trip to Roy Underhill’s

barred owl
barred owl “Who cooks for you??”

Some photos from my trip down to the Woodwright’s School & Woodwright’s shop, aka Roy Underhill’s place. Always a highlight of the year. we had a 2-day spoon carving class during which I apparently took zero pictures. so just imagine that class…otherwise, just photos & captions.

one & a half desk boxes
desk box & 1/2 for the show


i was here before
I have a feeling I’ve been here before

After rehearsal, we stopped by the school & crashed Tom Calisto’s saw-making class.

one & a half saws
1 1/2 saws
saw handle
a saw handle getting refinements

At the mill, we had 2 days of spoons, then set up for hewing & carving bowls.

katy turns her back
Katy has seen it all before, so she turns her back on the work


ready for bowl class
bowls, tools, shrink pots & more at the workshop


spread out
out in the country, you can spread the action out…


js hewing inside bowl
Janet was a confirmed spoon freak, until she hewed a bowl


in town, at the school – with a spokeshave


school group
a school group came by, it felt like old times for Roy & me


boring shrink pot
boring out for the optional bonus shrink pot project


more boring
I prefer this type of auger – here Roy gives it a spin


big chips
these chips have some substance


I can’t wait til my shop looks like this again, except the mini-shaving horse


wren of carolina
the Wren of Carolina


2016 teaching schedule

I have been slow to post my schedule for 2016, and now I see that it’s almost upon us. So here are some dates for classes and presentations that I have nailed down thus far. this list is through July, then there will be more later. I have classes at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, Lie-Nielsen and Roy Underhill’s The Woodwright’s School. Also a couple of weekend classes are on the books with Plymouth CRAFT. Links will take you to the details, if there are any.  

FEBRUARY 13 & 14, 2016.  At Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, I’ll start off with a furniture-carving class,

“Carving in the 17th century style with Peter Follansbee”

This class runs through several exercises, learning about layout, tool selection and use. Over the course of 2 days, we’ll carve a wide range of 17th-century style patterns in oak. Some of the text from Bob Van Dyke’s website:

practice carving
practice carving

“In this two-day course, students will learn the steps and processes used to recreate carving patterns from seventeenth- century furniture of England and New England. Starting with a single gouge and mallet, we will focus on technique and posture. Also considered are proportions, spacing and the relationship between background and foreground in establishing the pattern/design. Each successive practice pattern builds upon the previous example, adding more tools and concepts. We will incorporate hand-pressure, mallet work, and the use of the V-tool in outlining designs. A compass, awl and marking gauge are used to layout the geometric basis for each pattern, but freehand work is included in each as well.”


FEBRUARY 20/21 – Plymouth CRAFT has had quite a first year! And we’ll just keep rolling into year 2. I’ll start with – what else? Spoon carving! We just confirmed the booking, so not on the website yet – – but it’s 2 full days of hewing, knife work and spoon design. At Overbrook House, Bourne Massachusetts. Legendary lunch included.

FEBRUARY 26/27, 2016 –

I’ll spend the weekend presenting some green woodworking (spoons, bowls & what else?) at the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at Goosebay Sawmill, Chichester, NH. I did this show last winter, what a great venue. All those Lie-Nielsen tools, and a sawmill with timbers galore.

aeriel view 2

APRIL 1-3, 2016, back at CVSWW. a 3-day class in making (and carving) a frame & panel. Think of this as a crash course in joiner’s work, using oak, mortise & tenon, and frame & panel construction. Come help freak Bob Van Dyke out with the carvings – 

Follansbee frame and panel UPSIDE DOWN

“Build- and Carve- this Frame & Panel with Peter Follansbee”

In this three day class with joiner & carver Peter Follansbee, students will explore the fundamental aspects of 17th-century joiner’s work. This frame-and-panel project has all the elements of a larger joined chest, but in a scale that fits the time frame. We’ll use oak we rive and plane for the framing parts; and quartersawn stock for the wider panels. Drawbored mortise and tenon joinery and carved decoration will be the a major focal point. A true crash course in joiner’s work. Now, where’d I put that axe?”

