Popular Woodworking 2009-08 № 177, страница 56

Popular Woodworking 2009-08 № 177, страница 56

Both old and older. The tools at The Wood-wright's School run the gamut, from "modern" metal-bodied planes to the older wooden • bodied planes and braces.

ing Red Oak, a local microbrew).

"Even the people who live here say it's Mayberry," Underhitl says about the town. "How about another piece of cherry pie?"

Then he mentions the photographer down thestreet who has a wall of unusually dressed Barbie dolls.

"Well, maybe some parts are Mayberry after dark," he says with a laugh.

Pittsboro has a bit of an artistic bent. Therearelotsoflocal potters, "Itseemsevery third person who visits isa potterfhe says. And he's met beekeepers and musicians. "And everyone seems to have a Ph.D.*'

Underhillhasbeen receiving local guests with gusto ashehasbeensettinguphisshop because they are all parL ofhis master plan.

Teach the Young and Local

The Woodwright'sSchoolisunlikeany other

in the country. For starters, the shop has

only hand- and foot-powered tools. There are lOexcellent Hoffman Sx Hammerwood-workingbenches-very heavy and equally German All ofthcm face the bay windows and are equipped witha basic complement of hand tools - from carcase saws to bench planes-allsharp, set upand ready to go.

The walls are lined with tool chests brim-mingwith more hand tools. A shelvingunit at the rearof the room holdsrowsofmould-ingand joinery planes. Another bookshelfis stuffed with old woodworking texts.

In each oft he bay windows at the front of the room are the sharpening stations. One is for saws; t he ot her i s for edge tools (t here's even an AO binocular microscope there for examining your edges). The middle ofthe room hasatreadle powered table saw, lathe and scrollsaw.

The school also comes with an unusual mission and aset of rules for students.

About those rules: Underhill says students are welcome to bring their own tools, but he asks that you not bring tape measures ("I'll confiscate them and put them in the storage room," he says with a wicked laugh.) Also, no plastic-handled chisels. No Japanese pullsaws. "This should look like you have stepped back into a shop class in the 1930s," he says.

"We're goi ng to be doing English-style joinery," he says. "You wouldn't build a shoji screenwithabigDisston.That wouldbelike stir-frying grits"

Theory and practice. In addition to the workbenches and sharp tools, Underhill keeps an excellent library of essential woodworking texts at the back of the room.

He also requests that students turn off their cell phones and wear clothing that would be fitting to the time if possible - no beer T-shirts, please. Of course, Underhill spent many years at Williamsburg, so immersinghimself (and others) in acertain time comes naturally.

Why is he so intent on recreating the past?

"This is not about the past," Underhill says, h is arms spread wide toward the workbenches lined upon the shop door. "Well yes, of course it'sabout the past in one sense. But it'sreallyaboutthe future. The objective is the future."

The entire school. With no electric machinery. Underhill can run his entire school out of a restored storefront.

Making history. The vintage tool chests throughout the school are stocked with working tools that students can use during the classes.

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