A Grand Kentucky Adventure… part 2

We are now at the midpoint of the Anarchist’s Tool Chest class. Everyone is working hard, and everyone’s dovetails are improving. Monday was spent boiling dovetail techniques down to fundamentals, looking at body mechanics and the key processes at a really detailed and granular level, while cutting the tail boards. Tuesday consolidated those lessons while cutting the pin boards and gluing up the caress. We started today with a talk on cambering plane irons and demonstration on how to hone a camber. Everyone has now smoothed the exterior of their tool chests and are now onto dovetailing the lower skirts.

Although it is a completely different experience teaching the class, it has brought back vivid memories of the Anarchist’s Tool Chest class I took with Chris five years ago. That was a life changing event for me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to pass on knowledge to students now, and for the friendship and mentor I gained five years ago.

If you want to really learn about a subject, try teaching it. Explaining how you approach a technique, and answering questions (which are always insightful and intelligent, but never what you expect) really prompts you to drill down into both the how and the why. And so far it is going well – some of the students have had that lightbulb moment when a technique suddenly clicks, and they all seem enthused by their progress. Which is all I can ask for (apart from maybe more fried chicken, something that just isn’t done well in England). Knocking together a corner of my demonstration tool chest while the class watched was a little nerve wracking, but it went together just fine. That kind of fear keeps you honest.

The Lost Art Press store front is a dream workshop, with plenty of natural light, space, and fantastic bench provision (as you’d expect). I’ve been stationed at Chris‘ slab top Roubo bench, and working at that bench has me eagerly looking forward to completing my own Roubo bench over the autumn.

This afternoon we will complete the bottom skirt and get the baseboards nail in place.

A Grand Kentucky Adventure… part 1

After 22 hours of travelling I reached Kentucky on Friday evening, and have spent the past couple of days catching up with good friends and seeing some of what Kentucky has to offer. There may have also been plenty of bourbon. Covington is a wonderful place full of gorgeous historic architecture, great places to eat, and within easy striking distance of other great attractions. I’ve sent approximately 27 messages home in the past 48 hours suggesting we move here, so I’m confident that Dr Moss will agree shortly (maybe?).

Shaker chair at a Pleasant Hill

Saturday was day two of the Lie Nielsen hand tool event, hosted by Lost Art Press, so I spent the day at the storefront catching up with Chris, Megan, Jeff, Mark, my buddies Jason and Brett, and the folk from Lie-Nielsen.

In the attic, at a Pleasant Hill

Today we took a trip to the Pleasant Hill shaker community, which was my first chance to see Shaker furniture and architecture in person. Special thanks goes to a Megan, who has a deep personal history with Pleasant Hill, and is an excellent tour guide. I’m still sorting through my photographs from the visit, and will post more from Pleasant Hill soon.

With Jeff, Mark and Megan at Pleasant Hill

Tomorrow, my Anarchist’s Tool Chest class starts, which I am looking forward to a great deal. The timber is out on benches, the workshop is reset after the L-N event, and we’re all set up. The next five days should be really good (and lots of hard work).

The Lost Art Press storefront.