Drew Langsner’s book Green Woodworking back in print

My blog is not noted for its variety. I keep saying the same things over & over again. Drawboring. Green wood. Carved oak. Hand tools. My kids. Today’s bird. (Great Horned owlet, thanks for showing it to me, Marie. Look at the feet on this creature!)

great horned owl young
great horned owl young

And Drew Langsner.

Drew Langsner
Drew Langsner

If you have read this blog, you know how I feel about Drew and the work he and his wife Louise have put into Country Workshops over the past (maybe 34, 35) years. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/how-did-i-get-started-country-workshops-the-langsners-is-how/  Today I got a new copy of an old book by Drew called, of all things, Green Woodworking. The original 2 versions of this book have been out of print for some time, but now Drew has brought this one back in an Author’s Reprint Edition.

Green Woodworking by Drew Langsner
Green Woodworking by Drew Langsner

The book first came out in 1987, by which time I was a “repeat offender” at Country Workshops; i.e. I took classes there regularly. I remember a couple of years making 2 trips down there per year. (900 miles each way).  I devoured the book when it was new. I still keep the hardcover edition in the shop, and still refer to it from time to time.

Spoons, they’re here. I learned to make them from this book and its predecessor, Country Woodcraft, before meeting Jogge & Wille Sundqvist at CW. You can make a spoon right from the book, I just re-read the chapter a week ago. Drew outlined the book by devoting each chapter to a technique, Hewing, Riving, Shaving and so on. Each chapter then has a project that highlights that particular technique. At one time or another, I have made most everything in this book. Just the other day, I was talking with my wife about making the firewood carriers again. I used to make lots of them. The seeds of my joinery work are in there too – Drew profiled several woodworkers in one section, including Alexander. Mention is made of the beginnings of JA’s study of 17th-century joinery.

If you don’t have this book, now’s your chance to get it direct from the horse’s mouth. Drew sells them from Country Workshops, $35 plus $7.50 shipping & handling. www.countryworkshops.org

Of course, I am biased – I’ve known Drew since I stumbled down there in 1980 as the greenest 22-yr old you can imagine. So read what Chris Schwarz said in his post “10 books that changed the way I think” – Drew got 2 of the 10…

“Green Woodworking” by Drew Langsner. This book is like visiting a foreign country, a delightful foreign country. Even if you have been woodworking for decades, this book offers surprises and insights on every page. It will make you more intimate with your material.

“The Chairmaker’s Workshop” by Drew Langsner. While John Brown’s book made me want to build chairs, Langsner’s gave me the information I needed to actually do it. Though I build chairs differently now, I could not have gotten started without this book.

Wille Sundqvist film project

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I drove home from Maine last night, (507 miles round trip) and was thinking about many things. One was my upcoming trip this summer to Drew & Louise Langsner’s, and what that connection means to me. Then this morning I got the Country Workshops newsletter with the official announcement about this project; …a film about Jogge’s father Wille. So before I go to work, I wanted to let you know about it.  Drew Langsner and Jogge Sunqvist told me the gist of it last fall. You can read it from this link. willeproject

When I know more about the fundraising, etc I will post again. This is a film I really am looking forward to.

Two spaces left at Country Workshops’ box class August 2013

meet me in the country
meet me in the country

Drew Langsner tells me there’s two spaces left for this summer’s box-carving class at Country Workshops. Once these two are filled, there is no second chance for this class in this spot – so if you’re thinking about having a great time down in the western North Carolina mountains, think faster…Then get a hold of Drew at http://countryworkshops.org/

see this post, https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/may-be-the-last-time-i-dont-know/

here’s more https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/how-did-i-get-started-country-workshops-the-langsners-is-how/

I know there’s many obstacles; money, time, logistics…but you will have a great time if you come. It’s about more than making a box & carving. It’s truly an immersion experience. My life changed because of my time spent at Drew & Louise’s place. It’s that simple. 

 

May be the last time, I don’t know…

CW 1

 

If you are tired of hearing me write about Country Workshops, go read another blog right now…last week I heard from Drew Langsner and we were writing back & forth about a few things. He mentioned that 2013 might really be the last summer of guest instructors’ classes at Country Workshops. I knew it was coming; but it’s still a big deal to me…this is where I learned woodworking and so much more. I first traveled to Drew & Louise’s place in 1980, and have been a regular there off and on ever since.

Drew says he will keep teaching his 4-person classes in chairmaking and spoon & bowl carving, and the tool store will keep running. But the full-blown, summer, large group experiences will probably  come to an end. Imagine having between 8 & 12 people, sometimes more, coming to your home 5 or 6 weeks each summer, SINCE 1978! And feeding them, 3x a day…like you wouldn’t believe.

So – if you haven’t been – make some arrangements, shift your schedule, gas up the car. If you have been, time to come back for the semi-last hurrah. Come and take my class. If you folks don’t sign up, I don’t get to go. Or take any of the others. Carl Swensson will knock you out completely in making Swiss cooperage. Carl is one of the best, but little-known, woodworkers in the country. Osamu Shoji will be coming from Japan, for a class in Making a Folding Byobu Room Divider… see the website for all the details. Sign up for the newsletter from Country Workshops…it’s full of good stuff. http://countryworkshops.org/

So will I see you in the mountains?

