Woodworkers blogs: The Carpentry Way

The Carpentry Way
 The Carpentry Way by Chris Hall, is a great site to visit for those with an interest in carpentry and joinery, covering the intricacies challenges met in carpentry this the blog also showcases inspirational examples of joinery from around the world.

Chris Hall is a professional carpenter specializing in Japanese architecture and joinery as well as working with timber framing buildings. With traditional Japanese carpentry and roof work being his main passion. He is strongly influenced by Ming Period Chinese furniture as can be demonstrated in some of his posts.

In his work Chris designs and builds joined structures of many kinds, along with interiors and furniture, and provides carpentry and joinery consultation services, he give talks, and hold classes in woodworking and carpentry drawing. 

To my mind the blog is extremely well written and filled with useful information. Criss writes with clarity and passion on the subjects of carpentry, carpentry drawing, timber framing and Japanese architecture. This site is well worth a visit!

This site has Just become a Woodworkers Guide Top 100 Woodworking Site


Hand Powerd Woodworking: Treadle Lathes

Commercial Treadle Lathe from about 1900
During a trip to the Horse Museum in Niuronys Lithuania, I saw a couple of treadle lathes on display in a recreation of a wheel wrights shop. The first lathe seems to be a commercially made from around 1900. Treadle lathes like these continued to be used regularly up until about the 1950's. The lathe has a very sturdy base, made from approx 8"x4" oak and seems very similar apart from the lack of an electric motor to a modern lathe. The picture shows a blank for the  hub of a cart wheel between the centers.

 The second picture shows a shop built lathe from about the same period. The lathe was originally  a treadle lathe but has been upgraded to belt drive. On the right you can see a boring attachment (for making holes - not uninteresting), and on the left is a nice hand cranked water cooled grind stone. Until relatively recently these lathes were used for the commercial production of cart wheels.

Belt Driven Lathe

Hand cranked water cooled grinder

This interesting Horse Museum located 8 km outside Anyksciai is the only of its kind in Lithuania. The importance of the horse to the economy and agriculture of Lithuania is the main topic of the exhibits and collections contained in the museum.

You might also like: An Easy to Build Continuous Motion Treadle Lathe

Woodworking DVD - Build a Sawbench with Christopher Schwarz

Learn from the hand tool master Christopher Schwarz, his  dvd takes you inside one of his most popular woodworking classes.

Build a traditional sawbench as you learn the fundamental hand-tool skills including handsaws, chisels, bench planes, router planes and more Discover how to saw with precision.

Follow along as Chris and ten of his students build  saw benches entirely by hand. It's like attending a class with a student's-eye view of the action

In addition to the video, this dvd  includes complete construction drawings for building the saw bench.

  • Discover how to saw with precision – if you can see the line, you can cut to the line

  • Lay out and cut compound angles – without any jigs, test-cuts or time-consuming set-ups

  • Learn the three classes of saw cuts – and when and why to use each

  • By the time you're finished, not only will you have a saw bench that will last for year to come, you'll also be wielding the most-used handtools with accuracy and confidence. dvd run time: 104 minutes. You can buy build a saw bench at Shop woodworking...

    Above is a short clip from Youtube of the third day of a sawing class instructed by Christopher Schwarz at Roy Underhills Woodwright's School. The clip shows the making ofsimilar benches to those featured on the DVD.

    Youtube Woodworking Videos - Charles Neils Pine Bench

    Here is a feature length  Youtube woodworking video by Charles Neil. Here he shows a fun and inexpensive project that you could make in a weekend. Charles spent a Saturday and Sunday making and finishing this pine, five-board bench.

    Like the rest of his video's which can be found on his Youtube channel InTheWorkshop, this video is of good quality with plenty of advice on making this simple but very usable piece of furniture.

    Although the production values are not as high as you would find on some other woodworking sites, such as Woodtreks, its more than made up by the quality of the woodworking information and in the presentation. I enjoyed watching these videos, If you have the time they are well worth a look.

    Charles Neil is a furniture maker from Virginia, he has been a proffesional woodworker for the past 30 years. He also teaches woodworking in-house classes throughout the year and has a Library of DVDs available for sale from his web store and Woodcraft.

    You can find out more about him on his site Charles Neil Woodworking  or from his Blog In the Workshop with Charles Neil.

    Woodworking Schools

    Below you can find a list of woodworking schools. Woodworking classes can offer a great way to quickly improve your technique and hone your skills, whilst at the same time meeting some interesting people and having a great time. 

    If you know of any other top woodworking Schools we should add, please let us know in the comments below.

    The Woodwrights School
    A place devoted to the pleasures of hand tool woodworking. Handtool Woodworking classes with Roy Underhill (from PBS's woodwrights shop) & Associates.

    The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship
    The Center for furniture Craftsmanship offers courses in furniture making and related skills such as carving, turning, marquetry and finishing. Located in Mane.

      David J Marks Woodworking Classes
    From David: "Hello fellow woodworkers! My goal is to provide, small, accessible classes to fellow woodworkers, and to have the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue about woodworking." Located in Northen California.

      Red Rocks School of Fine Woodworking and Lutherie
     Offering woodworking classes for the hobbyist and professional in such fields as guitar & furniture building, turning, carving, and many more. The school is located within the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, in Lakewood, Colorado.

      The Mark Adams School of Woodworking
     Marc Adams School of Woodworking is the premiere school teaching woodworking, wood turning, edging, finishing, and more. MASW is located in Franklin.

    Darrel Peart's Green & Green Woodworking Classes
    Weekend workshops covering step-by-step the process of making the most common Greene and Greene details. Informal atmosphere with a chance to talk woodworking and Greene and Greene. The class consists of about eight hours on Saturday (9-5) and about 6-8 hours on Sunday.  Portland Origon.

    The Kelly Mehler's School of Woodworking
    Offers a variety of hands-on woodworking classes that cover an array of techniques and various finished pieces. Kelly Mehler's School of Woodworking is located in Berea.

    New Legacy School of Woodworking
    Uncompromising teaching methods ensure that every student gains a working knowledge of their craft and so soon finds a new level  of confidence.

    Woodworkers blogs: High Rock Woodworking

    Here is a great blog by Chris Adkins High Rock Woodworking, a third generation woodworker. Sharing experience and woodworking tips with the purpose of supporting three things that he loves: woodworking, writing, and education. Chris believes that it is important to pass on the knowledge so that traditions will be carried forward and passed from one generation to the next.

    The blog is very well written,  covering a wide range of woodworking topics, projects, tips and tool reviews as well as a podcast. The site gives many insights in to woodworking as well as providing lots of information and ideas for the hand tool wood worker. Well worth a look.

    Recent Posts:

    Making a set of wooden Green and Green inspired hand planes.

    A treadle driven planer!

    Construction of a wood gear clock.

    If you follow High Rock Woodworking or even if you visited it for the first time today, we would love to get your opinion in the comments below.


    21 Ideas to inspire your next woodworking project

    1. Make something useful like a bookshelf
    2. Make something unique to your own design
    3. Make a musical instrument
    4. Make something first
    5. Make something that makes people happier
    6. Try some carving or sculpture
    7. Build a Work Bench
    8. Do some  Japanese joinery
    9. make a wooden clock
    10. Work green wood make a chair
    11. Make a gift
    12. Turn something from spalted wood
    13. Build a rocking horse 
    14. Make something inspirational
    15. Reproduce an antique
    16. Make something that solves a problem
    17. Make something that gets a laugh
    18. Make something that saves you time or money
    19. Build the boat you have always wanted
    20. Make a jig or other shop resource
    21. Make something ‘cool