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RWW 53 Acanthus Workshop Fundamentals 1 Part 1

Last month I took the Woodworking Fundamentals 1 class at The Acanthus Workshop up in central PA. It was a lot of fun and an eye opening experience. I was so excited when I left class for the day that I took down my thoughts while driving on my iphone voice recorder. So here it is now in all it’s glory. Keep in mind I was driving very rural roads so besides having to watch out for the occasional Amish horse drawn buggy I didn’t meet too much traffic. I was very safe and stopped and started this recording many times to deal with the act of driving safely. I’m sure the criticism will come anyway but I promise I was safe.

Here are my thoughts from the road.

Chuck has a great shop next to his house in an old barn. While he has some plans on the drawing board to expand he already has quite a bit of space. Here is a shot across his machine room. Check out the massive planer in the foreground.

Here is the infamous “aircraft carrier” jointer. This things takes more than 5 minutes just to wind down when you turn it off!

Here is the bench room.

To illustrate the simplicity philosophy that Chuck endorses here is a shot of his sharpening jig that he uses for hollow grinding an edge.

And here it is in action while he teaches a student how to grind an edge. Chuck lines up the bevel angle by eye and then drops the stick down to the floor where he plants his foot and holds the jig in place.

Many will shout and decry this method as inaccurate for bevel angles and the slight arc you may get to the edge by pivoting off a central point but all I can say is, look at Chuck’s body of work and ask yourself if he needs to be more accurate with his sharpening.

More to come on the second part of the class.

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