Blogs to Read; Sites to Visit

I "borrowed" this picture of Mary May from the Lie-Nielsen web site (Robin, I hope you don't mind).

I “borrowed” this picture of Mary May from the Lie-Nielsen web site (Robin Macgregor, I do hope you’ll forgive me).

As I get ready to leave for the Lie-Nielsen Open House (which is this Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in Warren, Maine), I’m looking at the list of the many storied demonstrators who will be on hand.

I realize you may not be able to make it Down East this weekend, so check out the web sites – and in some cases, excellent blogs – of the folks who will be there. As for the bloggers noted below, most of them are on my feed now (the rest soon will be) – and they should be on yours, too!

Christian Becksvoort: http://www.chbecksvoort.com/ (I’m very excited to meet Christian; I’ve been admiring his work for years…in some other magazine ;-)

Peter Follansbee: Joiner’s Notes blog (my go-to blog for all things 17th-century woodworking and birdwatching…and his inaugural piece as our “official” Arts & Mysteries columnist is in our October issue.)

Christopher Schwarz: Lost Art Press blog and his Popular Woodworking Magazine blog (What can I say about this guy that I haven’t already said…except that I miss working with him every day?)

Matthew Bickford: Musing from Big Pink blog (I didn’t really understand moulding planes until I read Matt’s excellent book, “Mouldings in Practice”…and it’s in large part thanks to him that I have started to spiral down the moulding-plane acquisition rabbit hole.)

Mary May: Woodcarver Journeys blog (I am fascinated by Mary’s work – I mean, how many truly specialist woodworkers are there today? I’m guessing not many. Also, she worked on some of the carvings for the Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London; I’m in awe.)

Tico Vogt: Vogt Toolworks and his blog at Tico Vogt Furniture & Cabinetry (Tico’s “Super Chute” is an engineering marvel.)

Center for Furniture Craftmanship: Woodworking classes in a gorgeous setting, from community classes to studio fellowships (founder Peter Korn’s book, “Why We Make Things and Why It Matters” is an excellent and inspiring read.)

Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking: Woodworking (as well as blacksmithing and kayak-making) classes, for all skill levels. (I’ve heard stories –good only only, of course! – about founder Bob Van Dyke; I’m very much looking forward to meeting him and finding out if those stories are based in reality.)

The Apprenticeshop: This non-profit organization is one of the oldest traditional boat building schools in the country. (I live in Ohio, and I’ve never been on a sailboat. I just watched a sailing video on the school’s site…I need to load up on sunscreen and give that a try.)

Peter Galbert: Chair Notes blog (one of the Windsor chairmakers I read regularly…and he had some big news in Monday’s post; do give it a read.)

Bill Forbes: I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting Bill, but according to the LN site, he’s a dedicated customer and a passionate woodworker who demonstrates hand tools every year at the Windsor Fair.

Blackburn Tools: makers of 19th-century-style saws (that are a joy to use) and other fine hand tools (founder Isaac Smith’s daughter is one of my favorite young woodworkers – I took her upstairs at Woodworking in America last year to meet one of her idols, Roy Underhill – it was very cute indeed. Also, you’ll find a link on the Blackburn site to Isaac’s blog – some drool-worthy stuff there.)

Popular Woodworking Magazine: Editors’ Blog; you’re reading it now. I’ll be handing our free issues of PWM on Friday, and making a general nuisance of myself on Saturday (we’re splitting a booth with some other magazine…that I seem to have struck from this list. Huh. (Oh, I have a personal blog, too…but I warn you – it’s mostly about my kitchen and my cats, with a soupcon of Shakespeare and the occasional louche comment.)

Fine Woodworking magazine. (Despite the strike-through, I’m looking forward to meeting Matt Kenney…even though I’m ceding my bench to him for Saturday.)

Chappell Universal Squares & Rulers. Most of this company’s well-made tools are for timber framers and other large-scale builders. (I dream of owning/building a timer-frame house and/or workshop some day…in Maine. Or in Montana, where I’ll take up herding sheep and/or riding the range, weather permitting.) Founder Steve Chappell is also representing the Fox Maple School of Traditional Building (where I should absolutely take classes before attempting said house/workshop build.)

Patrick Sebrey. This Union, Maine, luthier specializes in custom instruments and music stands. (If he has a guitar on hand, I can drive away the crowd with my caterwauling…I know three, maybe four, chords, so I’m afraid it’s Bob Dylan songs only.)

Stim Wilcox. Stim is a bowmaker from Machiasport, Maine, and he makes what are called “selfbows.” (I will be sure to find out from the expert (him) exactly what that means. My experience with bows is limited to teaching archery at a summer camp 25 years ago, using cheap, plastic “bows.”)

Best Made Company. OK – I don’t know anything about this company that specializes in axes…but I just clicked through to their web site, where I read: “Be it Axe Restoration, Field Medicine, or Foraged Cocktail Making, our 36 White Street is homebase to all our workshops and learning experiences.” Foraged cocktails? Axes? Together?! Sold.

The Heritage School of Woodworking. I’m so very happy that I’ll get to see Frank Strazza, who will be on hand to represent this program that is part of the Homestead Heritage Traditional Crafts Village in Waco, Texas.

Hope to see some of you this weekend!

— Megan Fitzpatrick

4 thoughts on “Blogs to Read; Sites to Visit

  1. Bowyerboy

    A selfbow is a bow made from a single piece of wood. Composite bows are made up of multiple materials arranged in layers; typically some combination of wood, horn, sinew, antler, fiberglass, etc. I look forward to hearing about what kinds of woods he prefers for his bows.

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