Thursday, March 5, 2009

Woodwright School First Class - Pictures

I finally uploaded the pictures from the first class at Roy's. I didn't take too many because I was too busy enjoying myself and doing the work.

1. Each bench was stocked with a selection of new and old tools. This was my bench before we began work.


2. A few pictures of the toys just laying around the shop

3. Roy's sharpening station (after the pedal-powered grind wheel)

4. The class began with paperwork and choosing our benches

5. A pre-class orientation

6. An introduction to dovetailed joinery by looking at a 200-year-old tool chest

Kind of hard to see in the photo, but the maker seemed to enjoy violating just about all of the conventional wisdom we have about dovetails. He's got half-tails on top and bottom, the pins are far too steep and the pins and tails are on the wrong boards for a tool chest. (pins on front and back, tails on sides) Yet, here it still is, a couple of centuries later.

7. We cut our own through and half-blind dovetails. I began working with this tiny Sorby dovetail saw. It was interesting to use until it popped out of its handle. I ended up using the tenon saw. I like the bigger saws anyway.

8. Bill Anderson showing us how it's done. Cutting grooves in the drawer parts with a #45. Notice his very nice tool tote in the background. Bill teaches classes himself in the area.

9. As a lead-up to motise and tenon joinery, Roy had us pull out some timbers that were stacked along the side of the room. Here he is remembering how they all go together.

We got a chance to take a turn on a wonderfully boring machine. It was much easier than I thought it was going to be.

When we put the timbers together Roy showed how without pegs or anything beyond the cut joints, the corner timber was quite sturdy and solid. The timbers ended up being two pieces of sill, a corner post and two supports.

10. We got an all-too-short demo of sash making. Here are some of the toys on Roy's mini-Roubo.

11. The class ended with a wonderful look at two very old tool chests in the English tradition. Roy told the story of the two workmen who owned these tools. One of whom had bought the tools of the other. Great stories, great tools, a great time.



  1. How in heck was that last photo taken!?

  2. Well, that's about as cool as it gets. If I ever won the lottery, I think I'd take every class that's offered.

  3. Interesting to get a sense of how people interpreted the "1937" dress suggestions. Anybody sneak in with sneakers/athletic-type shoes?
    And Andrew: Are YOU in any of these pics, or always behind the camera?

  4. Sorry to highjack your photo, but I needed to see if the participants passed the "1937 appearance" requirement.

  5. Andrew - Thanks for the pictures! I'd love to be there in person, but that won't happen anytime soon. It sure looks like fun!

  6. i have a trunk that looks just like this could you tell me more about it thank you jg

  7. The large chests in the photographs are tool chests. They are made in approximately the same way that any chests of similar size are made, including Hope Chests, blanket chests, etc... They tend to have less or at least different kinds of decoration than regular furniture types of chests. You see several in the photos ranging from probably late 18th century through the late 19th-early-to-mid 20th century.

    Does your "trunk" come with any tools inside of it? Do you have pictures? I'm not sure I could tell you much from just pictures of a chest by itself without seeing smaller details like nails or screws used in the construction. Sometimes these can give a general date. But pictures might give me some clue as to usage of the chest.

  8. i dont know how to send you pic but my tool chest is full of old tools and is put together with some screws but i think the top is put together with wooden pegs

  9. The way I like to share pictures is by using Picasa, a free photo application and web site from Google. You can go to and download it for free, import the pictures in (it will ask you if you want the program to search for all photos on your computer, or if you want it to just look in a specific place). Once the desktop program has the pictures, it's very easy to upload them to the website. You'll need a Google account, which is also free and which gives you gmail as well. Once you have them uploaded, send me the URL and I'll take a look.

    There are also other options for online photo sharing such as photo bucket, flicker, etc...

    Hope that helps. If you'd prefer to personally email them, post an email address in the form of "myemail-at-domain-dot-com" in stead of the standard form with @ and all. As soon as I see it, I'll get the address, delete your comment and send you a message with my address.

    In the case of your tool chest, photos of the tools may be more helpful than photos of the chest itself, though those will be good too.


  10. Just completed a week of making a spring pole treadle lathe. Worth every dollar and every minute. a lot of woodworking lore spread throughout the class, working with other woodworkers from around the country, in a friendly little town, and to top it off Roy Underhill teaching the class. Every woodworker really needs to spend a week like this.


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