Thursday, January 7, 2010

Around the Woodshop 2010

Wood Turnings, Web Sites and Low-Angle Block Planes

The first week of 2010 has come and gone and I'm happy to say that the world didn't end. Whew~ Happy new year indeed!
Things around the wood shop have been as busy as ever with cut lists being assembled and designs coming out of the wood work. I'm working on a few new commissions and have been ordering some wood and finalising my designs. It's been an exciting few weeks and I can't wait to start making some shavings!
In my last post I featured my new treadle lathe from CME Handworks Inc. in Palos Heights, IL. and I'm delighted to say that I've been turning away. Just with some practice cuts, getting the feel and the rhythm of the process I've been walking around with a bit of a limp lately! The lathe is quite comfortable and no issues at all to report.
I'll post some new information on the lathe again in the coming weeks but wanted to let you know that I've asked a close friend of mine from Cape Breton to write some articles on wood turning for me. My first official 'guest blogger' is Mike Morrison and he's just finishing off his first article for you. Mike and I have been playing music together for almost 20 years (jumpins' how time flies) and he too is a very accomplished craftsman. He builds custom furniture and turns beautiful wood projects so instead of me trying to 'fake' my way through the learning curves of wood turning, I've asked him to share some knowledge. When people search the internet looking for information on wood turning they'll no doubt stumble over here and I wanted to be able to present some viable and accurate information about getting started in wood turning. I'll share with you my own developments as I go but felt there should be content here from someone with experience in the field. I hate it when I visit wood working sites and watch some guy pretend to know what he's doing with a certain hand tool or technique. I don't ever want to be 'that guy' so that's why I've asked an experienced turner to share some thoughts.
Mikes first post should be up in a day or two so stay tuned for that.

In other 'wood shop news' I just finished an article for Canadian Woodworking Magazine- I reviewed four low-angle block planes and if you're interested in finding out my thoughts on them you'll have to pick up issue #65, the april/may issue. The four planes reviewed were the new Stanley SW 60 1/2, the Veritas low-angle block plane, the 60 1/2 by Lie Nielsen and the new DX60 by Veritas. It was fun 'test driving' these tools and you may or may not be surprised at what I found.
Besides that, the new web site ( ) is almost complete and will be launched very soon. There you'll have access to all of my blogs with additional content from Made by Hand. Expanded galleries, full Sketch-up models and free down-loadable bench plans of all six projects will be available. We'll also have a Readers Gallery where people can share pictures and thoughts of their own on the book projects.
I'm looking forward to another busy year and I hope you'll be a part of it to share and enjoy all of these things working wood.


  1. Tom, all the best to you in 2010. Sounds like you're off to a good start! I've been meaning to write to tell you how much I'm enjoying your book. The projects are great fun, there are lots of helpful techniques, and the text is warm and sincere. Well done!

  2. Thanks Kari-
    all the best to you as well in 2010-

  3. All the best to you and your family Tom, for this new year full of new projects and idea... I will follow you!

    Take care!