Monday, November 11, 2013


I was out of town for a couple of weeks recently; down in Cincinnati for Woodworking in America (peddling my wares) and then in Pennsylvania for a short visit with my family.  WIA was a blast.  I met too many good people to mention here, and had the opportunity to let other people put the new adze through its paces.  Between the adzing, turning demonstrations for the Galbert caliper, and travisher demonstrations, our booth was a mess for the entire show.
As much fun as I had traveling, it felt great coming home to Maine.  I stopped by my workshop as I drove into town to drop off some tools.  After I set down the boxes I stopped and felt my body completely relax for the first time in two weeks.  Home, sweet home.

Reamers in progress.

It is fair to say that for the month leading up to WIA I was basically living in the workshop.  My goal was to finally catch up with the reamer wait list and build a supply of reamers to take with me to the show.  I was also finalizing the adze design and making finished prototypes to take along, but mostly I was cranking out reamers like the little one man factory that I am.

It might sound crazy, but I love the repetition of making the reamers.  I pull ten air dried hickory rounds from the rack above my bandsaw, rough turn, drill, duplicate, turn the top, sand, finish, saw the blade slot, drill for the adjuster screw, cut the shaving reliefs, drill and install the brass tip, ream for the handle, and fit the blade.  It's not really as fast as that description made it sound, but at the end of the process I have ten reamers. I love watching them take shape.  The process is controlled, but it still takes awareness and skill to move through it without losing a few blanks.  That's what keeps it fun.

I started a new batch last week which will take me over 150 reamers so far this year.  You would think that I would have the process figured out and nailed down in every way by now, but I learn a few new things each time I make a batch.  Early on, the lathe duplicator taught me a lot about vibration.  More recently, I've been learning how to find a rhythm in the order of operations that carries me through the process a little faster.


It's funny but my two weeks out of the shop completely throw off my rhythm.  I had to think more about everything that I was doing and I even did a couple of steps out of my normal sequence.  That gives me a couple more things to work on when I make the next batch, and that is what keeps it interesting.