Here’s previous entries on CW https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=Country+Workshops

Here’s pictures, in no particular order

willie's class PF JA etc

JA at CW

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rocker

Japnese woodworking

You're Almost There!

ladderback

rocker

CW 7 boomers

CW 8 workshop

CW 9 end to end

CW 10

CW 11 my favorite chair

CW 12 garden fence

bowls and spoons

ladderback

CW 6 shop view

CW 5

CW 4

CW 3

CW 2

CW 17 up to the new old barn

CW 16 barn

CW 15 wille spoon

CW 14 a cat

CW 13 smoky joe

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the Green Wood project

We could all use a hit of positive news – and I got some from Scott Landis in my inbox this morning. Scott you might remember as the author of the Taunton Press book on Workbenches (yes, there were workbenches before C. Schwarz!) – I met Scott when he, Alexander & I were all students in a class Curtis Buchanan taught on making a bow-back Windsor chair in 1987 at Country Workshops.

Nowadays Scott is the president of Green Wood, an organization that trains (mostly, but not only) young people in places like Honduras and Peru to make sustainable wooden products from rain forests. Curtis Buchanan, Brian Boggs and other craftsmen have made trips down there to begin training folks in these woodcrafts, starting back in 1993.

GW.yearend2012.13daa8a48c65d GW.yearend2012.21fb3776e0eda

 

 

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“The photo … shows Curtis at work in El Carbón in the mid-1990s. And the middle photo shows some of the new furniture that is being made today by young artisans whom Curtis and Brian have never met. In fact, GreenWood has not visited this community for at least five years, and we have not conducted a training workshop there in nearly twice that long. These are the fruits of seeds we planted two decades ago in what could best be described as hardpan clay. El Carbón is beset by every manner of hardship—from crushing poverty and natural disaster (Hurricane Mitch) to massive hydroelectric development and the pervasive violence that plagues the whole country. This vulnerable Pech village illustrates the simple but enduring truth that, even under the most challenging conditions, good ideas will eventually take root. If that’s not sustainable development, what is?”

 

Rather than me trying to write about it, just follow the link and see for yourselves. If you are signed up for the newsletters from Green Wood, then you’re onto it. If not, now’s the time to see what these folks are up to. There’s a button where you can donate $$ via paypal. It came at the right time for me. Some of Alexander’s extra tools might make it down there, who knows…

http://www.greenwoodglobal.org/dev/

 

 

 

 

new (to me) Hans Karlsson hatchet

I bought a new hatchet a  few weeks ago….this lightweight model from Hans Karlsson. In the US, Hans’ tools come from Country Workshops, the school where I am sometimes student, sometimes instructor. see www.countryworkshops.org

Hans Karlsson hatchet
Hans Karlsson hatchet

I used it some just to test it out. I bought it as a spoon-and-bowl-carving axe. It’s quite nice for that. Karlsson’s tools are extremely well-made. Drew Langsner tells me it weighs 24 1/2 oz, and is 15″ long overall. Blade length is about 4 1/2″.

A few more shots of it:

blade length & curvature
blade length & curvature

The handle on this one is ash, some are listed in the Country Workshops’ site as birch. Hardwood either way I guess. This one has a tooled surface, along the idea of some of the Wetterlings and Gransfors Bruks axes. It’s not a hand-made handle of course…but not smooth.  Here’s the text Drew wrote about it for the Country Workshops brochure

“The axe (head with handle) was designed by Wille Sundqvist. Overall length is about 14-inches. Bevels are symmetrical and flat; there no need to touch up the inner bevel. The balance is excellent and it has a lively feel during use.”

Note that the bevels on this axe are flat, unlike the Gransfors Bruks axes, which have slightly convex bevels. This axe really is ready to go when you unwrap it.

hatchet eye
hatchet eye
new hatchet from Country Workshops
new hatchet from Country Workshops

The hatchet is listed at $172.25 in the Country Workshops brochure…write to Drew if you need one. It’s a fine tool…

Now – going back to the most-common axe question I get – where does one get a single-bevel hatchet like the one I use in joinery work? Answser – I don’t know. Many tell me GB makes one, but I have only seen their single-bevel axe listed as a heavy, (about 7 lbs.) tool. As far as I know, their hatchets for hewing are double-bevels. Oxhead makes one, I have never tried it. I am dis-inlcined.
BUT – you can hew flat surfaces with a double-bevel axe/hatchet. The single-bevel tool is better, but the double-bevel will work. Here’s a video Chris Schwarz shot of me showing a few options, a large Wetterlings I got from Lie-Nielsen, another older Hans Karlsson, my standard German one, and a modified one by Alexander. (along with plodding old-timey music!)

Here’s Chris’ post about it, with comments. http://blog.lostartpress.com/2012/07/23/peter-follansbee-on-hatchets/

UPDATE – Ha! Shows you what I know. Highland Hardware lists a Gransfors Bruks broad axe, righty & lefty, that weigh 3lbs, cutting edge 7″ – very similar to what my favorite axe is. The GB axe is over $300. So you have to mean it…  here’s the #s from Highland Gransfors Bruks # 4823. Model 1900

Red-shouldered hawk and an update

Took the kids to school the other day & saw this Red-shouldered hawk.

Red-shouldered hawk
front view Red-shouldered hawk

 

BLOG UPDATE:

My day job is a pretty busy place these days, Thanksgiving is sort of a big deal there. (for overseas readers, it’s a long story, but it amounts to 4.000 visitors per day Thursday – Saturday this week…)  So no real action here.

TOOL SALE:. For tool customers, I will pack & ship your tools after the weekend. Then I think I’ll let the tools slide for the month of December. Everyone is crazy enough in December and I don’t feel like adding to  any extra craziness. I usually spend as much of December as I can walking in the woods. And cleaning the shop.

SPOONS – I will have a few spoons done in the next couple of weeks, just because I had been planning it, and some have asked about them as gifts. So a small batch coming up in about 2 weeks.

WORKSHOPS/TEACHING – I did a post about my 2013 schedule, and I will make it a static page on the blog next week so folks can find it. Meantime, the link is here:

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/i-can-see-for-miles/

And with winter coming on, more posts here about work in the shop.