Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 1, 2011.

Update #7

So whats going on with the Joiner's Apprentice?


Well, as I mentioned, its going to take some time to get the shop up and running.  The good news is, its all just about ready!  There's an infinite number of future improvements waiting to happen (not the least of which is building the real workbench - the one with all your names stamped in it), but I have the core tools and materials to begin working on the Packing Boxes tomorrow!  I am still waiting for a few of the "nice to have" tools, but the essential ones have been received from a collection of flea markets, antique stores, reproduction manufacturers, and from tool procurement specialists.  I've been grinding plane irons, sharpening chisels, and building sawbenches.  I've sent saws out to be sharpened, and had the UPS guy ask what I am up to with all the deliveries.  Yesterday it mostly came to a head, at last, as my order of cut nails finally arrived.

Why all the fuss over nails?  Doesn't every hardware store carry them?  Well, there will be more on that soon.  Short answer is that no... hardware stores do not carry cut nails, and the wire nails they do carry are not sufficient for the demands of traditional joinery.  If you're interested, a big hint is in the intense wedge-shape you can see on that package label.  

The patches and tool rolls are coming along, though our Texan friends have been affected by the fires and drought.  I'm told the patches are about complete, but not sure if they will be sent soon or will wait until the tool rolls are done.  In any case, your patience in the matter is appreciated.  

More information on the nuts and bolts of the project (although no nuts and bolts are involved) as it unfolds is available at :

Thanks for your support, and its really a great feeling to be so close to starting the real bulk of the experiment, now that the fundraising and procurement phase is drawing to a close!

Your loyal apprentice,


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    6 backers

    Eternal gratitude, access to the project updates, and the satisfaction of helping an artisan find his feet.

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    5 backers

    A handwritten thank you postcard sent to the address of your choice. A print of a photo from the project will be used.

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    8 backers Limited (42 left of 50)

    A hand-printed silkscreened patch featuring project artwork. These reward gifts are kindly donated by crafty friends at

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    13 backers

    Your name or brief message stamped into my workbench as a reminder, for myself and all who see the bench over its lifetime, of the spirit of generosity and the importance of patronage. That should be a couple hundred years. This reward is available for all pledge levels above this, as well.

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    5 backers Limited (26 left of 31)

    Dovetail Joint - I will be cutting at least a dovetail joint each day in an exercise suggested by Chris Schwarz (co-author of the new edition of Joiner and Cabinet Maker). You will receive a sample dovetail joint, numbered and dated. All will be photographed as an exhibit of progress.

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    10 backers All gone!

    A hand-printed custom-made canvas tool roll, perfect for your own handtools (screwdrivers, bike tools, whatever you like). Like the patches, these are screen printed by hand with project artwork and generously contributed by my friends at

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    Packing Box - The packing box is the first project detailed by Thomas the apprentice in the Joiner and Cabinetmaker. It is a small box used to protect books for their journey by carriage. The antique version of a cardboard moving box, this one will, rather than being thrown away or even recycled, instead last several lifetimes and be useful for anything you can think of to protect. Built of unfinished wood and without hinges, it is ideal for storing items for the long-term. Its designed to be nailed shut (pre-drilled nail holes and cut nails will be provided with it - just as in the case of Thomas's box), but hinges could easily be added. Each box will be pre-drilled to accept the cut nails, and ample nails to seal the box will be included, just as they were with Thomas's box.

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    7 backers All gone!

    School Box - The school box is a beautiful dovetailed box with wrought-iron strap-hinges, a lock, and a removable partition inside. The box was made for a wealthy young schoolboy to hold his books and the partition was for his "amusements" (marbles and tops) and snacks. It will be finished in your choice of milk paint colors or a plain linseed oil/varnish finish. This will become a family heirloom closely intertwined with not only the apprentice in The Joiner and Cabinetmaker, but also the story of your own apprentice.

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    Chest of Drawers - The Chest of Drawers is Thomas's final project before becoming a Journeyman. Simple yet beautiful in details. Unfortunately, this item will not ship well and will only be available for pickup at my shop, or local delivery.

Funding period

- (30 days)