How you livin?

8:15 am. Time to punch that clock.


Making stuff. Making stuff at Jones River Landing.


Old boats keep vigil here.


She looks…stern.

Inside, fresh-hewn oak scents the air, like some weird-smelling potpourri made out of hand tools, traditions, and angst.

Fire’s sluggish in the wood stove. Work, warm us up!


Our timbers are hewn. It’s on to cutting their joints now. We’re making a timber-framed bridge.

There’s more than one way to off the waste wood.


Pitchers and catchers this week!

Halifax below is tapering tenons with wooden scrub.


Tapering Tenons is first cousin to Suffering Succotash.

I left my wooden planes at home. So I used a Stanley on the green oak. I should know better. Peter Follansbee warned me about this very thing more than a decade ago. I thought, I’ll wipe it down at the end of the day. What’s the worst that could happen?

Use my dim-wit as a cautionary tale, good people.

This is your plane on tannic acid.


The plane’s sole looks a bit like a Rorschach Test. I see steel wool. And butterflies.

The oak was milled at Gurney’s about a month ago. Hard to say when the trees were felled, but it was all still quite green. That’s not sapwood in the end grain below, but rather the slow march of seasoning oak.


Green oak moves like crazy as it seasons. The trick is anticipating how the movement will affect the joint. Below, we undercut the center of the scarf by as much as a quarter inch down from our lines, knowing the oak will flatten across the width of the joint as it dries.


That chisel’s kind of blue, said Miles. Cool, said Trane.

Aligning the mortising machine before the plunge.

Keith: Better to arris on the side of caution.

Michael: I’m looking for a wealthy arris

It’s like this all day, folks.


Coffee’s gone bitter. Time to call it.



Some quality links of interest:


Did you know that the blue oak icon (above) which I use liberally on this blog was designed by the uber-talented Cynda Warren Joyce of CWJ Designs? Cynda’s work runs the gambit from custom logos and print designs to photography to childrens’ books to stained glass. If you’re looking for that unique gift or company logo, click on!


We are continually amazed at the knowledge and dedication of the folks at Jones River Landing. Pine, and company, are devoted to a very special part of our region and share their expertise and enthusiasm via public programs, boat-building workshops, maritime history, and community involvment. There’s a weekly jam session to boot! Interested? You know what to do.


The best Honky Tonk band in the East is playing locally at the BBC in Cedarville, MA this Saturday, February 15th. Yeah, chocolate is sweet. Roses? meh. I suppose you could stand in line at CVS like everyone else. But if you really want to show your affection, whisk your sweetheart to see The Dinghys, featuring the timber-framin’, jack-liftin’, quoteworthyin’ Pret on the banjo. The band absolutely shreds err-thing from Johnny Cash to Mumford and Sons. Highly recommended.
Tagged , ,

6 thoughts on “How you livin?

  1. Jason says:

    That plane’s sole looks a lot like my saw’s teeth after one days use….I still don’t have a good solution to cleaning all the teeth to stop my hard earned sharpening going dull…:/

  2. Rick says:

    I wonder what Matt Cianci ( would recommend, Jason? Would that steel wool/green spray cleaner be enough to get all the teeth?

  3. John Wolf says:

    I took my favorite Stanley scrub and smoother planes to the PF class I went to, they are easier for me to adjust and use than my wooden ones and I was sure I would be struggling with plenty of things without having to fuss with my tools. I didn’t have any steel wool, nor did anyone else. I found that a paste made of wood ash and the olive oil I had along for sharpening worked well to clean up the rust, paste wax on the cleaned metal kept it away. The ash is just abrasive enough to do the job, possibly slightly basic too. I haven’t tried it, but baking soda might work too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: