Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sharing the Wealth - Part I

James and Jenny decided they wanted to work on some projects and I was glad to provide the shop and assistance. We’ve been having a great time of it!

Our first meeting was dinner and design. James decided to make a folding book stand and Jenny is making a necklace holder based on a shaker “key board” design. After dinner, we went out into the shop to get a little hands-on time with the tools and techniques they will be using.

Last night we were back at it, and the actual projects took flight! It was great getting to spend shop time with younger people (not that I'm old or anything...) interested in learning to use handtools.

Here they are laying-out their pieces. James is using squares and a knife to mark his pine board for the chiseling and sawing that will free the two interlocking parts of his book stand. Jenny is using a marking gauge to get ready for re-thicknessing her Doug Fir with a scrub plane.

Here Jenny is scrubbing down almost to the gauge mark, and then she will finish up with a jack plane.

James is chopping and paring the hinge joints in his white pine.

And we ended up the night with Jenny doing some resawing – something she needed to do to get two parts out of one, and a small preview of James’ next step.

We had a great time, and I can’t wait until our next evening in the shop!


  1. That's great! Hope to do this stuff with my kids as they age.

  2. Woodworking is usually such a solitary activity, it's exciting when you're able to work side by side with other woodworkers. Glad you had fun!

  3. Eric - Have you read Richard Starr's book Woodworking With Kids? If not, I highly recommend it. It is full of insight and ideas on how to meet the needs of young (some as young as second grade) woodworkers. It also has much to offer to the adult woodworker – particularly if you are interested in handtool use. I am pretty sure it is out of print (there may have even been two versions of it with slightly different titles) but Amazon has it used.

    VC – It has been fun! There are many aspects of this experience that I enjoy and am thankful for:

    I am happy to have created a place where interest has been stirred and enabled. I am thankful for my shop.

    I am happy to have actually traveled far enough in my journey that I can act as a guide for others who want to start their own journeys. It is very satisfying to realize that you really have been making progress all along – even when it doesn’t always feel like it. I am thankful for everyone from whom I have ever learned woodworking.

    Most of all, I am happy spend time with people I enjoy and experience their joy in learning new skills. Both James and Jenny are enthusiastic, fast learners, and seem very happy and proud of the progress they are making. It is fun energy to be around. I am thankful for family and friends.


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