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 In Interviews

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In his element. Chris Vesper’s small shop and home are filled completely with old tools, his machinery and his book collection.

Chris Vesper strives for precision and perfection in toolmaking (and dancing).

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking

When it comes to settling the issue of who is the most dedicated toolmaker on the planet, Chris Vesper has the plumbing – or rather, the lack of it – as proof of his single-minded love of the craft.

Several years ago, Chris built his 12 x 8-meter shop and home on the land behind his parents’ house in rural Somerville, Australia. After carving out space for his extensive collection of machinery, a bedroom and kitchen, he had to make a choice: Should he make space for his tool collection or should he build a bathroom instead?

Smiling, Chris pulls open a huge metal drawer filled with the largest collection of unusual chipbreakers and irons I have ever seen. Above that drawer are stacks of vintage and rare hand tools he studies.


 

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