The Phillips Brothers Mill has been a sawmill in operation since 1897 in and around Oak Run California. Oak Run is located approximately 25 miles east of Redding California. The Mill started as water powered, and was moved around to a couple different locations during the early part of the 20th Century, and has been powered by a Steam Boiler at the same location since 1933. Today, it is the last fully steam powered mill in America, and still owned by the Phillips Brothers family. Today it is part of a Phillips Family Trust and resides on a forest preserve of 920 acres which is meant as a sustainable forest for use by the mill. In 2002, the mill was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
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I have been considering an occasional column on our blog, just for sharing some various thoughts and news with you, so welcome to Volume One, 2015.
For small businesses, it is often challenging getting the word out. I want to touch on the scope of our blog. It wears several hats. We are a small family business, a one man custom tool making shop. I make precision tools for woodworkers and makers. Some of the ways we use the blog is to provide methods for working that have a lot of application on any project. We also use it to help teach and inform about our tools and methods that can help woodworking become easier and more accurate for you.
Getting the word out to woodworkers all over the world about what we do and what we may be able to help you do in making is a big part of our blog. I’m remiss about not blogging more often and I do try, but it happens. Client work in the shop and the matters of life are something we all can understand in our own way. We appreciate all our subscribers and readers. Our blog is aggregated by Leif at the Norse Woodsmith Aggregator and has been for years. Recently our blog has been aggregated by Siavosh over at woodspotting.com, which is a new form of Aggregator that is growing fast and allows people to submit blogs to it. We really appreciate both of them for their their support in helping us network and get the word out. If you enjoy our blog or use it as a reference, please feel free to bookmark, subscribe directly via RSS or email as well. This helps us stay in touch and we appreciate your support.
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Amongst the many dilemmas facing the woodworker, just a few are what to build and how to build it, but even as those questions seem like early ones in the process, the earlier ones considered are even more elementary.
The nature and ways of wood, joinery, adhesives, and style are all things that need to be dealt with in the “what” to build and “how” to build it. Is it furniture, casework, cabinetry? Will it involve carpentry, as a built in as many elements of Arts and Crafts styling will? will it include some metal work or upholstery? Other leading questions like, will I have the appropriate tools, and can I properly fixture the work for all the different elements of construction? What finishes are most appropriate, and how best to apply them?
You see, it is a lot of questions. Fortunately there are a lot of answers. The art and craft of woodworking is age old, in fact, even our great grandparents and grandparents knew a lot about it, and lucky for us, even as much of an undertaking it was to publish books back in the day, the understandings of the woodworking trades, the methods and the how to with hand and power tools was something they authors of that period wrote about quite articulately. There was a want for future generations to know these things, and there was a lot they understood. Continue Reading »