Article Index Arts Mysteries

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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...

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Arts & Mysteries: A Disappearing Favorite

Will our grandchildren ever get to work with lightweight, versatile ash? by Peter Follansbee p. 50 My kids are often telling me that this or that toy is their favorite, but it seems that there are several that get this descriptor. Maybe they are rubbing off on me, but I find that I have...

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Arts & Mysteries: 21st-century Craft Education

Always remember where you (and your work) came from. by Peter Follansbee page 46 How we go about learning to build “period” furniture today is nothing like what the makers of our study pieces did. In the pre-Industrial era, apprenticeship was the principal method of learning any trade. In the English -speaking world, if...

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Arts & Mysteries: The Indispensable Mortise & Tenon

Drawbore it for a joint that will last centuries.  By Peter Follansbee pages 58-59 I once had a visitor to my shop remark that he’d like to see a book about all the types of joints that I use. I told him it’d be a pretty short book: One page for the rabbet joints I...

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Arts & Mysteries: Pre-anarchist’s Tool Chest

‘Thixtell?’ ‘Wymble?‘ Legal records reveal some curious period tools. by Peter Follansbee page 22 Centuries before we all read Christopher Schwarz’s “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” (Lost Art Press), craftsmen compiled lists of what they perceived as a basic set of tools for a young man starting his career in the woodworking trades. They just...

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Lighting Matters

Raking 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...

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Don’t be Such a Square

Make a 45° miter square with help from dividers and a straightedge. by Bob Rozaieski pages 58-50 The very first lesson any woodworker learns is that precise work requires square corners. We ensure that stock is square before cutting any joinery. We check to make sure that casework is square during assembly. Almost everything...

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Arts & Mysteries: Small-shop Efficiencies

Simplification and organization are the keys to success. by Bob Rozaieski pages 22-24 I’ve worked in a small workshop for many years now. Many, if not most woodworkers, would classify my 7' x 13' space more as a closet than a workshop. In fact, I have seen some master-suite walk-ins that were indeed larger than my shop. The...

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Arts & Mysteries: Choose Your Woods Wisely

Materials matter more when it comes to hand tools. by Bob Rozaieski pages 58-60 As a result of the inherent beauty in the material, for some of today’s woodworkers, visual appeal is the primary consideration in construction. That’s because most machines can more easily overcome a board’s physical properties than a person using hand tools. Modern machinery...