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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