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to the Workshop Companion,
a web-based reference for wood technology and
craftsmanship. We offer information on wood design, tools, techniques, materials, demonstrations, plans, and
resources. At present this site is a "work in progress" -- I've posted
only a fraction of the 2000+ pages of woodworking information that my
team and I are preparing. It will quickly grow to become a complete and
dependable reference for the core knowledge you need to be a competent
craftsman. For the time being, however, I trust you'll find the
information we have posted to date to be interesting and helpful.
has written and produced
over 50 books on woodworking, plus hundreds of articles, videos, and
project plans. Liberty finds that, taken altogether, there is a lot of
information to chew on.
Sharpening – planes, chisels, gouges,
scrapers, saws, cutters, bits – just about anything that gets dull.
THIS SITE WORKS
The Companion is divided into several
sections. Each section communicates woodworking experiences in a
different way, and each covers a wide range of woodworking topics and
is a compilation of information not just
from the lifetime I've spent woodworking, but also the thousands
of conversations and experiences that I've had with accomplished
craftsmen around the world. This is not just my own woodworking
savvy, but also the useful, wonderful, and sometimes amazing knowledge
that others have shared with me.
Woodworking Demonstrations is a library
of videos on a wide range of woodworking topics, including techniques,
materials, technology, tool reviews, and craftsman interviews. These are
presented in a unique "virtual
classroom" format I developed especially for presenting
demonstrations of craftsmanship online.
Projects draws upon the hundreds of
woodworking projects that I have drafted and written over the years. These projects
range from classic furniture to yard art and include not just items
that I have built, but also projects from craftsmen who have shared
their designs and construction techniques with me.
The Workshop Companion Forum
is your opportunity to ask specific woodworking
questions not just of my team and me, but also a wider audience of
experienced craftsmen. If you are an experienced craftsman, this is your
opportunity to share.
Because there is an enormous amount of information on this site, we've
provided several navigation aids to help you find your way through it. This includes the information on this page and:
which lists and
links all the pages in a collapsible outline.
which lists the
pages alphabetically by topics and keywords.
Search the Workshop Companion,
a search engine that can help you
locate information on this site using your own keywords.
top and bottom of each page
make it easy to jump between sections. Most pages
also offer a navigation bar in the left-hand
that shows your
position on the site map -- all the pages above, those on the same
level, and the pages immediately below (if any). This navigation bar also
has links to the Site Map, Site Index, and Search pages.
And if you still get
lost, we can help you build a wooden sextant.
Additionally, you will find
several recurring features that are unique to this site. Most of these
Java plug-in and set
your browser to allow active content.
are what I call snippets of woodworking information that aren't part of the
essential "core" woodworking know-how that makes up the bulk of this site, but
are just too fascinating not to share. I've set these aside in sidebars
that will pop up when you click on the title. You can read them or
ignore them as the spirit moves you. Here's an example, a scrap of information on
shipbuilding that I gleaned while interviewing scientists at the US
Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin:
offer information on wood
species. At the top of this page and every other page that
opens a section, there is a bar made up of 50+ popular
commercial woods arranged from dark (ebony) to light (holly). Below the
section level, however, the tops of pages show a single wood species and a
small amount of information about it:
The USS Constitution,
"Old Ironsides," is the oldest
warship afloat. Her long life is due in part to a surprising bit of
How the sideboards are
A picture may be worth
1000 words, but by combining both a Superphoto is worth even more.
This is an explode of the "Mule Chest" you've seen on our
To view it in Sketchup, click the 3D icon.
Click on the name of the wood
(try it!) and
a "sideboard" appears with expanded information about the
species, plus photos of the wood in its raw form and with five popular
finishes applied. Click on the photos to enlarge them to life size.
This lets you see not just the color of the unfinished wood, but
also allows you to anticipate how the color will change when you
finish it. Surf enough pages on this site and you'll learn as much
about wood as you do woodworking!
contain more than just visual information. If a photo displays
the Superphoto" icon when
you run the cursor over it, click on
it and an enlarged version will appear in a separate window.
Move the cursor over the large photo and text tags will appear. Some
of these tags are labels to tell you what you're seeing in the
photo. Others contain interesting information and valuable tips.
you to view a subject from all angles -- right, left, front,
back, top, bottom, even inside and outside! And since
woodworking is a three-dimensional art, this can be a very
useful. Our project section especially is filled with 3D
drawings and plans. Of course, you can also see them as a
traditional perspective drawing -- just click anywhere you get the
"Click to enlarge" tag. To see them in three dimensions,
first you'll need
Google Sketchup or Sketchup
Viewer. Both of these are available for FREE from the
Google web site:
installation, append your list of file extensions so that .skp
files will open with Sketchup Viewer or Sketchup.
In PC, you can find this list in My Computer/Tools/Folder
Options/File Types. In Mac, it's File/Get Info/Open With. Once
you've installed Sketchup or its Viewer, click on the "See in 3D"
icon in the lower right corner.
bring together audio, video, text, photography, and illustration
on a single page for an enriched educational experience when
Workshop Demonstrations. When
you visit a page that shows a video, you'll see three frames, each
containing a different type of information. The upper left-hand
frame shows a video in which a craftsman either presents
woodworking information or demonstrates a woodworking technique.
We call this the "Lectern." The upper right-hand frame,
the "Blackboard," shows photos and illustrations that help the
clarify what the craftsman presents in the video. Scroll down
below the Blackboard and you may find additional information
such as plans or articles in a downloadable, printer-friendly PDF format. The
lower frame is the "Notebook" and contains an outline of the
video presentation to help you follow along or review. It also
shows links to other place on the Internet where you can find
additional information or purchase tools and materials. No
other woodworking site on the web offers videos in this unique
ONE MORE THING
Because this site is still under
construction, you will sometimes find pages listed on the Site Map, the
left-hand navigation bar, and elsewhere that have no links. This is not
a mistake; these are "place keepers," and they either serve as reminders
or save us time as we build this site. If you happen across a
place keeper that you were so hoping was a real page, we apologize for
the frustration and are grateful for your patience.
With all good wishes,
And thanks for visiting.
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