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Unplugged Summer Update

Toolchests and saw satchel.

  Well here we are, already the end of July, already halfway through our summer vacation. It’s been an amazing month filled with lots of much needed rest and relaxation. I haven’t been doing too much in the way of wood work, but I have…


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The Gentleman’s Valet – Part Eight

Beading tool on Lacewood molding

  We’re winding down in the Valet project, and here, in the second to last installment, I’m applying the molding. When you think of molding, you probably think of hollows and rounds. The truth is, moldings can be any shape or size, and you don’t…


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SLOW

Canoeing on the Margaree River, Cape Breton Island.

  We spent this morning, paddling around on the Margaree River, taking in all of the sights and smells that nature has to offer. It’s nice to drift along, letting the river carry you along, with no time or destination in mind.     We…


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Hammer Veneering

hammer veneering, hot hide glue, veneer, hot glue, liquid hide glue, howto veneer,

In the last video post, the Gentleman’s Valet part seven, the exterior of the drawer box carcase was veneered using hot hide glue and a veneer hammer. This method is known as hammer veneering and has been used for applying veneer for centuries. Hammer veneering…


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The Gentleman’s Valet – Part Seven

Hot hide glue in glue pot

  In my last video post, the Gentleman’s Valet part six, the drawer pull was made using solid holly. This time around, the drawer box carcase is finally veneered. I’m using a store bought veneer that is sold as a ‘thick’ veneer. At 1/32-in., it…


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Miles from Nowhere

treadle lathe, treadle sewer, foot powered, treadle grinder,

I stopped at Myles from Nowhere, a small antique store near my home, hear on Cape Breton Island, the other day. To my surprise and delight, he had some parts from a treadle assembly I’ve been searching for for some time. When I get back…


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The Gentleman’s Valet – Part Six

Drawer pull detail in holly.

  In the last video post, the Gentleman’s Valet part five, the drawer front was inlaid with holly stringing, and a cock-bead was applied around the perimeter. This marked the end of the drawer box construction and from there it was onto the drawer pull….


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Navigating Hurricanes

Hurricane Arthur

  I’m sitting at my sisters cottage, in rural New Brunswick today, listening to the rain and the wind outside, testing the newly renovated work they’ve done on the place since the winter. Hurricane Arthur is making his way up the coast, dropping 100-150 millimeters…


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Tool Slaving

the unplugged woodshop, tom fidgen, the gentleman's valet, beading tool, woodworking, hand tools

  The term ‘tool slaving’ is used to describe the process of using hand tools that are dedicated in size, to the job required. In fact, more often than not, the tool size dictates the job. For instance, if you’re making a mortise and tenon…


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The Art of Restoration

mark harrell

  I know many of you reading this have Facebook accounts, and may have already seen this. I also know that if you’re like me, you can’t stand scrolling through the countless pages of spam and adds, hoping to find something worthwhile reading on FB….


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A Valet in Toronto

Valet detail

  I received a letter from Rick, in Toronto yesterday. He recently finished his version of the Gentleman’s Valet, following plans from my book, The Unplugged Woodshop. Your timing is perfect Rick, and the valet looks great! It’s also great to see your sawyer’s bench…


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The Gentleman’s Valet – Part Five

the gentleman's valet, the unplugged woodshop, tom fidgen, made by hand, wood working

  In the last video post, the Gentleman’s Valet part four, I dovetailed the drawer parts, glued the drawer box, and fine tuned the fit. With the drawer finely fitting well into the carcase opening, the next step was to add some traditional details. The…


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The Unknown Project

The Gentleman's Valet - hanger detail

  Have you ever been struck with an idea for a new project design and then, upon further inspection, you didn’t follow through with it? You imagine the next great furniture design but somehow, you talk yourself out of making it, or even trying to…


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Gang Cutting Dovetails

Fret-sawing the waste in both drawer sides saves time.

  If you watched my last video post, the Gentleman’s Valet part four, you may have noticed around the 0:24 mark, that my dovetails were all laid out, with both sides of the drawer, ganged together in my Lying Press, ready to be sawn. This…


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