Article Index Peter Follansbee

Tool & Furniture Records

Nicholas Disbrowe, Samuel Sewall and chairs as corpse transportation. by Peter Follansbee pages 58-61 As I study 17th-century oak furniture, I come up with many dead ends. The surviving objects tell one part of the story, another view into this world is found in the written records of this period. The holy grail of...

peter follansbees shop

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...