Wow! This was a major event, with hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of woodworkers making the pilgrimage to Amana to see many of the best toolmakers working today (and a few educators, writers, and publishers).

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat or say hi!

Handworks during the Studley talk

Panorama of the Festhalle Barn during the Studley tool chest presentation by Don Williams, Chris Schwarz, and Narayan Nayar

The Toccata Chair

Toccata Chair from J. Miller Handcrafted FurnitureToccata Chair from J. Miller Handcrafted FurnitureFinally! I’ve been working on the Toccata chair in fits and starts all year. I came up with the idea that started this whole journey about 15 years ago. As is often the case in design, though, this chair is nothing like what I had in mind then. But I’m pretty fond of where the process took me.

I’ll have the chair with me this coming weekend at Handworks, in Iowa. Then I ship it off to the Messler Gallery at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine, where it will be in the faculty show all summer.


If you’re at all into hand tools, the place to be next Friday and Saturday (May 24th – 26h) is HandWorks, taking place in Amana, Iowa. Many of the country’s major hand tool makers will be there, along with some prominent teachers, writers, and hand tool authorities. Check out the schedule on the Handworks web site!

Handworks Banner

Me?  I’m along for the ride to promote my school and my books, and to demo some cool hand-tool techniques. Mostly, I’m looking forward to great interactions you all, and with some of the finest proponents of hand tool woodworking anywhere.

I hope to see you there!

There are two types of woodworking classes…

There are certainly more than just two types of classes, but the two most common are “project classes” (build a chair, table, etc.) , and “technique classes” (learn to cut dovetails, etc.). Many classes combine a bit of each, and you learn some techniques as you build your project.

I’m teaching a class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking  (www.marcadams.com) this July 8-12 called “From Woodworker to Craftsman” that may fit into a different category. It’s a class I’m pretty excited about, although it may not be immediately obvious why. There’s a fun project to build (a tool tote), but that isn’t really the focus of the class. And it’s not really a techniques class, either, although it’s got plenty of that as well (we’ll hand cut dovetails and mortise and tenon joints, deal with some curves, and more.

So what’s different about this class? I wanted to design a class where there was a little more emphasis on really improving skills, and developing a better sense of how to get the most out of your tools (and your body). This is obviously something I’ve been working on for quite some time now, and my most recent book – The Foundations of Better Woodworking – was a close look at this topic. This class puts it all into practice.

If you’re looking for more of a project based class, I’m also teaching a Slat-Back Chair class at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking (www.schoolofwoodworking.com). This is a pretty intense week of building an exceptionally comfortable dining chair, and learning about chairs and how to make them. We’ll cover all kinds of chair related issues: curves, joinery with curves, angles and angled chair joinery, bent lamination, and much, much more.

Slat Back Chairs

Slat-Back Chairs