Article Index Peter Follansbee

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Arts & Mysteries: More Windows than Walls

Determining patterns of work in a new shop. by Peter Follansbee pages 58-60 I’m in the last stages of building my workshop. When I first planned the building, I knew where the workbench, lathe and tool chest would go, but all the minor details were left until the building was ready. Every workshop is...

Handmade in Herefordshire

A young maker works green wood with seasoned skill. by Peter Follansbee pgs. 44-47 Jazz is dead. God is dead. Baseball is dead. I remember when all these deaths and more were proclaimed, but they all have proven to be untrue. And in recent years more than once I have heard that woodworking is...

Wedged Sliding Mortise Gauge

Make your own copy of this precision vintage tool. by Peter Follansbee pgs. 58-60 Even after two years of working alone, I can still hear the visitors to my museum shop where I worked for 20 years: “My grandpa was a carpenter….” It’s a line I heard a lot. I used to wish for...

Shrink Pots: A Touch of ‘Magic’

These traditional Swedish cylindrical forms are an addictive pastime. by Peter Follansbee pgs. 22-23 I have too much to do. Building a shop by hand, in my spare time, is slow-going. Add in custom work, teaching (and the travel that goes with it) and spoon carving, and my days are pretty full. It’s a...

Arts & Mysteries: One Stick, All the Info

Measured drawings for some, story sticks for me (and others). by Peter Follansbee pgs. 58-61 I once had a job making a couple of wainscot chairs and chests for the National Park Service. After barely surviving the paperwork it took to get the job in the first place, I was then confronted with the...

Arts & Mysteries: Carpenters’ Work

Early modern records show guild regulations in London. by Peter Follansbee pages 58-61 Early 17th-century London tradesmen were protective about their work, carefully keeping an eye on any interlopers to their craft. A dispute arose in the early 1630s between London’s carpenters and joiners, and in my last column (June 2016, issue #225), I...

Arts & Mysteries: Joyners vs. Carpenters, 1631

Period woodworking trades in London were strictly regulated. by Peter Follansbee pages 58-60 I’ve temporarily put down my 5⁄16″ joiner’s mortising chisel in favor of a 2″ chisel for chopping carpenter’s mortises. I’m timber framing a workshop, and while whomping away on 2″-wide mortises, I have time to think. My principal work has always...

Arts & Mysteries: Give Me a Brake

Get some splitting leverage with this simple contraption. by Peter Follansbee pages 58-59 Reach for a froe, and you should immediately think, “Give me a brake.” The brake can be a constructed workholding device, or just a couple of logs. Its function is to trap your workpiece in such a way that you can...

Arts & Mysteries: Furniture – It’s Meant to be Used

In some contemporary households, 17th-century style storage prevails. by Peter Follansbee pages 58-59 I once sold a chair to a woman who later told me how much she loved it. “I never let anyone sit in it!” she exclaimed, apparently to show me how special it was to her. I told her that was...