October 2018

Another year older, but October is still my favorite month.  The weather is good, the bugs are gone, the colors are amazing.  It’s hard to beat Maine, or New England in the fall.It is also the month of the annual MCA’s Maine Craft weekend.  This year we had 44 visitors.  I sold as few tools, books, DVDs, some wood,  and prototypes.  In turn, I was gifted with two bottles of Scotch, Highland Park from the Orkney Islands, and a bottle of Kavalan Solist from Taiwan.  Both severely delicious.

October is also Harvest Festival time at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker village.  I was there again, demonstrating, chatting and enjoying the folks who stopped by.  A fine Saturday.

Friends Work Weekend was also fun.  A chance to catch up with friends of the Shakers we only see a few times each year.  Screens were removed, gardens cleaned, windows washed, and piles of leaves raked and taken away.  The following day, Peg and I took a hike through the woods to see the remains of the Shaker mill.  There is not much left but the foundation, and the raceway to the millpond.  Still, it is spectacular to see the huge granite blocks left of what once was a 5-story mill, with a 30′ wheel inside the building.  Meanwhile, in the shop, I finished the 5-drawer chest.  The obvious work is in the dovetails, all 98 of them.  The real fussy work is in the web frames, which have to be dovetailed into both sides of the front and back, as well as mortised and tenoned to allow wood movement.  These are the tools I use for layout and measuring the precise fit:Like most Shaker and Shaker inspired pieces, the finished product doesn’t begin to show the complexity of the construction.  Simple, yes?Speaking of Shaker Inspiration, the book is less than a month away from distribution.  The PDF version is already available form the Lost Art Press

The hard cover version should be out by Thanksgiving if all goes well at the printer.  Be on the look out.  I’m pretty excited.  It’s been three years (and 5 decades) in the making.

C.H. Becksvoort © 2018


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