I told you…

I was going to start making more chairs… it’s only taken me all summer to get a round tuit.

this is intended to end up as a tall stool, no back. it is an Amur Corkwood Tree slab I flattened last fall. The shape is somewhat dictated by the slab…



be well


PS It’s amazing how photos of real situations can lie.. it almost looks like my bench is neat and tidy..

reality however is not so pretty:


Golden thingys and making stuff

A word about “Design”

Design is easy, every time you put a pencil to paper you are designing something. every cut and every glue up and nail you have designed something. We do it every day without thinking about it.

Design is difficult, how do we get proportions exactly right? how to draw that or take that picture or write that book.

I’m not a very good writer, so I can’t really comment on designing something to be read.

In Designing drawings, illustrations, sculpture and furniture, there are some tools out there that can help you, but don’t let them enslave you.

One that has had recurring popularity for over 2000 years (or more) is the notion of the “golden section” or golden ratio or golden triangle or golden thingy. approximated at a ratio of 1:1.618 or just stated at 1.618. this notion is that all Natural things conform to this ratio therefore it is the most beautiful thingy in all of creation. if we use it to make a rectangle with the short side of x we get the long side of x times 1.618 which can divided or multiplied “ad infinitum”.


However I personally think that cabinets made to this proportion look too tall and narrow or short and long. I prefer the ratio of x times the square root of 2. Or; take a square, use the length of the diagonal to make it into a rectangle. it’s a little stouter. that is a ratio of 1:1.414 or 1.414.

But there is a great deal of debate about even using ANY ratio when designing.


Many designers/artists make things they like and then try to Force the perception that the golden ratio or some other Ideal “fits”. And when you really look, you see many things that sort of almost fit the golden mean, but don’t really.

And it’s that, Which points out that every so often there are people who want to “prove” that math perfectly describes the world around us And that the world around us is “Perfect”, when it just isn’t so. And in reaction are the people who then want to prove it’s all a fraud, which is also not really true.

Is the “Golden Ratio” useful as a design tool? YES …Should you force all of your work to exactly match it? No

When I design a new furniture piece I sketch it out first trying to get the “right” proportions “by eye” I then go to a CAD program and draw it to proportions of 1.414 and again to 1.616 to see which I like better for this project. and sometimes I completely reject all of those proportions, but many times I go with the 1.414.

when designing, rules like the golden section can be useful, and rules are tools. As we learn more and more about “what works” we learn which tool to use for which job. Sometimes the golden section is “perfect” for what you are doing. Sometimes it’s not.

be well


Viking Stool making class.


I running the 3 legged / Viking stool class at Ft. Mifflin next weekend (Sunday OCT 5, 2019) sign up by emailing me: kaisaerpren@gmail.com

tuition is $150

you will want to bring a hatchet and a drawknife (minimum) to class. I have a few loaners.

a Froe, (+froe club), iron wedges, spokeshave, and sloyd knife could also be useful.

time is getting short

be well


Tools of the trade 13: Saws

Others have written whole books about saws, tooth geometry, how to use, the various advantages of different types of saws… so instead of writing a book here I’ll tell you to go read a few.

Not even with a table saw can you get away with only having one type of blade. So you need to have a few Saws in your arsenal.



You need a good crosscut saw. these are for cutting stock to length.


You need a good rip saw, these are for cutting stock to width.


Now, a lot of our stock sizing is done with splitting and hewing. So maybe a ripsaw isn’t as critical as having a crosscut saw. But you will eventually find a place where you want to cut a slab of wood in the rip direction and cannot spare the waste of splitting and hewing. So when you get a Ripsaw make sure it is a good one.

For cutting tenons you will want a crosscut saw, you could use your big one for cutting stock down, but you will find that having a smaller one, perhaps with a back stiffener, to be very handy for this… these are called Back saws.


a coping saw is handy for small stuff and some curved cuts.


A Turning saw is good for large curved cuts.

So is a Felly saw.

and for resawing slabs to make thinner boards a big ripping frame saw or just your ripsaw can be used.

and the saw nib is just a decoration.

be well





Hi all:

I have just gotten permission to hold classes at Ft. Mifflin!!

They have a nice shady grove we can use in good weather:



and an interesting grotto to use during bad weather:


this is inside the walls of the fort, literally in the walls. the back wall used to be the forts bread baking ovens. the wood stove works for heat..

I am planning on a first class sometime in October, it will be a 3 legged stool making class.

my stool for the class

stay tuned for more information!!

be well



Hi: to anyone looking here!

I keep not writing, 😉 it’s almost amazing how much I don’t write!

been busy with stuff, mostly trying to set up to get back into doing craft shows. making small stuff of the sort that sells, and big stuff to take along to “show off”: rolling pins, nostepinne, cutting boards vs chairs.

so I apologise to any followers looking for “new”content here.

I only write when I feel like writing. And next week I head out to Pennsic, so I won’t be writing then for another 2 weeks… I will post after Pennsic about which craft shows I am going to…

be well