Friday, August 14, 2009


From La Crosse to Belle Cote

Offcuts of Khaya from the boat building days welcomed me home to my shop on the coast. I left the city behind, those garbage-strike-dogs-days of summer...
Timing you know, really is everything.

What better time or place to unwind and decompress from the year we just had. Of course 'we' in this context is referring to my hand tools and I.
I kicked open the door to my shop in late June to a dusty old table saw, stuffed to the nuts with sawdust and splinters-
"Did I leave it like this?"
It's hard to remember now, leaving last year in such a hurricane of circumstance and curiosity. Unanswered questions that were left to unfold, pages and pages (my book is finally being printed as I write this!)

Full circle now returning like the seasons or an ocean; the seafood God, I keep turning around expecting to see Santiago drifting into the harbour. Three different varieties of potatoes this year and lots of wild berries from the field. Fresh cherries picked from the limbs just footsteps from our door, our bellies are full while the company of good people and great friends are the real attractions around here.

Summer has crawled away like a quota-crab pushin' and lerchin' just to follow the tides. Down off the strand for another year passing- I'll think of him next week while I motor back to the city near the lakes; Upper Canada where more friends and projects are patient, in a shop full of Oak for my door project waiting.

Last week from Wisconsin, a parcel arrived with 100% recycled packaging...that in itself is worth a few words around here! The Bad Axe arrival, saws from a friend- seriously adding fuel to the burning fire of a perfect summer now crawling to close.

I'll fill you in on all of the details next week...

Thank you for waiting.


  1. Nice to read your musings and glad you enjoyed a great summer. I'm sure time away is a very good thing to charge your batteries and get some perspective. Unless you seriously dehumidified your basement shop, the oak has selled up a bit, no?



  2. Meant "swelled" up. I've removed a small swimming pool's worth of water from my two dehumidifiers.

  3. Happy to have you back. Looking forward to the book.

  4. Hi Tom,
    I am very impressed with your blog and your work. I'm even more impressed that you are able to make a living crafting woodwork with hand tools. I missed you when you were away. Thanks for your great work and great blog.

    Tom Goodman
    Bailey, NC

  5. Thanks for all of the comments...
    To finally get back to you Tom,
    'making a living' is open to interpretation! I've been busy with the book for the past 10 months and I'm Mr. Mom to a three and a four year old from 9 to 5! I did manage to build 5 custom projects for clients this year but if you do some math I'm not sure you'd say I'm making a living. A labour of love indeed! Thank God for a wonderful wife with a steady paycheck!! :)
    Thanks again for the comments...