Welcome 2019, What will it bring?

I’m hoping 2019 will be a huge move forward in my Adventures in Green Woodworking. I’m spending as much time as I have available to sharpening tools, making tool handles for spoon knife blades that I purchased from Deepwoods Ventures. I’m still working on my bowl mule / spoonmule and gathering splitting tools. I already have a couple on froes and small wood mallets or mauls but I need to make a larger one to get some force behind it. Sledgehammers both large 10lbs I think as well as a 4lbs to get wedges started and for working on smaller logs plus a few splitting wedges of varying sizes both cast and wooden so that I can start splitting some ash logs I have to start working in green wood.

What are you working on in the new year?

I hope you have sharp knives and straight grain in the new yera.


Bowl Mule – For green wood bowl carving

Bowl Mule

Building a bowl mule has been on the top of my list of things to do while I’m starting my green woodworking adventures. Hand carved dough bowls and Swedish designed bark on the outside bowl is one of my many interests to begin my green woodworking. I found a plan that looked doable and was free thanks to the generosity of DavidFFisher.com .

David F Fisher produces some really great hand-carved bowl and other wooden produced, check out his website. DavidFFisher.com

Davids bowl mule is made entirely from dimensional lumber

1- 2x12x8

1- 2x8x8

1- 2x4x8

1- 1x4x8

is all you need to produce this bowl mule along with some hardware of course. Information and plans are here. Bowl Mule Plans

Link to how others have customized their Bowl Mules. Others versions of the Bowl Mule

Check out Davids youtube channel: DFbowlcarver




Training Artisan, Building Businesses, Saving Forests

GreenWood is a program started in 1993 to help save forests and train artisans in developing areas in Honduras to produce products using green woodworking techniques to allow the communities to produce wood products and help these artists and communities to become more self-sufficient while preserving the forests.

Check out all the good work this group is doing and learn more about how they

Link to GreenWood

GreenWoods Mission Statement.


GreenWood is designing sustainable development for the real world. We work alongside residents of remote forest communities to help them earn more by managing their forests and creating valuable wood products than they would otherwise derive from conventional slash-and-burn agriculture or illegal logging. We employ small-scale, appropriate woodworking technologies and creative niche marketing to support good forest management and sustainable development.


  • Teaches men and women of all ages to become skilled artisans and producers of high-value woodwork.
  • Helps those artisans sell their products in local, regional and export markets.
  • Works with forestry professionals and communities to empower local residents to act as forest stewards and to provide a sustainable supply of raw materials for artisan production and other traditional uses.

To achieve these goals, GreenWood promotes appropriate, small-scale, woodworking technology, the efficient use of lesser-known and lower-value tree species, waste wood and nontimber forest products, as well as wood from well-managed and independently certified forests.
“The WoodMizer bandsaw mill is not only important for improving our houses, for increasing local processing and market options. It is also very important for increasing the self-confidence of the group’s members and community support for forest management.”
German Oliva Herrera, president of the Sociedad Colectiva Romero Barahona y Asociados (sawyer’s collective), Copén, Honduras

Green Woodworking: Shortening the learning curve

Making a Firewood Carrier

with Peter Galbert

From Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

While I’m building shop apparatus like bowl mules, spoon mules, benches,  and learning how to sharpen the tools necessary for my adventures in green woodworking to move forward I am spending a bit of quality time with green woodworking books, youtube video, and DVD tutorials to help shorten my learning curve and to help me understand how and why I’m doing what I’m doing and that I’m using the right material for the job.

I’m interested mostly in making furniture (Welsh stick chairs, Windsor chairs, post and rung chairs and stools) as well as items like pitchforks and rakes with some spoons and carved bowls thrown in. So when I came across a Lie-Nielsen educational video by Peter Galbert show you how to make a green wood split, shaped and bent firewood carrier I jumped at the chance to learn from this Windsor chairmaker.

Making a Firewood Carrier

Link to the DVD

The DVD is 90 minutes long for about $33.00 dollars including shipping.

The instructor walks you through each step of the process starting with the types of trees that would be used for this type of project. Then he shows what to look for in the log and the splitting process to produce the necessary part for the firewood carrier. Then he brings the split material into the shop and starts refining it with a break and froe explaining what he’s looking for as he refines each piece of material. Once the splits are brought down to the rough size he brings them over to the shave horse and refines further with the drawknife and spokeshave.

With the parts brought into the final dimension, Peter starts talking about the steamer and steam bending the handle or bow of the firewood carrier. Then when the parts are bent and dried the mortises and assembly starts taking place and the carrier starts really taking shape.