[much later in the year, September – Bob & I are planning to repeat out “one-weekend-per-month for X months” joined chest class. The full project, log to chest. Homework, travel, a museum field trip to study originals, this is the whole show. We did it last year with about 9 people whose scars have mostly healed. Dates to be announced as soon as we figure it out. I’d like it to be 5 weekends, but we’ll see. No drawer this time, so fewer pieces to rive & plane.]

APRIL 20-22, 2016, BOWL CARVING – the Woodwright’s School, Pittsboro, NC.  –


Here’s Roy’s text:

“Your instructor, Peter Follansbee, (free range at last!) gnaws woodworking down to the marrow! Celebrate the liberation of our foremost man of organic woodworking with three days of Scandinavian, “upside-down” bowl carving. Starting with a walk in the woods you’ll learn shaping and carving technique from bole to bowl!”

[there is a spoon-carving class before it, but I guess it’s filled. there’s other spoon classes – (Plymouth CRAFT & Lie-Nielsen) or get on the waiting list.]

APRIL 30/MAY 1, 2016 : Plymouth CRAFT again, this time ash basketry.

We did this class this fall, and I was astounded at the students. They whomped on some ash logs and everyone wove a couple of baskets. The baskets are perfect to keep your spoon-carving tools in.

MAY  7/8, 2016 .  


May means Maine – up at Lie-Nielsen we’ll be carving spoons.  I’ll be watching birds in the earliest hours, but class doesn’t start til 9. I think I spent 5 weeks in Maine this year, can you tell I like it at Lie-Nielsen?


JUN 10-12, 2016  GREENWOOD FEST – well, this one’s sold out – but there’s a waiting list. A 2 1/2 day lovefest with green woodworking in the pinewoods of Plymouth MA. I’ll be presenting my oak furniture game, but there will be heaps of stuff to do. 8 out of 9 of the instructors carve spoons furiously…

JUNE 18/19 – Another trip down to Maine – for a carved box class at Lie-Nielsen

here come old flat top

JUL, 2016  – the Lie-Nielsen Open House. I missed it in 2015. Not again! I forget the dates, an early weekend in July.


Some bits & pieces

small chest

It’s been about 6 months that I’ve been “out on my own” (I think Roy Underhill called it “free at last”) but I still haven’t really settled into a woodworking routine like I once had…Today, I picked up where I left off over a year and a half ago – finishing a small joined chest I made for Roy’s show in 2013… and

I’ve only had it kicking around for I don’t know how long, and it took all of an hour to finish it off. Needed to drive four nails, trim the floor boards, and set one hinge.

trimming floor boards


inside chest


How stupid that I left it so long! It’s been on the blog in pieces a number of times, I even took it back to Roy’s this past summer, where it was the model for our week-long chest class. Now – it’s done. I copied its proportions from some English examples, it’s quite small. 30″ w x 20″ h x 17″ d. A mixture of sawn and riven oak, with pine floor boards and rear panel. No decoration other than the bevels around the panels. Paneled lid, interior till. It’s for sale if anyone’s interested; send an email if you’d like to talk about it. $2,000 plus shipping. or pick it up. 


I finished this carved rail for the upcoming wainscot chair – started this carving as a museum demonstration at Historic New England in early December – at least it’s not waiting around 18 months. I’m working now on getting that chair moving along steadily; doing some joinery on it tomorrow. The panel is mostly carved, that should be done tomorrow too. 

carved rail 


Updated the teaching schedule –  a couple of additions,

a hewn bowl class at Lie-Nielsen in late August,

a splitting & riving class with Plymouth CRAFT in May in Plymouth Massachusetts;

and we’re adding a 2nd 3-day class at Roy’s (it’s not posted yet) the first one sold out so quickly that we figured let’s add one…so mid-June in Pittsboro, NC.

