Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hello, stranger

What can I say, dear reader? My humble apologies. Rest assured it's not just you I've been neglecting; two issues of Popular Woodworking and one of Woodworking sit untouched beside me as I type. Been afflicted by a touch of the Woodworker's Black Dog I think, so been doing a little creative stuff of a non-woodworking sort instead. Heck, you can see how little I've been in the workshop...

Heh, it's not actually anything to do with it of course, but rather a valuable visual reminder of why you don't want to cut timber in the Spring. Alas, no option with this willow and I have grave doubts whether it'll end up as anything but firewood anyway. Heigh ho, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And yes, it really probably shouldn't still be "in the round" like that, but Bill ran away with his chainsaw before I could get it halved. Being contorted I really doubt it'll split.

Anyway, the dark canine has not been helped by the demise of another one of my woodworking inspirations; John Brown, Welsh Stick Chair Maker, Good Woodworking columnist and thought-provoking luddite. Long-term inmates of this blog will recall my own foray into chair making inspired by JB. When I first read his stuff in GWW I was firmly in the routers-are-king-this-man-is-a-deluded-luddite camp, along with many a letter writer to the editor. It wasn't until much, much later that I realised it was those columns that planted the seed that eventually lead to the hand tool nut you see before you today. You might reasonably say he has a lot to answer for... Anyway, others have marked his passing more eloquently than I ever could, so I direct you towards Chris Schwarz's blog and some thoughts from Jeff Gorman on the Old Tools List. I'll just provide some piccies; first, one of his chairs. The second, a cover from his second stint with GWW. Bless you, John; trust there's a comfy chair awaiting you. And if not, some good tools to make one.

John Brown, 1932-2008


  1. Ah, black dog...

    Nothing depressing about that!


  2. Good to see you blogging again, Alf.


    Paul Chapman

  3. A Black Dog has just arrived here. It's a long time since I have seen him and he is most unwelcome.

    Good to see you back though. I have missed you.

    Michael from Corsham.

  4. What a relief, opened your blog and found a new entry.

    Had a bit of that ole dog myself, need to get out in the shop and work myself out of it.

    Looks like the hand tool community lost a real guru.


  5. Happy to see your back - now that she's past pup, I take my black dog into the garage when I need to play - of course she's a happy black lab, just full of love, and sleep...

    So if you can't work your black dog away in the shop, I suggest you try taking one in there with you!

    Seriously, glad your musing again.


  6. Black dogs of many a variety it seems. I'd probably rank the beer first, then the lab! Although I'd be more likely to partake of a half of Tribute for choice ;-)


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