Fine Woodworking Bootstrap Night


I’d like to find enough other people interested in doing a regular fine woodworking bootstrap night.

This is more like semi-guided night where there isn’t necessarily a course instructor, but we would have topics so that everyone is helping each other. I don’t have a full agenda, but I was thinking we could start off by making some of own personal tools.

A topic might span more than one night, and it wouldn’t be required that a person attend every night, but it would be nice to make this a somewhat regular event so people can count on it and we can build a community in our newly decked out shop.

The topics I was thinking were:

  1. Making your own Marking Knife (and possibly also awl) – We don’t seem to have marking knives at the space (thought we do have things that can function as them). They also seem very personal and are ripe for personalization. We have an old sawblade (that is missing a carbide tooth and not worth sharpening) that we could use for blade metal.
  2. We could do similar things with an Awl, Marking Gauge, etc
  3. Build a box. (experiment with different joints)
  4. Group-builds (for example, design and build a jig for a common process)
  5. Mortise and tenon night.

Basically a mix of ‘build your own together’, ‘build something together’ and ‘practice a skill together’

This list is not figured out itinerary, but just an example of the sorts of things we could plan. I’d like to try to bring collaboration into the woodshop, as woodworking usually has the air of solo-practice (and this is a hackspace!!! we thrive on working with and around each other).

I’m thinking of starting this up in late January or early February so we are far enough away from the holidays and we can beat those SAD blues.

Anyone have ideas, or thoughts to add?



I like this idea and even also the idea of an informal woodworking night for members on the calendar where people get together to build their projects, be inspired, and share ideas and beer (after using power tools of course). i.e. I’m also in.


I am interested


Awesome idea @mike!
The box build is a great idea!
Anyone has experimented turning Balsa wood?


From what I read, super sharp tools or just use sandpaper. Also mount it nice and sturdy keep your tailstock engaged. I imagine a light wood like that wants to flex all over the place.


Thank you @mike!


Count me in!


I would also be interested


Sorry, forgot to add: I am interested as well!


I’m definitely up for this. I used to do classes where there would be a design at the outset we were going to reproduce, each step of the design involved learning a new skill, so each night you would have a new technique to learn to make the next part of the design. At the end you have something to take home. There is a milking stool design that I remember we could make.

The only hurdles will be access to enough tools, vices, and bench space.

really keen on the making our own tools, marking gauges, hammers etc are always useful.

Incidentally, I used the new planes in the vice in the new bench position yesterday. I was soooo happy.


I’m in!