Monday, September 8, 2014

The Drill Bits are Here!

It's taken a while, but I'm happy to announce that we are now taking orders for sets of chairmakers long spur brad point drill bits. Charlie Ryland came here last February straight from North Bennet Street. We talked about his making drill bits, but quickly became mired in all sorts of other projects. But lately Charlie jumped in and started grinding away.

Just as with Claire and the travishers and Tim with the reamers and adzes, he has advanced the bits beyond what I was doing with them. By making some slight alterations to the dressing of the wheel, he's managed to make a bit that lets you know when it is about to poke through the other side of the workpiece. The lead spur is slightly wider at the base and the change in pressure as it comes through is perceptible.

If you aren't familiar with the abilities of these bits, I will be making a video when we get back from North Carolina. The geometry of these bits is helpful in getting clean entry and exits holes as well as drilling at angles,  making them great for making chairs. Plus, seeing a ribbon like shaving pour out of the hole proves that drill bits really are woodworking tools, deserving of attention and respect just like a plane or chisel.

The bits are available in sets of 5 as shown for $110 plus $10 for shipping. They are made from American made High Speed Steel and include 5/8", 1/2", 7/16", 3/8" and 11/32".
The larger bits require a drill with a 1/2" chuck.

Charlie will have some sets available for purchase at WIA and is accepting orders at And of course, feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Big Tease

I know that things are quiet here, but it's not because nothing is happening, it's that too much is happening. Chris Schwarz and I have set the release time for the book in early December and I am thrilled to get it out there. But right now, I am focusing on my talks at Woodworking in America down in Winston Salem at the end of next week.
Perhaps it's the fear of standing in front of a crowd with nothing to say, or maybe just that I haven't had a moment to finish a thought in the last year, but as I've turned my attention to the talks that I'm slated to give, I've had some wonderful breakthroughs in my process for creating rockers this week.

By the way, the process for giving talks works like this, "sure Megan, I'd love to, how about talking about rocking chairs for two hours?!". Then comes the "what do I really know about rockers?" part.

Yes, I've been making them for 14 years, but with all the variables and processes, they have always been challenging to design and execute.
 At my talk on rockers, I will be demonstrating not only the concepts involved, which are pure nerdy joy, but also the nuts and bolts for creating a rocker that needs little more than the shifting of your eyelids to take you on a lovely ride. There is nothing like plunking down in a rocker that is tuned to your body and sitting habits and I will be covering the methods to make it happen.
I hope it doesn't sound like I'm getting "too big for my britches" as my mother used to tell me, but, I have been on the trail of a simple, repeatable process for fine tuning these chairs, and I can't wait to share it.
For those of you who can't make it to WIA, rest assured, when I get this book/monkey off my back, I will surely be posting my results on Chairnotes.

Beside my talks, I hope you'll be able to come down and meet Claire, Tim, Charlie, Seth and all the other great folks in the Marketplace. Even my mother and brother will be there!
I can honestly say that last years event was one of highlights of my experience in the woodworking community.
Plus, if you ask, I can also share the results of my quest to make the perfect poached egg (yes, it involves making a proper spoon). I hope to see you there .

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


It is impossible to hang out with Peter Follansbee, as I did last weekend, and not come home and spend a day on the porch carving spoons.


We do things a bit differently, but he was downright inspiring. I was also thrilled to spend time with all the other great folks at the Lie-Nielsen open house. It would be difficult to convey exactly how wonderfully they treated us and how generous they were.
Here is the finished spoon, made from apple wood.

It's a good eating spoon. I would be happy to sell it for $55 and $5 shipping if anyone is interested. I'll draw names if I get more than one buyer. For the moment, I am going to keep proceeds from my spoon sales to help with the bills, but I hope to continue the Spoons for Hunger project once things settle down a bit.

Thanks to all the folks who have reached out to offer solace and comfort lately. Transitions are never easy and your kindness is much appreciated. I'm sure that quilting guilds and dog clubs are full of great folks, but I can't help but think that woodworkers are the kindest lot there is.