End of the year sorting

The end of the year. It’s OK w me, I don’t mind seeing it go, but they sorta run together anyway. I have known Heather for ages & ages, she wrote a nice piece about her approach to winter, post-holidays. Good stuff.  http://heatherneill.com/studio-blog/2013/12/28/resolutions/

I have been carving spoons steadily, while on vacation from the shop. I’ll be back there in some capacity soon, but hewing & carving away at spoons meanwhile. Also, the end-of-the-year sorting of photos, many that never made it anywhere.

Here goes:

First, some spoon wood. Snow is now gone, I hope it comes back.

spoon wood piled high

I finished a few of these cherry serving spoons, two were sold, and we kept one – here they are chip-carved & oiled. Shows the patterns in the bowls I spoke of earlier.

spoons finished

Now, leftover photos. I will never get around to telling the story of this stupid holdfast. Presented to me by Ken Schwarz at Colonial Williamsburg in 2007, mostly just to shut me up…you had to be there…


I have a large oak table waiting to be shipped out to its customer. I flew blind as far as fitting the end boards – nothing to go by. It’s probably overkill, certainly is for the period, but it should hold.

perhaps overkill

Late Oct I took part in a program at Historic New England, and we got to see this chest up-close. Boston work, real nice.

boston chest w drawer HNE_edited-1

boston chest side panel HNE pl

At the back, there is wood-extraction galore – riven, fore-planed, millsawn, and frame-0r-pitsawn. The whole show.

boston chest pitsawing v millsawing


Saw this sticker in Lexington back in the spring. It never fit in a blog post, but been thinking about Maine lately…and the GD a consistent soundtrack.

GD maine sticker

Even lacking snow, the river is always worth watching. Resident mallards, few winter ducks thus far.



So how do I reckon the beginning of winter? Well, I walk down to the riverbank and turn left. Then I see this – and know it’s now winter.


river view


Look closer – up in the upper left corner,  two redtails sitting side-by-each. That’s winter.

two hawks



I really want to offer my most sincere thanks for all the great support I have received here from the blog-readers. I never expected such a response when I started this back in 2008. You have been great, I appreciate it. Back to the spoons now.


14 thoughts on “End of the year sorting

  1. I enjoy the mixing of birds, flowing water and period wood creating and creations. Thanks, Peter, for a year of fun and insightful posts.

  2. You know we wouldn’t keep coming back here if the writing (and pics) weren’t as good and as compelling as your wood work.

    Thanks for all of your posts this year, Peter.

  3. I just saw the photo of the stupid holdfast. Is that your workbench? Is it made as a copy of an original? I do remember your post about the “single bench screw” inspired by Moxon and Holme. What about the rest of your bench?

      • Thank you. I think that was a good ansver. I did search your categories before posting but forgot to search all words.

        I am working in Norway and working with a fellow joiner (snickare) in Sweden. We are doing a project on workbenches and are currently working on the workbech that was on the warship Vasa tha sank in 1628. We write in Norwegian and Swedish so the text might be a problem for english readers but you might find someting interesting on the pictures? Here is our blog:

        As you might se from the pictures the workbench had a sliding deadman. The “vice” is just a suggestion from the museum, this was not preserved when it was found. The original could have been similar as yours?

        We are going to make 2 benches of this model to try in our work.

  4. Thanks Peter for your informative, interesting, diverse and entertaining posts, you’ve been an inspiration and long may it continue. Happy New Year.

    Gudt Jule, Roald, Thanks for the link, that is more ideas for benches to consider. google translate does a pretty good job, just paste the URL into the google search window and on the results the first one should be ‘Translate this page’. If only half the words are translated change between Norwegian and Swedish, looks like Roald’s posts are in Norske and Tomas’s in Swedish. The translation is pretty good but doesn’t cope with the technical terms especially 17C Joinerish.
    Cheers Graeme

    • God jul Graeme
      Yes Google translate can do a good job on most of the text. My posts are in Norwegian and Tomas is posting in Swedish. The problem is the technical terms. From both norwegian and swedish it is not easy to translate the technical terms to english or other languages. The scandinavian languages are related and most words are the same, but with the technical terms in woodworking there are some differences. Theese terms are not to find in an ordinary dictionary as the ones Google use in Google translate.

      An example is the norwegian word “killingfot” that is the same as “holdfast” in English. If you translate the word with a dictionary it would be like this:
      “killingfot” = goat kid foot

      If you have questions about some technical terms I could try to explain.

  5. Tusen tak, Roald,
    The untranslated technical terms are fine when they are in context but if I get stuck I will ask. I have been working my way through Handlaft by Ola Steen and have an engelsk/norsk building dictionary which is some help but killingfot doesn’t feature and holdfast = skrutvinge so just how good is it? But I really like killingfot, fits the upright holdfast very well

    • I do like the word killingfot. I found it in an written interview of a carpenter in 1935 and have started to use it.

      I am impressed that you have read “Handlaft” by Ola Steen. That is a good book about modern logbuilding with hand tools (handlafting). Maybe the best? There is still some books to write about norwegian logbuilding.

      I have tried to translate my own article about a building project I had some years ago. I have tried to find words in english for the norwegian. It is not easy. You might find something useful in the article that you can download here:



  6. Who knows how these big table tops were clamped? As you know, the original top of the Sudbury table is just one big stupid pine plank. The small square joined table with drawer at Winterthur has two maple boards with the clamps held solely by large pins. About the biggest maple pins I’ve seen outside of Cromwellian chair frames. The chest from Historic New England I think I examined with Myrna Kaye and Brock Jobe about 1975 and told them it was Boston and had another drawer. It is the best of the chests, despite missing pieces.

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