Interesting Woodworking Link

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Episode #60 - Boston Vaction

The Folding Rule . . . Away on Vacation . . . in Boston!
A folding rule on the museum workbench display at the

Well, our family has been away on vacation last week. We surprised the kids and took them to Boston. I used to live in Scituate, 45 minutes south of Boston, many years ago. Since we all love history and the East Coast, Beth and I thought it would be a great idea to spend some time in the Boston area. We were not disappointed! The weather was a wonderful and refreshing break from the gray overcast rainy skies of Portland. Everyone in the family got a chance to explore special areas of interest, including yours truly.

Now, I did not plan to incorporate woodworking into this vacation, but I did know I would get to see some wonderful furniture, as this is truly one of the great centers of early American furniture. I did see some great furniture, however, most of the places we visited did not allow photography. Some of the most amazing pieces were on display at the Adams Old House.

Enjoying bread, cheese & dark chocolate from
Salumeria Italiana
“The Best Italian Grocery”

I also had a chance to visit a very special woodworking icon. One day we were exploring the North End and sampling some wonderful Italian cuisine. We had made a short stop on The Freedom Trail to visit Salumeria Italiana “Boston's Best Italian Grocery” for some bread, cheese and chocolate which we ate while basking in the sun of Paul Revere’s Square behind the Old North Church. We had a wonderful Mother’s Day dinner at Lucia on the opposite side of the square.

Now, what does this have to do with woodworking? Well right around the corner of The Old North Church is The North Bennet Street School. I had an opportunity to explore the NBSS Gallery and examine some truly amazing work.

The store and gallery manager, Ken Craggs (CFM-07), was kind enough to spend some time discussing his “Chinese Inspired Collector’s Chest” made of curly cherry, redwood burl and wenge. I was amazed at the finely fitting drawers, especially considering the multiple compound angles. I really liked the finely crafted lock mechanism, a thin brass rod with a delicate flared curve. Interestingly, Ken utilized the skill of a fellow craftsman in the jewelry making department of NBSS.

Ken Craggs - NBSS CFM 2007 and his
“Chinese Inspired Collector’s Chest”

We are traveling home today refreshed, relaxed and inspired.


neil said...

David.......are you sure you didn't swap your folding rule for Rear Admiral Morison's???? The NBSS school is a pretty neet place. Must have had a good conversation with the Gallery manager.
I was reminded walking through NBSS that building a skill-set, doesn't always mean you have to build big. The box you show us is an obvious example.


David Pruett said...

Neil -

Always the Renaissance Man, woodworker, sailor, furniture maker and designer and educator. And now, a Naval Historian. You never cease to amaze me!

Admiral George Stephen Morrison, the father of The Doors' late lead singer Jim Morrison, is also notable for being the youngest admiral in the United States Navy until 1963. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in 1938, graduating in 1942, and was subsequently commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy. In 1943 he was reported for flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola. After graduation from flight school in the spring of 1944, he served with honor and distinction in the Pacific Theater for the duration of World War II. During the Viet Nam War, from his flagship the Essex-class carrier USS BON HOMME RICHARD, Morrison was in command of fleet during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964.
On July 3, 1971 in Washington D.C., just 12 hours after his son Jim Morrison's death, Admiral Morrison was the keynote speaker at the decommissioning ceremony for his first ship as an admiral, the USS BON HOMME RICHARD. He later became Commander, US Naval Forces, in the Marianas in 1972.

My folding rule has no Naval Supply Number, so I am quite sure it can not be traced back to Admiral Morrison!

I had a great time at NBSS. The gallery manager, Ken Craggs, was a pleasure to meet. I agree with your comment about project scope and skill building. I am planning on a few small projects to work on my skill set . . . hope to post something soon.