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Moulding Planes with Matt Bickford

Acanthus Workshop Woodworking SchoolThe time has come for my annual pilgrimage to The Acanthus Workshop, Chuck Bender’s school. I wish I could get up there more often, but stupid stuff like jobs, family, and dog walking seems to always get in the way. Every year when Chuck published his class list for the year it reminds me of when I was a kid and the JCPenny Christmas catalog would come out. I could spend hours looking through the toy section. Chuck’s class list is exactly the same. So knowing that I was new to my job and would be very busy at the lumberyard and running The Hand Tool School, I selected one of his supplemental classes that is only 2 days long. When I saw that Matt Bickford was coming down from New England to talk about moulding planes the decision was easy. Matt’s blog, Musings from Big Pink, is one of the best on the web these days. He gives step by step instructions on how to hand cut many different moulding profiles. Each post includes great graphics that make the process really idiot proof.

Wooden Moulding PlanesAs a marketer I can’t help but admire these posts as they inspire you to go out and try them and use his product, moulding planes. As a woodworker, I love the process and how easy it all seems when you break it down into simple steps. Now the real test is going from reading the blog post to at your workbench and having it work out the same. We all know that it never works out just the way the blog post is written.

This is where classroom instruction is so helpful. This will be my first time at Chuck’s school where he is not teaching. I imagine this means he will have more time to cause mischief while Matt teaches. It should be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to picking up some useful practices to improve my own moulding making abilities. I have limited exposure here really only making beads and the basic cove and ogee. More than individual profiles, I’m looking to learn Matt’s process and approach that I can apply to whatever profile I need and will help me be more efficient and fast.

As always you can count on me to share what I learn and give a full report afterwards.  Woodworking in America 2011An added bonus this year is I get to put on my official WIA correspondent hat and spend some time with Chuck talking about the lessons he is teaching this year at Woodworking In America. He is teaching 3 lessons this year and while there will be some how to topics, we are going to get the see more of Chuck Bender the furniture scholar. It will be a rare treat for anyone in attendance and I will be sharing more on that in this blog.

Please stay tuned.

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