Chapters in the DVD

  1. Introduction
  2. Working with green wood
  3. Concepts in Splitting
  4. Selecting the Right Species
  5. Splitting the log
  6. Splitting out the parts
  7. The Drawknife
  8. Tuning the Drawknife
  9. The Shave horse
  10. Shaving the Bow
  11. Dimensioning the Bow
  12. Steam Bending
  13. Sizing the Tenons
  14. The Mortises

I found the tutorial to be a great introduction to a lot of the processes that I will need to learn and put into practice while producing most of the products that I hope will come out of my green woodworking adventure. I’ve watched a number of green woodworking tutorial and the instructor usually touches on the subject of sharpening the tools used in the tutorial I always find the sharpening section lacking in depth. This might just be because I’m currently suffering through my poor attempts at learning the process of sharpening these tools. If your starting your own adventures in green woodworking this title would be a great place to start.

I hope 2019 brings you sharp tools and straight grain and I will see you on the next adventure in green woodworking.

We are becoming Illiterate

I was watching a short video of a 14-year-old blacksmith/bladesmith who made the statement that “we are becoming Illiterate with our hands”. What do you think? There is a fair size makers community that is growing, all thou mostly high tech disciplines, CNC machines, 3D printers, Laser cutters, and engravers, but also a fair amount of traditional woodworkers, blacksmiths, carpenters, potters, tinsmiths, etc. So is the new generation becoming Illiterate to making things with their hands? Is it because our generation isn’t using our hands as much? Is it because it’s too hard to make a living being a craftsperson? Is it too hard to find mentors or teachers in these handmade crafts? Are the tools to expensive and hard to find? I have always used my hands since I was young. Drawing, building, fixing bikes and so on. In my careers, I have always worked with my hands and creativity as well but it’s been a struggle all the way. If you think we are becoming Illiterate with our hands, how do we fix this?

A few Definitions


Greenwood – is wood that has been recently cut and therefore has not had an opportunity to season (dry) by evaporation of the internal moisture.  Greenwood contains more moisture than seasoned wood, which has been dried through the passage of time or by forced drying in kilns. When we buy lumber at a store to build with it is usually kiln dried with a moisture content around 6 – 8%. Greenwood, since it is freshly cut green wood, it can have a moisture content as high as 75%. Greenwood is easier to work with hand tools because of this high moisture content than the same wood that has been air dried or kiln dried. 

Green woodworking 

Green woodworking – Green woodworking is a form of woodcraft or in broad terms, carpentry, that works unseasoned or “green” timber into finished items. Unseasoned wood is wood that has been freshly felled or preserved by storing it in a water-filled trough or pond to maintain its naturally high moisture content. Greenwood is much softer than seasoned timber and is therefore much easier to shape with hand tools. As moisture leaves the unseasoned wood, shrinkage occurs and the green woodworker can use this shrinkage to ensure tight joints in their work. To enhance the effect of the shrinkage, one half of a joint may be forcibly over-dried in a simple kiln while its encapsulating component is left green. The components tighten against each other as the parts exchange moisture and approach equilibrium with the surrounding environment. The swelling of the dry tenon inside the shrinking “green” mortise makes for an incredibly tight and permanent joint despite a lack of adhesives. Bodging is a traditional green woodworking occupation, where chair components were made in the woods and exported to workshops where the complete chairs were assembled by furniture makers (called cabinetmakers in the UK). Green woodworking has seen a recent revival due to its increased media coverage and the renaissance of hand tool woodworking in general. [1]        

Green woodworking: Lets get started

Axes, Adzes and Foe's
My collection of woodworking Axes, Adzes and Foe’s

I think it’s about time to get started with my green woodworking adventure. Let me clarify a thing or two; I have been interested in woodworking from a very early age as a pre-teen I was fascinated by marquetry furniture in museums, Shaker furniture has always interested me, and green furniture falls into this interest as well. I have been collecting books about green woodworking for years and have been purchasing tools for years as well. Some years ago, about 15 years ago, as a matter of fact, I took a week-long workshop with Drew Langsner at his Country Workshop in North Carolina and over that time built one of his rustic Windsor Chairs and then I got involved in other time-consuming life events and the green woodworking dreams fell into the background.

During the last two months or so I have been getting the itch to get started in green woodworking once again. I started by locating the tools I have purchased and stored away over the years as well as books on the subject by craftsmen like Drew Langsner, Mike Abbot, Ray Tabor, Roy Underhill, Wille Sundquist and others. (Check the Library section for a more complete list)

So I’m not starting from scratch here, I have a good starter set of green woodworking tools and resources, and with Youtube, there are a lot of new (to me) tutorials that should be a great help in getting started.

So where to start? What is my plan? I think the best place to start is with spoon carving and bowl carving. Why you ask is this the best place to start, let me try to explain my thinking. Spoons and Bowl carving uses a lot of the same techniques and tools that are involved in larger green woodworking projects like ladder-back chairs and Windsor chairs. You need to split and cleve wood, shape on a shaving horse and hollowing out bowl and chair seats.

So where to start? With any woodworking project you need sharp tools and using only hand tools with green wood, really sharp tools are a huge benefit. Learning to sharpen the straight and hook knives as well as the axes and adzes for spoon and bowl carving is a great place to get started.

Most of the Green woodworking information that I have come across start with producing project but to me, if you don’t have sharp tool everything else is harder to accomplish.

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