Growing up in Maine, I’ve been surrounded by trees my entire life. My family lived in a small town, and our property included about 100 acres of forest. We cut and burned firewood from our back yard, and I have fond memories of cutting, hauling, and splitting wood with my dad.
My father worked in the paper industry for his entire career, and also did different types of carpentry projects as the need arose. Our farmhouse was about 150 years old, so there were no end to the projects he worked on in his spare time.
Whether it was framing up a shed, refinishing a room with tongue and groove pine, or building my mother a guitar – there was always wood work going on in our home.
One of my dad’s habits from when he first started work out of college was to accumulate tools. By the time I came on the scene he already had a full workshop attached to our house, with a planer, lathe, band saw, radial arm saw, and pretty much every other device for cutting and shaping wood. As a result I had every opportunity to learn to love woodworking.
Now I’m older, and my father has passed on. I still live in the same area I grew up in, and have about 20 acres of forest of my own. I still burn firewood, and have worked for three different paper mills during my career. I don’t have the same breadth experience my dad had with woodworking, but I’ve done plenty of my own construction and finished carpentry projects over the years, and still love to accumulate tools.
So Tool & Bark is born out of my fascination and respect for wood and the amazing tools used to tame it. Hopefully that comes through in the articles and reviews on this site. And if you have an interesting story, memory, or use for a particular wood tool, please share it.