What we're about

Interested in working with and learning from other hand tool woodworkers in Northern Colorado? So am I, and I'm tired of slowly bumping into people locally as luck will permit. This is the modern age, the internet has made everything closer, and knowledge is just a click away. But it still remains that humans learn best from watching the successes and failures of other humans, not from staring at flickering images on a screen.

So lets get together and learn!

I propose we meet in voluntary association, bi-monthly on the first and third Saturdays, at a mutually agreeable location central to Fort Collins, CO (at the moment my shop 30 minutes NW of Fort Collins), to plane together, chisel together, saw together, and learn again what quality construction means, through the study of classical Japanese timber joinery.

At each meeting a new joint will be chosen, to be practiced and studied during the week and cut during the get-together, probably for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Hand tools of the human powered variety only for cutting the joints, and you supply your own practice lumber. Common construction 4×4 will usually do.

Depending upon the number of participants and the skill level, instruction will annually culminate in a design project and structure build from locally sourced timber, to practice what has been learned.

What is happening in Colorado? I see grid after grid of new housing development slowly bulldozing its way across the front range. And what do you get for $500,000? The same quality of construction for a mobile home, merely a larger box with more expensive veneers.

The tools you will need (or their western equivalents):

A couple of hammers, a couple of hand planes, some chisels, 240mm ryoba saw and dozuki saw, some sharpening stones, brace and various bits, layout tools including carpenters square (sashigane), bevel gauge, marking gauge, marking pen and knife, try square, and optionally, ink line.

Additionally, a planing board, cushion, and saw horses, or a planing beam, perhaps a few clamps.

This is the text: https://fabiap.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/wood-joints-in-classical-japanese-architecture.pdf

Blogs for study:

Chris Hall's "The Carpentry Way"

Mathieu's "Fabula Lignarius"

The idea for a local group developed as the direct result of the efforts of Sebastian Gonzalez's Project Mayhem 2.0

Additionally there is a timber-framing school in the mountains west of Fort Collins, though I have yet to attend: Rocky Mountain Workshops

Interested? Of course you are! Its free, although people will probably appreciate you more if you bring some cold beer.

Interested, but don't have any skill? You'll still need the tools, but I'll be happy to instruct in the basics of dimensioning stock with hand planes, sharpening, marking, and posture of the saw, which can be worked on in lieu of cutting a beautiful and complicated joint.

Don't wait another week, contact me for further details. Also, see more at my blog: http://granitemountainwoodcraft.com/2015/08/05/study-japanese-carpentry-in-northern-colorado/

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