On the Merits of Planned Obsolescence

Hand Tool School Saw Bench

“Buy your last tool first!” “Overbuild it just in case” These are common sentiments we find in our little woodworking world. Some days I agree with them wholeheartedly, then the rest of the time I ignore them on purpose. That purpose may be laziness, but I prefer to think of it as a learning experience. […] Read more »

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workbench in center of shop

I’ve been living with my workbench smack in the middle of my shop for many years now. Shortly after I built it, I placed it up against the back wall under a window and I think it lasted a week there before I moved it to the center of the room. A good workbench will […] Read more »

Design Building Blocks

18th century decorative panel

I just returned from my annual pilgrimage down to Colonial Williamsburg. It is funny as I look over the pictures I took and as I compare them to photos taken from previous trips I am starting to see a shift in subject matter. In years past I took pictures of furniture I wanted to build. […] Read more »

Chips ‘n Tips 9 Choosing the Best Grain


I get a lot of questions along the line of “why doesn’t my furniture look as good as…”. Even with flawless execution and even attention to form a piece can fall short without attention paid to the wood grain. Imagine a frame and panel door with cathedral patterns in the rails and stiles and a […] Read more »

Hand Tool Projects for the Beginner

asian stool

Its Get Woodworking Week and time to think about the things that encourage others to get started with woodworking. I think working with hand tools can be a great place and a terrible place to start. To walk this fine line and land on the happy side of it, one needs to be VERY specific […] Read more »

A Book for Design Standards

dining table dimensions

Recently WoodTalk did an interview with Brandon Gore, judge from the TV design show “Framework”. There were a lot of gems in that 30 minutes but one that stuck with me the most was how without function furniture is art. Now there is nothing wrong with art, but when I’m tired after a long day […] Read more »