Monday, September 10, 2007


Never thought I'd have a blog but here 'tis.

I'm a female woodworker and have been building furniture, hand planes, and various other things since 1992, when I moved into my house and found a workbench in the basement. Not being able to afford anything, including furniture, I decided to try to build a few things. Wasn't long before I was hooked. Imagine being able to build something that looks nice and is also useful. It appealed to the practical Virgo in me.

I started out using power tools and relied on Norm Abram to teach me how to use them. Years later, and with only a slight incline in my learning curve, I finally enrolled in some fine woodworking classes. Hallelujah! Learning from master woodworkers was the catalyst I needed to improve my skills. From David Finck I learned how to make bench planes and handcut dovetails. From Tod Herrli I learned how to make molding planes, including shaping and tempering the blade. From Bess Naylor and Gene Landon I learned how to use molding planes and make crown & dentil molding by hand. And from Steve Latta I learned how to make string inlay for a specific line and berry technique found only in 18th & 19th c. Chester County, PA spice boxes.

And from all of my wonderful mentors, I learned to love hand tools. They are a joy to use. Meditative & peaceful and when using antique tools, a connection to our past. I have a number of antique hand planes and often think of the men who used them and wonder what they might have built. Did they use them for a woodworking business, for a hobby, like me, or for utilitarian purposes—building and repairing things at their house or farm? There is nothing like the contentment one feels when using a well-tuned antique plane, its edges softened by handling and its patina a result of years of service and age. The rythmic whoosh whoosh of a scary-sharp blade zipping through wood and the wispy shavings that trail out of the plane's mouth never fail to lift my spirits.

Thanks for reading.


LadyBurg said...

Woohoo!!!!! Welcome to the blogging world. We sucked you in! mawhahhahhaha

The Village Carpenter said...

I gave into "someone" who has been pestering me for a while! ; )

Bill and Emily said...

Your blog site is GREAT! This is the first time I have commented on a blog, so I guess I am blogging!!!! I really enjoyed the pictures and your write ups. I can see that this site will be a great source of interesting information. Thanks.

The Village Carpenter said...

Thanks, Emily!
Congratulations on your first blog post!

Fernando said...

Congratulations from Spain! Your blog is really wonderful, I love your interesting posts, the warm design, and your fine pictures.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, I love your tools, I love your woodwork, I love you!!!
Taiaio, from Brazil.