Category Archives: Design Basics

Magic in the forest

We paused on our hike Saturday to admire a stand of mature American Beech trees. In this part of the Ohio valley they are the kings of the forest, their smooth grey bark shining in the shadows underneath the canopy. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Design Basics | 4 Comments

The English Woodworker Premium Videos

  I’m not too proud to admit that after thirty years of hand tool woodworking, there’s still much to learn. From the start, Richard McGuire’s blog and video clips at The English Woodworker struck me as the real deal. There … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, design workshops | 1 Comment

Salvaging a Design Failure

  I know artists who save some of their early paintings as a reminder that in spite of their doubts, they are making progress. Others more ruthless, cast their failures into the fireplace where they can at least enjoy a … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Handy layout tip

Here’s a slick way to layout an octagon from a square blank without resorting to math or measurements. Just connect the corners with diagonals and then use a combination square or a small wooden gage block like this one, set … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

For all Practical Purposes

The design aspect of every craft has some theory, a bit of myth, and a sprinkling of mystery. But, there’s another category of knowledge,  things that work because – well.. they are just practical and intuitive. The best of all … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics | 4 Comments

Shop Geometry that won’t make your eyes bleed

Recently Chris Schwarz lamented that that much of the historic literature on craft is stuffed with geometry but doesn’t explain how to set up a smoothing plane. And to make matters worse the geometry lessons quickly spin out of control … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, Design Book | 5 Comments

Awesome carved bowls

Last year I had the pleasure of spending time with Dave Fisher in his workshop. It’s a feeble attempt to try to explain his work with this photo. You only get  this one static look that doesn’t capture the sparkle … Continue reading

Posted in Design Basics, design workshops | 4 Comments