This woodworker found it necessary to take his skills in a new direction.
SHOP OWNER: Harold Washburn
LOCATION: Westland, MI
After 25 years as a carpenter and part-time cabinetmaker, the recent economic downturn has me starting over at 54. Iíve started building chairs by hand and the turning is done on a spring pole lathe. The wood I use is mostly recycled. The chairs are made of cedar and the crest rails are poplar.
I made the spring pole lathe myself. I needed a lathe with four-foot capacity, so instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a new one, I made mine for $35. All I needed was some lumber from the local yard and a bungee cord. It took two weekends; one to build and one to learn to use it. Now it is my lathe of choice.
Some of my favorite hand tools, as seen in the pictures, are my stair builder saw and couch builder saw. I also like using a #71 router plane for stopped dadoes and the miscellaneous spokeshaves and the different sizes of chair devils I use for shaping the chair rungs. I own and use many molding planes; some I bought and some I made myself.
. . . Harold Washburn