…an ingenious equipoise of thrusts and stresses–firm, but not too rigid

–AC Edwards, The Homes of Essex

I miss the steroid era.

I go to work with some ridiculously talented, creative, and idiosyncratic human beings.


The truth is out there-

Our projects run the gambit from researching and constructing a Shakespearean stage, to faithfully restoring old house frames from the sill up, to using natural log forms while constructing a custom tree house.


More recently, I’ve been fortunate to help with a few of Plymouth CRAFT’s  kick-ass workshops. CRAFT has been making waves around here recently, featuring author Paula Marcoux and internationally renowned Peter Follansbee among many other bright lights in the field.

Check them out and see if there are any workshops which hollow your bowl: http://www.plymouthcraft.org/


Jögge Sundqvist at the Plymouth CRAFT Green Wood Fest, 2016

Their work and methods deserve to see the light of day.


JoJo Wood & a future clog at Green Wood Fest. photo by Peter Follansbee

My aim is to turn that light on reluctant, hard-working and humbly brilliant individuals who are carrying on some fantastic traditions even as they are creating novel ways of getting the job done.

On BLUE OAK’S allied video channel, you’ll see axes choppin’, charcoal burnin’, ash poundin’, and pit-sawin’.



Thanks for coming along.

blue acorn

Rick McKee-  



17 thoughts on “About

  1. Robert R. Lindh says:

    Rick……Wish you well– liked the old blog and am sure I will like the new blog….One request.the top boarder is to low cutting off some of the blog pictures and its disturbing to look at .can this be adjusted?? ..again all the best in your new indever,Bob Lindh,Western Pa.

    • Rick says:

      I hear you Bob–I’ve thought the exact same thing. Thanks for the feedback. The theme I’m using now–“Superhero”–won’t allow me to shorten that header so I’ve been looking for another. If only i could take a rank-set scrub plane to it…

      I’ll keep looking–thanks again.


  2. wordwitch123 says:

    Don’t know if I”m seeing a fixed version, or if you all still think it’s too low, but you can likely add a child theme (just a line of alternative code) which would address the height of the header. I can show you sometime if this is too mysterious. This may not be possible with this particular theme, but such fixes usually are.

    • Rick says:

      Is this Pat? Hi! And that would be great. I’m not sure how much WordPress allows tinkering in their no-frills themes, but I really appreciate the offer of help! And thanks for your kind words.

  3. wordwitch123 says:

    And I love your blog! You are a great, engaging writer and photographer with a phenomenal eye for the meaningful.

  4. Linda Master says:

    I’m so glad I found you again!

  5. John Montague says:

    I’ll echo Linda’s sentiment. Glad to have found you again! Wishing you the best in your new venture.

  6. Tim Berube says:

    I have looked at your site and it has made me miss hewing, and the swing of the axe. It is also good to see faces I haven’t seen for some time. I do love what I am doing now. Who wouldn’t love making glove boxes and emerging threat units! But TIG is not that physical, it is like hewing, or, like sewing, but there is no swing, no weight at the end of a stick, no pull on your muscles, and the madness in your blood that pushes you on when the pain builds, from day after day of swinging an axe, and when your muscles fail, and its still early, and the hurt is still to tender.
    Yes. I miss that.
    Beautiful site.
    Is Pret still crazy? 😀 hehe

  7. Rick says:

    He is, Tim. It’s good to hear from you. Hewing does leave a mark, doesn’t it? Here’s a link to Tim’s blog, folks: http://timberbee.org

  8. Caleb says:

    How does one even begin to get into this line of work? My interest is immense though my experience is slight. North Bennet seems like a start but my wallet is light.

    • Rick says:

      I hear you Caleb. Follow your interests. I’m not sure what kind of financial aid packages North Bennet offers, but I bet you can piece together a fluency in green woodworking and traditional work through workshops (keep an eye open for the various workshops which Peter Follansbee blogs about), joining various woodworking groups, and picking up hand tools and having a go. Don’t worry about making mistakes. There are several really good books out there to help refine your goals. Ask a lot of questions. Find the folks nearby who are also doing this kind of work. I’ll be glad to advise or ask the guys if I can help answer anything. Volunteer when there is an opportunity. Your interest is key. The rest will follow. Keep in touch, Caleb, and let us know how things are going.

  9. Jason says:

    Hello Rick, Just found you by luck. You are my new hero. Just tremendous work you are engaged in. Not to mention really well written pieces and quality pics/vids. I cant get enough of the hewing intelligence. Seems like you have graduated to a supreme place in the world of timber work. I live the Saugerties,NY( Hudson Valley region) and got bit by the traditional construction bug maybe ten years ago. You are doing the kind of work that I have wished I was doing. Its nice to see it happening with you and thanks for sharing all you’ve learned. Jason

    • Rick says:

      Hey Jason, I appreciate the kind words and thanks so much for checking out the blog. I’m fortunate to work with some really incredible talent. If you’re ever in the neighborhood (Southeastern Mass) look us up! Have you met Jim Kricker? He’s a traditional framer/millwright/boatbuilder in your area: http://www.rondoutwoodworking.com/index.html Keep in touch and thanks again!

  10. ksbeth says:

    hey rick, thanks for reading and following – i look forward to doing the same ) beth

  11. hiscarpentry says:

    It may have been Peter’s camera, but he was in the open forum while JoJo was demoing her brilliant skills. 😉

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