Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Apprentice

My son Logan who starts high school tomorrow (gasp) turns 14 next month. He has really grown lately and more and more wants to be involved in what I am doing. I've always thought that he needs a little more upper body strength to make his own windsor chair. Well he has proven that can be done and tonight he started expressing interest in timber framing.  I went through all the steps on how to cut mortises in the top plates. He patiently listened to all I told him and took to the tools with relative ease. I think he's a keeper. I guess I'll train him to be a master woodworker only to lose him to some college someday. 

He wrestled a bit with the chain mortiser but really liked how it cut square holes.

Here is the pile of timbers comprising of the 3 bent sections ready to be assembled.
Saturday I mounted the two 16' top plates to be worked on the saw horses. These babies are pushing 500 pounds easy. These are the last of the big timbers to be made then I'll make all the braces and roof rafters.
Logan got a shot of me finishing up the mortises on the top plates tonight.

Here is a post that I almost did not use from all the bark but it has become my favorite piece from all the character it has.
I had to remove all the bark to keep out the bugs and now it favors more of a log home feel. It is much harder to reference off of non square surfaces but anything will work if you just pay attention and get creative with the framing square.
I have pre-drilled all the 1'' peg holes. All the holes in the tenons are moved closer to the shoulder about 1/8'' to benefit from draw boring. This was common practice back in the day. Don't forget August 17th is raising day. I should be ready.
I had a chance to play around with the new John Neeman draw knife that they made from my design. The quality they put into everything they make is unmatched.
This is a big knife but I like the power it has to skew and slice chair seats.
Jacob did a fantastic job making the handles and the hand made leather sheath.

The edge came razor sharp and the back is polished like a mirror. Some fine honing will make this knife sing many tunes. Please check out these guys from John Neeman tools. The web site link is on my blog. Check out the promotion videos they offer on forging tools. Very well done.


  1. Greg, Thanks so much for the review. We all are glad that you like the drawknife we made for you.


    Jacob and the John Neeman Tools team

  2. Thanks again Jacob. This draw knife makes it easier.

  3. Sweet photos. Can't wait to see some of the new frame when we come around this fall. And so awesome that Logan is getting into the habit, too.

  4. Thanks Ziggy, looking forward to seeing you guys again.

  5. Howdy Greg, really looking forward to photos from your barn raising.
    Beautiful looking drawknife ,and no mistake.
    Great that your young bloke is showing an interest. Mine is 2 years old so a little early to say whether he'll do the same but would love if he did.
    Nice one.