I am a furniture maker and woodworking instructor in Salem, Oregon. By training I am a “traditional” woodworker; I use both stationary and hand power tools when that will more quickly allow me to do hand work. So you won’t find me using a bow saw to resaw lumber, I’ll go right to the band saw for that task. And I am not shy about combining the jointer and thickness planer to get stock to the correct thickness. But I never take a workpiece from machine to finished furniture: each piece is always hand-planed, scraped when that makes sense, and sanded only when I have to. All my joinery is fit by hand.
This isn’t a typical furniture-maker’s web site. I tried that for a few years, and found that I spent more time photographing work, digitizing the prints (that was in the days when film was king) editing copy, formatting pages, and so forth. I spent so much time maintaining the web site that it cut into the time I spent in the shop, and I wasn’t generating enough business through the web site to justify the time and expense. Since this was a time in the distant (by Web standards) past, the “CustomBuiltFurniture.com” domain name was still available, and that was the name of my web site. I still own the domain and that’s where my furniture-related email goes.
I do a fair amount of teaching in my “spare” time. Most of what I write about on this blog comes from that experience. Teaching is humbling and rewarding, and it always reminds me of the journey a woodworker takes. Teaching reminds me that I am very fortunate to know the little that I know. Teaching also reminds me that there is so much more to know, so many techniques to get better at.
My posts here are sporadic. Unlike a lot of bloggers, I don’t really spend a lot of time in front of my keyboard, for the same reason that I don’t maintain a web site. It takes away from time at my bench, and from all the other activities that life throws my way. Having said that I do enjoy writing. It makes me think about the subject in greater depth and detail, which most often translates into better work in the shop.
Most of the posts in this blog have been suggested by students, either through direct requests or from me listening to their questions and discussions during classes. If there is a common theme to a discussion, I pay close attention and try to develop an idea for a post. So if a reader of this blog has an idea that would make for an interesting post, I would appreciate the suggestion either as a comment on this page or through email.
Thank you for reading.