Here’s some bowl shots from the other day. 

hewn bowl

hewn catalpa & birch


While on the subject of classes – I was talking to the fellow who’s lining up the oak for the joined chest class at Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking – this is oak like you won’t believe. If you’ve seen the posts I’ve done recently about the extra-wide oak – same source. Wow. This class is maybe half-full, or nearly so. A time commitment, but a project that will really be something.



Maureen is still willing to mail stuff in time –


the joined chest project, part the next

back to the week that was…when we attempted to make 10 or 11 joined chests in no time at all. Knuckleheads. 

after all the riving and hewing; we hauled some of the stock into town to begin the task of planing it into boards. I’ll just bop the pictures in, then add whatever I can remember about it. Here’s Steven planing just like I showed him…



Roy was astounded at the amount of shavings produced by working green wood

shavings pile up

roy & shavings






One of our un-named students works in a pointy building on the east coast, and to help him out, Roy put up surveillance cameras throughout the classroom..

woodwright cam

A broom wouldn’t do it, so Roy got out a pitchfork…

roy & shavings 2 roy & shavings 3



Elia couldn’t stand the idea of sending those shavings to the landfill, so we piled them in his truck.

off they go


We did get further along eventually; chopping mortises, over & over & over again.


Then plowing grooves, cutting tenons, test-fitting. 






There was lots of documentation, 

it's horrible


until the last couple days, when I lost track of all – I spent 1/2 of the last 2 days with a checklist, “do you have all your muntin stock?” I never did get it all straight. it’s hard to keep track of 250 piece of oak that all look pretty much the same. 

Then one day Steven emerged from Ed’s store upstairs and everyone ran to his bench like it was Xmas morning – “whaddja get?” – so we had a show & tell…

xmas presents

Just another week at the Woodwright’s School…


For those keeping track, some spoons and things for sale tomorrow…including this new piece: 


spoon rack



Woodwright’s joined chest class – day 1

I once had a t-shirt I got at an Arlo Guthrie concert that read “we know it’s stupid, that’s why we’re here.” goodness only knows what it meant, but a similar notion must have run through the minds of these students -a very good-natured group of would-be joiners who came down to Roy Underhill’s school to attempt to make a joined chest in a week. 10 students means 10 chests. each chest with about 25 pieces of riven oak in it. Plus extras in case something goes wrong…

more oak 2

Roy & I dreamed up this idiotic course, “let’s make a joined chest in a week!” And we booked it & it filled up. well, it became a reality (of sorts) and on the first day, these students split, crosscut, & rived out over 200 piece of oak for said chests. That’s a lot of oak. Here’s the beginning of just one small pile of parts:

growing piles of oak


We tried to sort and count them as we went, but it was doomed.

more oak


We need over 70 panels; about 8″ wide by 12-14″ long. SEVENTY!


We scurried back to the woods to get more of this amazingly straight-grained oak. what a tree!

cross cut 2

I don’t know who this is, but he was not alone.


Thankfully, we found that with proper supervision, it only took Kat a short while to bust out all the oak. it’s not that hard, really.

it's not that hard really


Next, they plane all the long rails, layout the joinery, chop mortises, plow grooves & cut tenons.

Teaching & lecturing, rest of 2014



Although I can recite my travel schedule like Rain Man, fat lot of good that does folks out there looking for it written down. so now, 4 months late, I have updated the list. here’s the link, in case you’re looking for something to do.


If you want to skip the details, here’s the Readers’ Digest version

Apr – Rochester Woodworker’s Society

May – Lie Nielsen – spoon carving

June – SAPFM mid-year lecture/demo

June – Historic New England, lecture/demo

July – Lie-Nielsen Open House

July – Lie-Nielsen 17th-century carving

Aug – Woodwright’s School, make a joined chest

Sep – Heartwood (MA) – make a carved box

Oct – Lie-Nielsen – Spoon carving

Oct – Ct Valley School of Wood Working – Make a carved frame & panel.