Popular Woodworking Article about Ejler Hjorth-Westh

•June 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Ejler Hjorth-Westh greets the day

Ejler Hjorth-Westh greets the day    (click here to read an interview Linda did with Ejler in January)

If you subscribe to Sharp & to the Point, the Hock Tools newsletter, you probably know that my wife Linda Rosengarten is editor-in-chief, correspondent on the spot, interviewer, photograph archivist, etc. Linda also wrote an insightful and entertaining profile of furniture-maker, Ejler Hjorth-Westh for the August issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Many of you had a rare opportunity to experience Ejler’s teaching style at last year’s Woodworking in America where he lectured on chair design and construction.

Here's what to look for

Here’s what to look for

Linda did a wonderful job on this very readable article. We’ve received our copy in the mail so all you subscribers should have received yours already or will receive yours soon. The rest of you — head to your local newstand, bookstore or wherever fine magazines are sold to pick up your copy. And think about subscribing — PWW is a great magazine for all woodworkers.

New! Glen-Drake Saw Videos

•June 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Kevin Glen Drake has embarked on a series of very informative promotional videos about how saws work and how to use them. The first two videos are available now with more promised soon. Glen-Drake’s saw designs are carefully considered, bringing new features and functionality to the genre. Plus, fortunately for us, Kevin does an excellent job explaining how his saws solve various problems inherent in traditional saw design and techniques. Well done!

Subscribe to the Glen-Drake YouTube channel to stay informed.

Speed Sharpening

•June 10, 2014 • 4 Comments

No grinder?  No problem.

WIA 2014 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina!

•May 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment
It's Not ALL Serious Work

It’s Not ALL Serious Work

Popular Woodworking Magazine proudly presents Woodworking in America!

Join us at WIA 2014, the Ultimate Woodworking Weekend. This year woodworkers and toolmakers get to experience the pleasures of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a new location for WIA. And Linda and I will be there! This will be Hock Tools‘ 7th time attending WIA. Every WIA has been rewarding in so many ways. We get to meet our customers face-to-face, demonstrate our tools, help with tool-tuning problems, and watch woodworkers like you find the joy in using the well-tuned hand planes that we bring along. And we love the chance to swap lies with our fellow tool-makers over a beer or two. Linda and I have never been to North Carolina so we’re are planning to spend a couple extra days getting acquainted with the area.

WIA is an incredible event for all of us involved in woodworking. We just don’t have that many opportunities to improve our skills with this many of the best the world offers in woodworking, and to personally chat-up the world’s finest tool-makers. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! So book now and take advantage of all the terrific things WIA 2014 offers you. You will be glad you did!

We’ll see you there!

New Summer Classes at College of the Redwoods

•March 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

If coming to the Mendocino Coast for the sheer natural beauty of the place isn’t enough…

Every summer College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program offers several excellent courses. Their three-week Tools and Techniques class is always very popular and is now offered as a one-week plane-making class (the tools part) followed by two weeks of technique instruction. In this condensed, intensive three-week course you can learn the core basics of the nine-month apprenticeship program started 32 years ago by James KrenovJim Budlong, long famous for his technical accomplishment and teaching ability, as well as immeasurable patience and good humor, will once again be teaching Tools and Techniques. Students of all skill levels are welcome and I would encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to achieve a greater proficiency with your woodworking.

With chairs trending in woodworking these days caning and upholstery are taken up and de-mystified this summer at CR. For the first time at CR you’ll have the rare opportunity to learn to build the classic Danish Cord Stool in a week-long class by David Johnson:

Danish cord is a three- ply Kraft paper cord resembling rush, widely used in the production of Scandinavian furniture. Students attending this class will construct a simple 16 inch-square stool in oak and weave the seat. —  from CR Fine Furniture

David is also teaching a three-day class in Caning this summer. A lot of woodworkers shy away from doing their own upholstery. I guess it seems too mysterious or far afield or something. But why let a little mystery spoil the satisfaction of having done it all yourself? Take the leap from woodworker to Furniture Maker.

And speaking of upholstery, Wheeler Munroe will teach a one-week Upholstery for Furniture:

Wheeler plans to present an overview of a variety of situations and solutions that can arise in upholstered furniture. Daily lectures, slide shows and demonstrations will be followed by hands-on exercises incorporating the day’s lesson. Information gained in this class will be useful in the planning of unique projects and in the restoration of treasures. Wheeler is of the opinion that upholstery is a sculptural process with a variety of creative and accurate approaches. Her goal is to familiarize students with a range of materials and methods. — from CR Fine Furniture

Summers are cool here on the coast — the average high temperature in June and July is about 65F. Our local area has a lot to offer for the whole family, from hiking and mountain biking in the woods to long walks and horse rides on lovely, lonely beaches; great lodging, dining, golf, fishing and giant redwoods. Oh, and don’t forget the Skunk Train!.

