Author Archives: fitz

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.

The Curious Case of the Missing Holdfast

We know the English knew about the holdfast by the early 1800s; Joseph Moxon shows it in “Mechanic Exercises” in 1683. Yet Peter Nicholson (who trained briefly as a joiner) neither shows nor mentions it in his 1812 book “Mechanical … Continue reading

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Cauls – Fancy Cauls – to the Rescue!

For no particular reason, I decided to make some shelves for the bathroom on which to store towels, extra toilet paper and the like. Sure, on my to-do list there’s a hallway linen cupboard in which those things can eventually … Continue reading

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Anyone Free for Dinner in Syracuse, N.Y.?

I considered making the 16-hour drive from Cincinnati to Warren, Maine, in one day next week for the July 13-14 Lie-Nielsen Open House…but then remembered I’m almost 50 and one really ought not be that foolish beyond the age of … Continue reading

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Woodworking in Literature (or, The Lazy Researcher)

In “The Taming of the Shrew” Katherine calls Petruchio a “joyn’d stool,” to which he responds in a less-than-gentleman-like manner: “Thou hast hit it: come, sit on me,” among other salacious riposts that devolve into talk of tongues in tails. … Continue reading

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Owner’s Signatures

Leaf through “Mechanic’s Companion,” and you’ll find a signature at the top of some of the pages. Those are, I assume, the signature of the original owner (J. Hildebrand?) of the book I scanned to produce my printing. So why … Continue reading

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‘Mechanic’s Companion’ in Brooklyn & Canada

I’m pleased to announce that soon, “Mechanic’s Companion” will be available through Tools for Working Wood in Brooklyn, N.Y., and its website and at Lee Valley Tools stores in Canada and the company’s online store. Both also ship international. (I … Continue reading

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‘The Workbench,’ à la Nicholson

Last week, 99 boxes of “The Mechanic’s Companion” arrived on my sidewalk, and one by one, I hauled about one-quarter of them up the stairs and into the house. Two by two, Christopher Schwarz hauled in the other three-quarters. (He … Continue reading

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