Welcome to Joecrafted

Hi, my name’s Joe and I’m a wood addict.  This is a brief introduction to my newest venture, a blog chronicling my adventures in woodworking.

By profession I am a software engineer.  So I am well versed in creating items from nothing but basic building blocks of 0s and 1s.  Playing guitar is a passion of mine and many of my woodworking projects involve creating guitars, but I also enjoy furniture building and hope to learn more about wood carving.

I’d like to thank Christopher Schwarz for his recent book “The Anarchist’s Toolchest” which prompted me to start this blog–partially as means to share my interest in woodworking, but also as a way to preserve it.  My home state of Connecticut is debating whether to cut state support of our technical high schools and transfer the funding burden to local communities.  These are the schools that still teach trades such as carpentry, plumbing, hairdressing, and auto mechanics.  I took shop in middle school, with large devices that could snap your finger in half (metal brakes), and sharp items that could cut your femoral artery in a nano-second, but children today don’t have that opportunity.  Taking shop class, not necessarily the snapping or cutting, though the shop teacher drummed the specter of such an injury into our heads, and so we gained a healthy respect for tools.  So far I have all of my digits intact.

I started my professional life not in software, but rather in archaeology, the study of humans via their material culture.  I’ve always been fascinated by the tools we wield and the things we make with those tools and somehow working with wood with hand tools connects me with that past.  I recall taking a Art and Anthropology class at the University of CT where we examined kerfed boxes from the Pacific Northwest.  I tried to wrap my head around how they made the four sides out of a single plank of wood.  Someday I’ll get to the skill level to make a similar box, with all the detailed carvings, though perhaps with my own ‘clan’ icons.

Joecrafted–the pursuit of handcrafted excellence by a dude named Joe.

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8 Comments

  1. Welcome to blogging! My only advice is… write when you feel like and about you love. Other than that, enjoy.

    Reply
  2. Thanks Gary! I’ll be more of ‘user’ blog rather than an expert. It should be fun.

    Reply
  3. Well, hell yeah! I’m stoked that you’re blogging about this stuff. I’m also honored that you’ve included me in your blog roll. I look forward to keeping up on your woodworking. If I were at Rico’s, I’d raise a pint in your name.

    Reply
    • Danzig! I check out your blog probably once a month or so. Always fun to check out what friends are up to and look forward to buying your book when it is available. We had some good times in Pullman as young punk grad students, wish I had a nice meeting place like Rico’s in my city. One with live music. And micro-brews on tap. Instead there are a lot of sports bars with TVs and both kinds of beer: Bud or Bud Light.

      Reply
  4. John

     /  June 17, 2011

    Joe, I read this this morning driving through Bismarck traffic on the way to SHPO’s office to do some background research and thought this was might cool. I was in my shop digging around looking for some fishing gear and the keys to my boat all the while thinking Man I got to get out here and make something, your blog just makes it tougher to know I won’t get out there until the season is over.

    Reply
    • John, I hope you can get some time to get in the shop at some point. Summer is often a tough time for me to get in the shop too, there is so much to do around the yard(s), garden, helping out at my mom’s house and doing things at my own. I tend to get a lot more ww’ing in during the winter. I have another ww class scheduled for August, so that will be fun. I need to build a true handwork bench, and hope to do that over the summer or fall, and will document that here. I also am acquiring enough hand tools that I really need to build some kind of tool chest for them. I think that will be my next big project, as for now, my workbench is still usable for that size project. But at some point I want to build a pair of knock-down armoires for my old house (with no real closets), plus a coffee table, dining table, and who knows what else.

      Reply
  5. Al (Thomas)

     /  August 13, 2011

    Joe – I enjoyed taking the school box class class with you. It was fun project and good group in the class. Maestro Schwarz shared a great deal with us. The photos are are good fro recall and I know what you mean getting caught up in the work and not recording the progression of work. I look forward to the videos when you get them up. Your classmate – Al (Thomas)

    Reply
    • Al, it was awesome taking the class with you too. I had a great time and certainly learned a lot. I’m sure we’ll have more classes together in the future.

      Reply

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