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A screen capture from “Moment with a Master.”

Alf Sharp has an almost unparalleled woodworking resume. Like many of us, his first woodworking involved home repairs and remodeling, and he soon began doing more trim work and carpentry (with the occasional furniture commission). And, like many of us, he’s in large part self taught; he learned by doing, reading and asking questions. But unlike most of us, he developed his skills over the years to such an astounding level that he’s won the Cartouche Aware from the Society of American Period Furniture Makers, and has regular commissions for museums, historic homes and the most discerning of private customers.

He’s also among the nicest and funniest people I’ve met (also the tallest), inside woodworking and without. And he’s kicking my butt in Words with Friends at this very moment. (For the record, we’re about even in the overall win/loss columns…but I fear he’s about to pull ahead.)

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.08.52 PMAlf’s new step-by-step instructional video, “Create a Newport Tea Table,” is available to order in our store now (and will be shipping soon). On it, he shows you how to make a Goddard-style table with pierced ball-and-claw feet, undulating aprons and a one-piece sculpted top (for that last bit, you’ll want a shop apron and a dust mask…it’s crazy messy, but wholly effective).

Alf didn’t start out to become a renowned period furniture maker. His goal was to design and build contemporary pieces. He does that, too – but with work in the The Hermitage, the Tennessee State House and the Tennessee State Capitol, I think it’s fair to say he’s one of the best period makers of today.

And I shouldn’t reveal this because there’s no signed agreement…but there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to learn some of his methods in Kansas City in September. But for now, you can find out more about Alf’s history (he was in law school when he first took up woodworking!) in episode 5 of “The Highland Woodworker” – and of course, on his new video.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. It’s my turn in Words with Friends, but my only decent play is going to give Alf access to a triple word square. And he’s already ahead by 70 points. ARGGHH!!!!

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