A father and son plane making team.

I recently had a father and his son take one of my online plane making classes. I asked them to write something talking about their experience that I could post for Father’s Day and what they sent me is posted below. I love that they had such a great time together and that it helped increase both of their interest in woodworking. Well done Michael and Matt!

The Gift That Keeps Giving

Micheal and Matt McCormick

I have been interested in woodworking for several years. I had tried unsuccessfully to get a shop and into the hobby going once before. Last summer I decided to try it again in a big way. It was and is, my goal to have my two son’s learn with me in this great hobby of woodworking and have been trying different things to spark their interest and get them out in the shop with me.

Through my participation in a live Chat group through the Wood Talk Online website, I learned of the online Plane Making Class being offered by Scott. As Scott was just getting these classes going, several of the chat group members got together and talked him into doing a class for us. This was a great opportunity to have my youngest son Matt build himself his own plane. I asked Scott if it would be ok to have my son sit in with me during the session and he agreed immediately without hesitation.

Now I am a pretty new woodworker who is not very mechanically inclined, so I was a little concerned if Matt and I would actually succeed in getting his plane completed during the class. This concern proved to be unfounded as my son was successful in completing his plane. I credit his success to the great online reference resources Scott had available for his students and the excellent detail and approach he uses during the class sessions themselves.

2013-02-24 13.14.56Matt’s Jack prior to applying the oil finish

We both had a great time together sitting through the online group classes and working through the “homework”. My son did most of the work, with me providing guidance when necessary. When we got stuck, Scott’s help was just an email or quick phone call away.

2013-04-24 21.42.33Matt with as plane at the annual guild event

Shortly after completing his plane, we entered it into our local Woodworking Guild’s Annual Show. My son Matt had an excellent experience with the guild. He spent several hours during the show discussing his project with both guild members and other show patrons. Scott’s class prepared him well to be able to discuss some of the intricacies involved in making a well working wooden hand plane. The guild members very graciously took him under their collective wing and spent much time with him over the multiple day show – culminating with awarding him the guild’s Paul Lee award – a judge’s choice type award to recognize a work they found interesting/special. He was thrilled!

Matt's Oak JackMatt’s White Oak Jack – Photo courtesy of Minnesota Woodworkers Guild

I am happy to report that taking Scott’s class, completing his first plane and participating in his first woodworking show has instilled an interest in this hobby far more than I could have asked or hoped for – certainly more than I would have achieved on my own in such a short time.

After my Matt’s success, I decided I should also make my own plane. Using the information gained from Scott’s class, I too was successful in making a plane. In fact, I made two. We now have a small fleet of our own shop built planes – a 12”Jack, 9” Smoother and a 6” block plane. They all work great My son and I love our planes and point to them with pride that we made them ourselves.

The McCormick's fleet of White Oak planesThe McCormick’s fleet of White Oak planes

I cannot be more pleased with our experience with Scott and his Online Plane Making Class. It has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving for both my son and me. I highly recommend Scott’s class to anyone who has an interest in making their own tools. Scott’s knowledge and experience in making beautiful planes makes the class worthwhile for woodworkers of any skill level.


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