See you this summer!

“Holy Crap I’m a Plane-Maker!” by Scott Meek

•March 25, 2014 • 1 Comment
Scott Meek at Handworks 2013 in Amana, Iowa. Photo Credit: Robin MacGregor.

Scott Meek at Handworks 2013
in Amana, Iowa.
Photo Credit: Robin MacGregor.

About a year ago, a strange thing happened. I was at a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event in Raleigh, NC showing off some of my wood body planes. The one and only Roy Underhill was also there, with his spring pole lathe. As is proper with the world, Roy had a rather large crowd around him and he was as entertaining as ever. I’d caught myself entranced by his showmanship many times as well. Suddenly, as I’m watching Roy work, a gentleman turns and looks at me, his eyes go wide, and he walks over to my bench and says, “You’re Scott Meek! I’ve admired your planes for awhile now. It is so exciting to meet you!”

Dumbfounded, all I could find to reply was, “You do realize that was Roy Underhill you were just watching, right?” He told me that he‘d met Roy before but hadn’t yet met me. Then he said,Follow this link for the rest of Scott’s story.

School Days (Get Woodworking!)

•February 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Wall Cabinet by Henry Hewitt (photo Kari Logwood)

Wall Cabinet by Henry Hewitt (photo Kari Logwood)

Yes, it’s that time of year again! Time for the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Mid Winter Show and, as usual, the show is stunning. Check out the comprehensive gallery of the show’s offerings posted by Kari Logwood on her blog, WoodWabbet. I know we’re off the beaten path here in Fort Bragg, California, at the end of several roads, really. But this show is worth a bit of a drive. A beautiful drive, too. Hurry, though, as the show closes the ninth of this month. The reception will be this Friday, the seventh, and is always a great party. I’ll be behind the bar, as usual pouring wine and opening bottles of beer. I hope to see you there!

Bocote Plane by James Krenov

Bocote Plane by James Krenov

The CR FWW program launched my career as a blade maker and I couldn’t be more grateful. I was in the right place at the right time, thirty-odd years ago, when James Krenov and his class needed better blades for the planes they make and use and was (just barely) smart enough to follow along on what has been a truly wonderful adventure. It’s been a real privilege to know every instructor and every student. The students are usually fairly accomplished woodworkers when they apply (but not always). The year-long program hones existing skills and develops new ones galore. Regardless of the skill level going in, every student comes out a master artisan.

Logo, GWW14

Woodworking schools and classes are abundant right now. Close your eyes, start walking and you’ll likely bump into one. No matter your skill level, you can always improve. If you’re a complete novice, never touched a plane or chisel, you can find a class situation that will build the skills you need to make beautiful works of wood. And if you already have some skills, you can always improve them and learn new ones. I have a (very incomplete) list at HockTools.com that I’ve copied here (in no particular order):

College of the Redwoods (James Krenov’s) Fine Woodworking Program check out this great web site!
Inside Passage (Robert Van Norman carries on the James Krenov tradition)
The Northwest Woodworking Studio (Rogowski’s place in Portland, OR)
Four Sisters Woodworking Vacations (right here in Fort Bragg, CA)
The Windsor Workshop (West Sussex, England)
Red Rocks School of Fine Woodworking and Lutherie (Lakewood, Colorado)
The Woodworking School (Buckley, Washington)
Rosewood Studio  (Ontario, Canada)
The Woodworker Academy   (Alameda, CA)
Center for Furniture Craftsmanship   (Rockport, ME)
Island Mountain Arts - (British Columbia, Canada)
American Woodworking Academy  (O’Fallon, MOi)
New England School of Architectural Woodworking (Easthampton, MA)
David Charlesworth’s Courses Site   (Devon, England)
John Lloyd Fine Furniture  Courses in furniture making and restoration (East Sussex, England)

The editors of Fine Woodworking Magazine maintain a much more comprehensive list as well. I am amazed at the number of offerings. Also, ask your local community college or woodworking supply store if and when they offer classes. You may be surprised what’s available nearby. Don’t be afraid to jump in. Nobody was born knowing how to do this. It’s never too late to learn. Woodworking is such a rewarding activity. Step off the curb and join the parade. It’s time to GET WOODWORKING!


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