Roy Underhill has asked me to appear on “The Woodwright’s Shop” during the show’s upcoming 30th season. (Note to self: You can now stop squealing like a little girl.)
Between now and the time we tape the show sometime this summer or fall, there’s lots I have to do to prepare. Shave my back, attempt to stop looking like a frightened lab animal while appearing on television and , oh yes , decide on something to talk about.
That’s where you come in.
Underhill thought it would be fun to have the unwashed (yes, I can smell you from here) readers of this blog help decide on the show’s topic. Underhill and I kicked around a few ideas this week. Read them through and then vote for the one you like best using the polling widget below.
I cannot guarantee that the most popular topic will win. I’m still hoping we can do something on hand skills that even the CNC jockeys need (wiping, picking, flicking).
“The Evolution (and De-evolution) of Workbenches”
I’ll track the workbench form through history with the help of six cool miniature scale models of my favorite benches, starting with Egypt, moving through Rome and then Paris, with side trips to Scandinavia, England and America!
Then I’ll show how civilization reached the summit of workbench design in the 18th century and was then plunged back into the abyss by the Industrial Revolution and the dreaded “Euro-Bench.” Plus, details on what’s so awesome about ancient workbenches and how you can modify your modern bench to make it work like an old one.
“The 1839 Tool Kit”
We’ll take a trip back to explore the toolkit of young Thomas, the hero of the 1839 book “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker.” We’ll go over his complete tool kit , it’s tiny , and show how he was able to stretch this basic kit of tools to build some impressive casework. We’ll cut dados, tenons and dovetails using this simple set.
“Sawing With an English Accent”
We explore the “three classes” of sawcuts laid down by English craftsman Robert Wearing. For third-class sawcuts we’ll rip wood English-style and compare it to the French and Third-world styles. We’ll cut tenon cheeks using the second-class sawcut and show how the chisel is a saw’s best friend. And we’ll show how to saw your tenon shoulders without using a saw , the tricky first-class sawcut. Plus we’ll show how the French cheat on this joint.
- Christopher Schwarz