JT Hats
James grew up on an Ozarks farm where tools like axes and picks were still used in the daily routine and the blades of stockman's pocketknives served their original functions. Receiving his first pocketknife at age four he got it open by himself nearly a year later and spent his formative years wandering the woods with a succession of ever larger knives, a book of matches and a rifle.

A veteran of Vietnam, James also served in Alaska during a stint in the Army, receiving his first intensive culinary training by setting a record for extra KP at Ft. Richardson.

Settling in the Pacific Northwest after his discharge, James crewed on sailing yachts in local races, backpacked hundreds of miles of mountain trails in search of good trout fishing, and occasionally attended college.

His first serious job as a civilian resulted from answering a Seattle Post Intelligencer want ad requesting someone who could lift 120 pounds repeatedly and wasn't afraid of fire. James apprenticed to John Frazier -- the most knowledgeable traditional foundryman in North America at that time -- for the next six years.

Returning to the Ozarks James made his living by growing ginseng on a hand-terraced wooded hillside and selling handmade wood turnery, furniture, sculpture and architectural carvings. James harvested trees from his own land, processing logs into posts and beams and turnery billets with saws, axes, froes and planes. Since many tools he needed were no longer available, James built his own forge from a barbeque grill, a vacuum cleaner and a 55 gallon steel drum, found a chunk of railroad track for his first anvil, and taught himself blacksmithing -- creating his own knives and tools from scrap steel and sweat.

Changing economic pressures eventually forced James back to the restaurant industry in Branson, Missouri, and later to even more success as a maintenance engineer for one of Branson's largest condominium resorts. Finally escaping to Indiana, James now makes his living telling true stories as a freelance writer.



Shark Carving Dovetail Rip Saw | Dowel Detail 10-2204

1 min read

Shark Carving Dovetail Rip Saw The Shark Dowel/Dovetail/Detail Saw cuts one of the thinnest kerfs possible, but even though it’s a great crosscut saw for tenons and tricky detail work it isn’t the only saw you’ll need for dovetailing.

The Shark Detail Saw is so thin and flexible that it’s a little tricky to use. In a rip cut, the blade will be pushed out of line by the different densities of the grain. Since much of the work in dovetailing involves a rip cut, you’ll be better off combining this saw with a fine toothed ryoba, which does have a ripsaw edge. The Shark Detail Saw does even better crosscut work than the crosscut edge of the larger doubled-edged ryoba.

Since the Detail Saw cuts on the pull stroke, the force of the pull keeps the thin steel blade straight. Rush the work, and the steel will flex and begin to wander. Score a line across the work with the point of a sharp knife, and one set of this saw’s fine teeth will ride in the guiding cut without skipping. Let the saw work at its own speed, and the result is a shearing cut so smooth you’ll hate to do anything more to it. Results are fast even with a light touch. As with Shark’s other saws, sharpening saw teeth will be a chore from the past if you buy the Shark Detail Saw. Blades switch out at the push of a button.

The Detail Saw will also get into places other saws won’t fit, so it’s a great emergency tool for carpenters and handymen who have to solve unusual problems. Don’t be fooled by the small size — it’ll cut through a 2×4 with no problems.

Find this Shark Dowel Saw:

Find this saw on eBay:

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JT Hats
James grew up on an Ozarks farm where tools like axes and picks were still used in the daily routine and the blades of stockman's pocketknives served their original functions. Receiving his first pocketknife at age four he got it open by himself nearly a year later and spent his formative years wandering the woods with a succession of ever larger knives, a book of matches and a rifle.

A veteran of Vietnam, James also served in Alaska during a stint in the Army, receiving his first intensive culinary training by setting a record for extra KP at Ft. Richardson.

Settling in the Pacific Northwest after his discharge, James crewed on sailing yachts in local races, backpacked hundreds of miles of mountain trails in search of good trout fishing, and occasionally attended college.

His first serious job as a civilian resulted from answering a Seattle Post Intelligencer want ad requesting someone who could lift 120 pounds repeatedly and wasn't afraid of fire. James apprenticed to John Frazier -- the most knowledgeable traditional foundryman in North America at that time -- for the next six years.

Returning to the Ozarks James made his living by growing ginseng on a hand-terraced wooded hillside and selling handmade wood turnery, furniture, sculpture and architectural carvings. James harvested trees from his own land, processing logs into posts and beams and turnery billets with saws, axes, froes and planes. Since many tools he needed were no longer available, James built his own forge from a barbeque grill, a vacuum cleaner and a 55 gallon steel drum, found a chunk of railroad track for his first anvil, and taught himself blacksmithing -- creating his own knives and tools from scrap steel and sweat.

Changing economic pressures eventually forced James back to the restaurant industry in Branson, Missouri, and later to even more success as a maintenance engineer for one of Branson's largest condominium resorts. Finally escaping to Indiana, James now makes his living telling true stories as a freelance writer.



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