Sunday, January 10, 2010

Readers Projects

Made by Hand

Over the past few days I've received a few emails from people who have either built pieces from my book or have taken some of the elements and incorporated them into their own designs. I can't tell you how great this is for me to see people working through the designs. It's a very exciting time for me and I wanted to share them with you here.

The first came from Christopher Lindsay at the Combray Furniture Studio.

Chris was building a contemporary jewelry making cabinet for his wife and decided to use half of the design from Project 5 (Picture Perfect) in my book. It's very interesting to see how he used half of the dimensions to create this beautiful bank of drawers. I also found it quite interesting to see how he left the sides of the cabinet open to show the drawer sides. This was actually something I considered doing in my own version of the piece. I don't recall if I mentioned it in the text but I also considered using glass for side panels...maybe the next one?
You can follow along with Chris through the entire building process on his great blog.
Well done Chris and thanks for sharing!

The second came from Richard Siudek of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Richard built his own version of Skinny Legs and All...the small side table, Project 3 in my book.

This is what Richard had to say-
"Hi Tom,
Well it is finally complete! There are a few mistakes but I certainly learned a lot and overall it was fun! The milling and dimensioning were done on a machine but the rest was by hand. I used some leftover ash which was not ideal from a grain viewpoint; the drawer fronts are walnut and the pulls were purchased."

It's interesting to see how the prominent grain in the ash plays through the tapered legs. Lots of nicely made dovetails here and a piece you should be proud to call your own. Well done Richard, and thanks again for sharing this.

And finally, another project from the book but this time a pair of shop bents.

For those of you who don't yet have a copy of Made by Hand, I should tell you that besides the furniture projects, the book also has a few work shop appliance projects and this one is from Larry Marshall over at Wood n' Bits Workshop. Larry blogged his way through the entire process of making these and I can say that I was laughing out loud while I read his posts. Some great writing and another great example of one of the book project. Thanks again for sharing Larry~

I really appreciate everyone sending in their photos and welcome anyone else out there to do the same! My new site will have a dedicated area where I'll post these and other readers projects. I feel that having these available will help others when they're working through their own versions of the pieces.
Thanks again and happy shavings!


  1. Hi Mr Fidgen! Just another cyber-boost of encouragement for your enterprise: an inspirational book that I will be ordering soon. your work is sincere and graceful. and I'm happy that the published form is taking off and that people are already (ALREADY!!!) posting their projects from the book to you!! goodness! I can only deduce it's a singular inspiration.

    I wonder if you had any thoughts on the movement of emphasizing hand tools? I seem to have gotten swept up in it in the last few years, but only as a neophyte, lacking the metacognitive powers to recognize that I might actually be just a small part of a larger movement "out there". You know the DIY/Make gang seems to be riding a wave that's only getting bigger ("Make" and "Craft" magazines have a huge following both in print and on the web via I think it's cool. And I'm glad you are with an audience here because you are no doubt an exemplar in all this hand made stuff going on!



  2. Love the Project 3 table. I'm amazed that someone has replicated it already.

    Thanks for your kind words about my humble project and my babbling about it.

    Cheers --- Larry

  3. I love seeing the projects. They are Beautiful.

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone!