A Brace of Carps

I recently had the singular pleasure of writing for two friends at the same time. Mistress Elisabeth Piper and Dame Elanor of Eccleshall were both to be awarded the Order of the Carp for their excellence in persona development. In writing charter words for them, I wanted to base my work off of poems both... Continue Reading →

A Laurel Scroll for Angharat verch Reynulf

Photograph of Angharat verch Reynulf by Anne Asplund This charter is done in the cywydd style of Welsh poetry popular in the 14th century. Cywydd poems were poems of praise of worthy persons. A bard who composed and performed cywydd was known as a cywyddwyr. Cywydd poems were composed of rhyming couplets, where each line... Continue Reading →

On Making New Tool Hafts & Handles

I am certain that I'm not alone in the challenge of cleaning up a space when faced with the discovery of unfinished projects. Yesterday I was cleaning the shop and found the pieces for several repair jobs had been set down (and forgotten) on my workbench. Do we find new "homes" for these items (and... Continue Reading →


Bits-and-braces, similar to drills and augers, work by means of either a "twist" (a single-inclined planed wrapped as a helix around a shaft), or a sharpened "spoon" set at the end of a shaft. The "bit" is the cutting part of the tool, and bits are also part of drills and augers. Spoon bits are... Continue Reading →

A Late Period Box Stool

Dedication In A.S. LIV I was honored to be asked by Their Majesties to steward Collegium.  Any event, of course, is a team effort.  Kingdom events add more complexity.  Collegium had the added labor of creating and managing a large on-line database and repository of scholarly works.  This last part was well beyond my skill... Continue Reading →


I use two types of handsaws during cabinetry: cross-cut and rip saws.  The difference between saws for cross-cutting (sawing perpendicular to the grain) and ripping (sawing parallel to the grain) lie in the tooth shape.  The teeth of cross-cut saws are shaped like the points of knives, whereas those of rip saws are shaped like... Continue Reading →


Axes are ancient tools, long pre-dating the Middle Ages. During the medieval period they were used for nearly every stage of cabinetry. "Two-handed axes" (axes with long handles, swung with both hands) were the foremost tool for felling trees and cutting wood. These axes had dual-inclined planes, meaning they were beveled on both sides of... Continue Reading →


Wooden mallets were ubiquitous amongst the tools of medieval cabinetmakers.  These tools are easily made from scrap wood, customizable, and (unlike iron or steel hammers) do not damage the objects which they are used to strike. As a tool, mallets are force-multipliers: increasing the human arm's ability to drive trenails and dowels, coerce joints to... Continue Reading →


Throughout the making of every piece of mobilier I've created, I have found chisels to be essential for paring the cheeks and shoulders of tenons, wasting-out mortises, and forming the dado (groove) on the sides of drawers. Chisels carve or cut by virtue of a single-inclined plane (i.e. beveled on only one side) blade and... Continue Reading →

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