I greatly appreciate the notes & emails, etc that I get from readers, students and more. It’s nice to hear that my work inspires some folks to go shave wood. Woodworking has saved many a man’s life (woman’s too…) – and I am glad that my work sometimes gives others a nudge. Likewise, when I hear these things, it inspires me to keep posting my stuff here – someone might get something from it. Co-inspiration.

I’m very late as usual with this post. I owe some of you answers; and had promised to show your stuff to the blog readers. Keep ‘em coming, I like to show this stuff you folks are making. That way, someone else might be inspired to have a go at it. How hard can it be?

In absolutely no particular order – here’s a stool-in-progress from Jason Estes of Iowa. Look at his details; nice chamfers; and square “turned” decoration. Great work, Jason.

Jason Estes Iowa


Jason had a question about seats = it’s probably too late now (sorry Jason)  – but for next time here goes.

“If two boards are used for a seat, are they fastened to each other in any way, or just to the aprons or stiles?”

Alexander & I did them just butted up against each other in the book, but in period work, usually they are glued edge-to-edge, sometimes with registration pins between them. I have seen chest lids done with splines in grooved edges of mating boards. No tongue & groove in chest lids, table tops, etc –  they are used in chest bottoms, however.

When I make a wainscot chair seat, I usually edge glue two narrow riven boards together. sometimes w 5/16″ pins between them; maybe 2 in the whole seat.

“If I elect to go with a single board of quartersawn oak, it will likely be kiln-dried – does that require any accommodation, or can it go on like a tree-wet board?”

Nope – if it’s well-quartersawn, it should behave perfectly well.


Sean Fitzgerald (I think I got that right) of parts unknown made a joined & chamfered dish rack…why didn’t I make one of these? Here’s a case I often talk about – my work is 17th-century reproduction, but you can adapt these construction and decoration ideas in new formats; designs, etc – the mortise & tenon is timeless, as is oak.

sean fitzgerald chamfered dish rack


Here’s a bunch from Matthew LeBlanc – we finally met this past July up in Maine. We had corresponded many times, then finally connected. Matt’s made a slew of stuff – great going. For a teacher to have students like these, I’m a lucky person.

Matt stretched out his stool, made it wider side-to-side. Poplar & sawn oak. If you have no green wood, don’t let that stop you!


Matthew Leblanc stool_edited-1


Matt also made one of Jennie Alexander’s post & rung chairs – or maybe it’s from Drew Langsner’s book. either way, all the same gene pool. Nice chair. Looks like red oak to me.


Matthew leblanc JA chair


And then he sent along this trestle table w carved stretcher. & these were a while ago – I bet he’s kept on going. Nice work, Matt.

matthew leBlanc table

Here’s Matthew making a pile of shavings while we were at Lie-Nielsen this summer..

6 thoughts on “co-inspiration

  1. I can honestly say you’ve helped inspire me with your postings, research, and pictures. I’ve done quite a bit of carving, and recently I’ve been asked to teach carving at the local Rockler store regularly.

    So, thank you.

    Also, my wife and I are trying to plan out a trip to catch one of your classes in CT in October. We’ll see if we can make it line up.


  2. Peter, I’ve glued up book-matched sawmill quarter-sawn KD oak for seats before, but I haven yet tried the technique on stock I’ve riven from a green log. My question is, after dressing your boards to thickness, how much time do you allow for seasoning to help ensure you get a glue joint that’s unlikely to move on you? Regards, Larry

  3. Peter, thanks for the compliment on my joint stool. I went with a two-board glued up seat without reinforcement. I did the ‘square turning’ on the lower legs only because I didn’t trust myself to be able to carve the upper legs identically – it turns out that it was easier to do than I thought. The lighting in my photo nicely conceals the somewhat fuzzy planed surfaces and the extraneous scribed layout lines. I have the feeling that I didn’t let the wood dry enough after riving.

    Are dovetail keys period-accurate? It looks like I might get some checking in one of the legs.

  4. Jennnie here

    Wonderful blog! I love the dish and bowl rack.

    I am preaching to the choir but wood moves forever. Multiple board tops are a challenge. Let them or make them dry to the environment. But that too is going to chage or the piece is moved somewhere else. In many applications the surface must be pegged down. Angling the end pegs to drive the pieces together and only using one peg on the front and back may help a bit. I have been tempted to use wood or metal clips sliding in grooves underneathbut YUK ! I just can’t do it.I am a mouldie fygge.


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