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I have some bad news. Yesterday at the Showcase put on by the Northeastern Woodworkers Association, I fell in with the wrong sort of people , again.

I was browsing the booths on the show floor and chuckling at some amusing T-shirts for sale when I came face to face with that person. You know. The one we talked about that night in bed. I know I promised I wouldn’t get involved ever again. That I was going to block their e-mails. That I was committed to our marriage , growing old together and enjoying a comfortable retirement.

Now I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Because, dear wife, I fell into the clutches of Patrick Leach.

And I might as well say this now because you’ll eventually find out anyway: It’s actually worse than you probably suspect because Tony Murland was there as well.

And I touched his libella.

You might as well change all the credit card numbers before I plunge us into financial ruin during this tryst in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. For I cannot help but be seduced by the curvy brass and the perfectly horned wooden totes on the saws.

I tried to resist. I really did.

Your husband,

– Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 14 comments
  • Jonas Jensen

    Patrick’s Blood and Gore homepage is definitely one of the most interesting and informative pages on the Web. I would really like to meet him in person.

  • Alan McConnell

    I have been a power tool guy up until recently. I was going through some boxes of my grandfather’s old tools that have been unopened since his passing in 1987. I picked up his old Stanley-Bailey No. 3 smoothing plane, and something magical happened. My eyes glassed over, my mouth went dry, the room seemed to spin, and I was transported back to my childhood. There, I could see my grandfather using this old plane when I was a small child. I picked up a scrap of wood, and just for giggles, shaved off a slice of wood so thin, you could almost see through it. It is still incredibly sharp after all these years, and he probably last used it at least 10 years prior to his death. I now understand the pleasure of these wonderful old primitive tools and have since purchased for myself a couple of old Stanley-Bailey planes to restore to proper condition for use. I now receive Patrick Leach’s tool list via email, and there are some wonderful planes for sale there.

  • Christopher Schwarz

    Sorry. I was being sarcastic. We published plans for one in 2006:

    It’s on my list of stuff to build.

  • David Cockey

    My wife and I were at the NWA Showcase on Saturday, and shortly before closing time wandered by Tony and Patrick’s table. My wife spent more than me. She bought a very nice copper glue pot, big enough for a very large shop. I restrained myself to a Stanley 66 hand beader from Tony (with extra blades) and a Stanley 18 bevel gauge.

  • TSJones


    Not all of us have a libella.

  • Christopher Schwarz


    I didn’t get to ask Tony about the libella. The shiny brass on it is weird to my eye. I really need to make one. Now where would I get the plans?


  • AAAndrew

    There’s always a van down by the river. And therapy.

  • John Worth

    Very funny post, I think everyone with a hobby feels like this sometimes.

  • Bjenk

    Tell me Chris, how old is Tony’s Libella, what century? I’m dying to know this.

  • Bruce Jackson

    You know, Chris, when you get the jones for something, you should just roll your own. You understand, making your planes or libella instead of buying them is a bit like growing your own Mary Jane before rolling and toking. A little easier on the pocket book, I guarantee you. Not to mention a moment of serenity for your significant other.

  • John Cashman

    I’ve been to Patrick Leach’s house. His house. Try getting to sleep after that, if you can.

  • Christopher Schwarz

    That’s his libella.


  • Bjenk

    I love Tony Murland. I gave him a lot but he gave me more than I could ever hoped.

    Hey, is that a triangle? Where is it from?

  • Narayan

    Chris, you’re welcome to crash on my couch, man.


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