for many months now and have gone back and forth on the style logs we will hew for our home.  We have now landed on a decision…square logs with dovetail corners.  While this is not the simplest type of log nor the simplest type of corners, to us they both are the most aesthetically pleasing and most functional.  We have always loved the look of the old square log pioneer cabins and, oh yeah, dovetail joints.  What else needs said, dovetail joints.  So there you have it, decision made.  Now…time to break out the axe.

Photo credit (Interwebs).  We don’t have our own photos to post yet as we haven’t begun construction.



Loving and Living Life


Because…why not?

Kicking back enjoying some good food cooked over an open fire.  There isn’t a better way to fuel a woodworker.  Taking a break from creating something with wood, to create something with wood (in this case, dinner), then getting back to creating something with wood.  I mean, is this real life?  Highly blessed today and always.


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A good design space is a necessity in a wood shop.  It is at the drafting table projects begin to take shape.  It is here an idea first begins to become reality in material form.  A lot of errors can be corrected in this phase and a lot of frustration and material saved as well.  As Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site.”  

Also a necessity, a deer head…got to have a deer head.


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It’s enjoyable to take a break from the shop from time to time and hike around the woods.  We are lucky to have lots of woodland to roam to clear our minds and decompress.  More often than not, it is during these times the best ideas come to mind.  It would do us all some good to slow down, get out in nature, and be still.