Friday, 24 January 2014

Shop Stool Build off. Where Woodworkers Dare.

  Tomorrow is the day. A day like no other. Eighty plus intrepid woodworkers will put their skills to the test in the Flair Woodworks Shop Stool Build off taking place starting on Jan 25, 2014. A weekend marathon of noise, sweat, sawdust, wrong cuts, good cuts, finger cuts, bandages, dirty work aprons, unkempt hair and beards ending in triumph or failure.

   Be sure to tune in to my blog and Flair Woodworks where you will witness the singe of neurons as the undaunted design their work. Chips will fly as they wield their steel tools. In the end all will be better craftsmen than before this day.

  When the dust settles Prize winners will be announced after January 28, 2014. The host of the competition will be leaving information on Flair Woodworks.

  I wasn't going to participate when I first learned of this competition a month ago but I thought Cole (aka The Apprentice) could gain experience in the build and also see that he and I are not the only ones who have such a great interest in making something from our own hands.

 Cole and the work bench I helped him construct in my shop. 

  He has his own space to work at home but is always welcome here. Cole is the son of Peter and Terry, friends of ours. Peter is a steel fabricator and asked if I could help out Cole with some wood stuff. I believe he has his fathers aptitude when it comes to hands on work, just a different medium.

  The Apprentice is keen to learn more and demonstrates a good natural understanding of the material we work with. The third most important thing this twelve year old has mastered so far is that woodworking takes time. Rome was not built in a day but maybe his shop stool will be. What happened to one and two?

  Well number one is Safety. Can I do this safely, how do I do it safely, where are my fingers. Number two, when hammering in a nail look at the nail head, not your thumb. The hammer strikes where you look. Ouch! Yes I confess to a little giggle after he did it.

Cole on Tuesday night just finished some crates. They will later be arranged into a table. 

  The apprentice would like to purchase a used 14 inch bandsaw for his shop space at home, so in order to raise money I suggested he build some spoons and spatulas from various woods I have in the shop. I admit to hoarding scraps under the cutoff table. It takes about an hour to cut, smooth and apply finish to each spoon or spatula to perfection. We do good work here or not at all.

  " An hour each," he said. " Times twenty sets that's forty hours......" as his shoulders slumped. He figured that out in his head. "Good math skills", I grinned at him. This is also the moment he learned that third most important thing. But he continues undaunted. It's all fun anyway.
Here are a batch in progress

  Once he has 20 or sets done ( I am making some too they are so fun to make and will be additional to the 2 he makes) we will put them up on facebook and on the blog for purchase then they can be mailed out to you. First come first pick once we get the pics up. I will let you know.

Might also have a few serving/ chopping boards in walnut available by then too.

  Just to finish I would like to thank Chris for starting up this build off. It's a fun idea for the woodworkers and lots of work to look at for everyone else.

Until tomorrow
Ken an the Apprentice


  1. Ken,

    I quite enjoyed your introduction. Very good writing.


    1. Chris,
      Thanks I am glad you liked it. Cole had a great time today building his stool. The only other things he has made so far are spoons. He did all the work, I just gave some direction and encouragement. Thanks for hosting this competition.

  2. Best of luck! I love that you have an apprentice...lucky kid :)