Author Archives: literaryworkshop

How I Make a Spoon

From a tree to a spoon, this is how I make wooden cooking utensils. Continue reading

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Working with Weird, Local Woods (part 2)

In my last post, I described some of the working properties of two local woods that I have harvested over the last couple years: southern magnolia and crepe myrtle. In this post, I’ll describe three more species that have no … Continue reading

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Working with Weird, Local Woods (part 1)

I live in one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world–the Mobile-Tensaw Delta in southern Alabama. That means I have access to a very wide variety of tree species to work with. Many are non-native species, and most have … Continue reading

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Four Steps to Rust-Free Tools

Ever since the dawn of the Iron Age (whenever that was), rust has been the enemy of the woodworker. I live in the wettest region of the continental USA, so rust is ever present to me. Even though I store … Continue reading

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Planing Stop

To plane down a piece of wood by hand, you have to immobilize the wood. If the workpiece is small enough, it can be held in a bench vise. But if the workpiece is too wide or too long, it … Continue reading

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The Story of My Stanley # 4 1/2 Smoothing Plane

A week ago I wrote about my growing preference for lightweight tools instead of heavy ones. While writing that post, I remembered that I had never blogged about how I came to own my Stanley #4 1/2 smoothing plane. Here … Continue reading

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Loose the Weight

I used to prefer heavy tools. Now I don’t. It has taken me longer than it should to recognize that, given the choice between two tools of similar quality, I should choose the one that is lighter in weight. Let’s … Continue reading

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Crosses and Craftsmanship

When my church did some remodeling, they salvaged several painted pine boards and commissioned me to make some decorative crosses out of the wood. Some were gifts for volunteers; others were sold in a missions fundraiser. From a joinery point … Continue reading

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Tool Chest Guided Tour

Ten years ago, I was collecting hand tools at a rapid rate. I had most of them tucked into various crates and tool boxes, but others were just sitting on the benchtop because I had no better place to store … Continue reading

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When a Furniture Maker Buys Furniture

The other day I suddenly realized that, to my knowledge, I have never actually bought a piece of furniture. When we were newlyweds, my wife and I gladly accepted nearly any secondhand (or third- or fourth-hand) furniture that was offered … Continue reading

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