Don Weber- Bodger Underwater

Most days I’m envious of Don Weber’s shop in Paint Lick, Kentucky. It’s an old storefront in a quiet little town in a beautiful part of the country. Old workbenches and hand tools are right at home on the hardwood floors. Light streams in through the windows at the front, and Don’s forge and blacksmith shop are down the steps and out the back. It’s a great space and Don is one of our favorite author’s; a wealth of knowledge earned through years of study and work. Don last appeared in our pages with an article about building a Hayrake table in the February 2009 issue, and he has been featured on Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s Shop.

A few days ago heavy rains pushed a nearby creek over its banks, sending four and a half feet of water into Don’s shop. Along with the water came mud, trash and used oil from an auto repair shop across the street. The water receded but the mess remained, and Don is in the midst of a cleanup of Herculean proportions. I spoke with him this morning and found him working away, making progress as he puts his shop and life back together. The table saw is dried out and running, tools and benches are being cleaned. Ever the optimist, Don will clean the blacksmith shop last, telling me “all the oil is keeping my hammers from rusting”.

The biggest loss was to his extensive library of woodworking books, many of them rare and out of print. These were the most vulnerable items inside and Don is trying his best to salvage them while putting together a list of titles that he will need to replace. And of course, he is essentially out of business until everything is back in order. He earns his living making traditional items in wood and iron, and teaching these skills.

You can get in touch with Don through his website, Handcraft Woodworks, and he will be a part of our Woodworking in America Conference this October.

–Robert W. Lang

3 thoughts on “Don Weber- Bodger Underwater

  1. Darlene Archie

    I have never seen such awesome work. I will definitely keep Don’s current adventure in my prayers. As a child, my grandfather had a lot of tools in our basement, and so I have a special respect for woodworkers.

  2. Mike Flaim

    What a shame. I had the opportunity to take his blacksmith class last year and found Don to be a great instructor. Some of the books he showed me, I went out and bought used off the internet and are some of the best books I own.

    I was hoping to take another class this year but the stars never lined up. I even went to The Appalachian Festival at Coney Island last weekend to say hi but unfortunately he was not there presenting this year. God speed Don!

  3. Chuck Nickerson

    This is truely sad news. Hopefully the list of books that needs replacing can get out, and those of us who have learned from him can help fill in the gaps.

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