After a week of work (and a lot of fun) assisting Christopher Schwarz with his “Anarchist’s Tool Chest” class at Roy Underhill’s The Woodwright’s School, it was nice to slow down and spend some time with blacksmith/whitesmith Peter Ross before I made the 8.5-hour drive back to Cincinnati. Roy and Jane Underhill kindly offered me a room on the top floor of their lovely 1890s mill house for the week, and it was but a short drive down country lanes from there to get to Peter’s home and smithy (though of course I got lost, so it took me longer than it should have).
Peter and I talked about his thoughts on hand-tool work, period woodworking and smithing, his involvement in the upcoming edition on the Benjamin Seaton tool chest and more; you can read more about all of that (and see pictures of his work and one of his gorgeous drawings from the new Seaton book) in the November 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Peter and I also spent a lot of time in his toasty smithy (with an incredible end-grain tiled floor), where he showed me how he hand forges and finishes a pair of dividers. You can see for yourself, below.