Hand Tool Camp

Mason McBrien
September 24-28

If you are interested in restoring, tuning, and using old hand tools, this course will put you in clover. A self-described “tool geek,” Mason invites students to bring their old and worn chisels, planes, saws, axes, marking tools, drawknives, auger bits, etcetera for evaluation, cleaning, sharpening, tune up, and repair (as possible)—so that, whether they have been inherited from granddad, rescued from the back of the garage, or newly acquired at a flea market, they can be used and passed on to the next generation.

Sharing his passion for the lore and history of old tools, Mason explains how to assess their quality, maker or manufacturer, and history, as well as how and where to buy them. With the benefit of extensive demonstrations and one-on-one guidance, each student gets to clean, sharpen, and tune a variety of tools. Mason’s lectures and demonstrations cover a profusion of topics, from rust removal and restoring wood handles, to tuning planes and setting saw teeth.

As time allows, students also learn to use their tools safely and accurately through hands-on exercises such as cutting dovetails, fairing curves, flattening boards, and planing moldings.

Mason McBrien has combined the roles of instructor and facilities manager at the Center since 2011, while still finding time to accept commissions for furniture and wood turning. After years of self-employment building custom furniture, museum installations, and historic garden architecture in New Hampshire, Mason enrolled in the Center’s 2007-2008 Nine-month Comprehensive and subsequently was awarded a Fellowship. His work has been published in Fine Woodworking and in Lark Books’ 500 Tables (2009) and 500 Cabinets (2010).

Open to all.


Tuition: $785

mason3 2017

 McBrien standing saws 2017