In the course of working in the shop, I end up doing a lot of things that I think might be interesting to other woodworkers, so I’ll take a few pics and write something up. Sometimes it’s general ramblings and rants and sometimes much more specific, but my main goal is to try to do something educational in each blog. Hope you like it!

  • Allan Breed School of Woodworking class

Spring 2019 Woodworking Classes Recap

May 16th, 2019|

It’s been a pretty busy year so far in the teaching department. I started out in Williamsburg at the “Working Wood in the 18th Century” symposium with some lecturing and demonstrating on the subject of Rhode Island furniture makers. Had a great response and also [...]

How to Hold Woodworking Tools

February 11th, 2019|

Whether you’re sawing, planing or carving, the transfer of muscle power to the tool you’re using is accomplished by the way you are holding the tool. Hand position sounds like some esoteric study by an anatomist, but it’s extremely important when it comes to tool [...]

  • Classroom - Allan Breed School of Woodworking

What’s in a Class?

June 8th, 2018|

“I think I’m going to have to drop out of the class. This is way over my head”. This is what two students in a carving class once told me after seeing what the project was for the week. Admittedly, I had vaguely titled [...]

How to Measure a Ball and Claw Foot

May 14th, 2018|

When I'm carving a ball and claw foot, I use a gauge that includes all the info needed to carve the foot. The information is transferred to the gauge from an original or from a prototype that I’m satisfied with. Most feet I carve [...]

  • Custom Built Woodworking Plane

Make Your Own Woodworking Tools

March 26th, 2018|

As a woodworker there are a few times when you need something unusual or just in a hurry, and these are the times you need to just make tools for yourself. Here are some examples of tools I’ve made on the fly. This plane [...]

  • Six Legged Highboy - Legs

Six Legged Highboy – Part One

February 25th, 2018|

My wife has wanted a 6 legged William and Mary highboy forever. I am finally chipping away at it bit by bit. The process is interesting, so here is what I have so far.I started out by turning the six legs from some beautiful air [...]

  • Marking Gauges

A Broccoli Car

January 11th, 2018|

Do you have a special car that you bought that you only use to go out and buy broccoli? Do you have a special refrigerator at home only for the purpose of cooling the broccoli? Of course you don’t. That’s because any old car can [...]

  • wooden planes

There’s Something About Fill in The Blank

November 20th, 2017|

There’s something about wooden planes. There’s something about a really nice piece of clear pine. There’s something about riving out a beautiful piece of red oak. There’s something about turning a blank of year old air dried white birch. There’s something about a real plastered [...]

  • assorted scrapers for cabinetmaking

The Mighty Scraper

October 13th, 2017|

The basic scraper is a piece of metal, sharpened on the edges and held in the hand or in some sort of stock that creates a fence. That’s it. At its worst, the scraper is a hard to sharpen, hard to hold hand numbing [...]

  • How to Measure with Carving Tools 10

How to Measure with Carving Tools

September 15th, 2017|

There can be a lot of drawing involved in the carving process, as some guidelines are needed to set you off on the right track. When copying old work or designing new, the most efficient designs to carve will be ones where the shapes of [...]

  • Queen Anne Side Chairs for Dollhouse

Make Me a Little Furniture

August 20th, 2017|

I have never had the least interest in making tiny furniture. For the same amount of work I could make a big one of whatever Barbie sized piece it was. It snuck up on me. My best customer had given me an 18th century English [...]

  • Rococo Mirror Ruffle

Unraveling Rococo

August 14th, 2017|

The most familiar bunch of furniture that decorative arts people would know as "Chippendale" actually falls under the Rococo style. Chippendale, as well as his contemporaries Mathias Locke, Thomas Johnson and others, appropriated the frilly, organic forms that had been developed in France under the [...]

  • Newport Highboy

Merging Moldings

August 3rd, 2017|

This is one of those instances where you may not hear me say "Don't worry, we'll just get another piece of wood and fix it." Some operations are just high-risk, and this is one. Many Rhode Island chests have a curved pediment molding that merges [...]

  • Ball and Claw carving step seven

How to Think About Carving

July 28th, 2017|

Being able to rewind the clock and figure out what the first moves a carver made on any given project is tricky to do. The inclination of novices is to draw in the final cuts right away, when that is really the last 5%. The [...]

  • Frame Element - Step 5 of the Carving Process

General to Specific – The Carving Process

July 20th, 2017|

Most of the work in a carving is getting to the point where you can put in those last cuts that really make or break the appearance of the job. Before then, the work is in making decisions about sizes, shapes, locations, and which tool [...]

  • Dwarf Clock Case

A Short Tall Clock

June 10th, 2017|

Dwarf clock is the antiques biz name for a small version of a tall clock or grandfather clock. A good old one from the early 19th century can set you back a hundred thousand or so, so I’ve made a few for collectors who can’t [...]