Lighting Matters

A&MRaking light through windows is the clear winner in a hand-tool shop.

by Peter Follansbee
page 60

In 2007, I was a speaker at Colonial Williamsburg’s Furniture Forum, and there I met Adam Cherubini. He was in costume in the parking lot, talking period furniture and tools to anyone who’d listen. If you know Adam, or have seen him in a presentation, then you know he breathes this stuff. Deeply.

As I started to find out about him, one thing I learned was that he wrote a column called “Arts & Mysteries” for this magazine. We crossed paths several times after that, and he got me connected to the magazine, suggesting I contact some guy named Chris something-or-other. During one of Adam’s sabbaticals, I even wrote a guest column. Then for a while Bob Rozaieski of the blog Logan Cabinet Shoppe filled in and wrote it. Now it’s my turn to take it for a while.

As I write this first column, I am in between workshops. For the past two months, my hands-on woodworking has mostly been splitting wood and spoon carving. But my mind is all over the place as I think about what I want in the next incarnation of my workshop.

As a hand-tool woodworker, I don’t need much in terms of space or equipment for a shop. I have a couple of benches and a pole lathe. Beyond that I need some room to store stock, patterns, tools, works-in-progress and not much else.

Readers of this magazine are quite familiar with some of the trends in woodworking today. “Roubo” benches, wooden-bodied planes, re-sawing by hand, carved decoration, inlay work, foot-powered lathes – all these things and more are being explored in tremendous detail by craftsmen and craftswomen both amateur and professional.

Period furniture continues to enthrall woodworkers and their customers even after all these years. They even have their own society: the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (members work with both hand and power tools).

But what one thing do we (I count myself among this “granfalloon”) mostly overlook? Lighting. Many of us are in workshops that we did not get to design in full.

Blog: Read Peter Follansbee’s blog.
To Buy:17th-Century New England Carving: Carving the S-Scroll (Lie-Nielsen).”
In Our Store:The Arts & Mysteries of Hand Tools”  on CD.

From the October 2014 issue, #213
Oct14cover150