“When I first started out, a few years back, with hand tools I found your DVDs very helpful. Over the course of time, I have taken some classes and read more books and articles. I’m not sure how or why, but I slowly moved away from your techniques. I have been struggling quite a bit lately, not getting the results I want. I was thinking to myself, I wasn’t having these issues when I was starting out. A lot of my issues revolve around sharpening. I then remembered that I always got the best results using your approach. Over the past couple days, I have gone back and watched the first few of your DVDs. I was amazed at how much information I had allowed to slip away or be replaced. I think I only spent 15 minutes in the shop, and my plane blade sharpening has improved dramatically! How could I have strayed off course! I know you might have your critics, but your approach always gives me consistent results. Spending an extra couple of minutes, over other approaches, is worth my time now. I’m now going to go back and review my chisel technique. Do you have any plans to release any new DVDs or travel to the US to teach any classes? Thank you again,”

Mike lingenfelter

“If you want to learn a very good technique for sharpening and how to fettle a bog standard plane to take a shaving so thin it floats Mr C is the man. Go on his tool preparation course.

I learnt how to sharpen a chisel and plane blade, how to make an old (Stanley) plane take a 1 thou shaving and most importantly (IMHO) how to use these super sharp tools. Using a chisel for paring, more importantly using a plane – techniques for flattening a board, squaring an edge, removing wind. Everything I struggled with to get started in the world of wood got easy overnight.

Getting direct teaching from someone who knows what to do and why it works is the best thing I even spent money on! It might sound a bit silly, but I didn’t just learn how to do things – I learnt how to think about what I was doing.”

Sean Griffiths
Not affiliated to Mr C, just a very very happy customer

“The first thing to say is that I got everything out of the course I hoped and expected to. I had already watched all the DVDs and enjoyed them so I was pretty sure what the course would involve. This certainly was what I experienced and so, in this limited sense, it was a fulfilment of my expectation. But there was a lot more besides.
I was quite apprehensive beforehand since I had not attempted any work as exact as this before and to work under the close supervision of a legend in exactitude was a bit daunting. I was not sure whether I would be able to achieve the fabled ‘one thou full width and length shaving’. While I am sure one could follow the DVD instructions and achieve good results, the gentle personal guidance on the spot was invaluable. This gave me confidence and I came away with my pot of shavings as predicted. One has to be rather selective in whom one tells that one has spent a week in the depths of North Devon in order to come away with some wood shavings. I am glad John was there too since I can counter the odd looks by saying that there was someone willing to come from the other side of the world to do so. The production of such shavings is indeed quietly rather blissful.
There was more on general technique than I expected shooting and chisel work which was all to the good. I need to review and type up my notes supplemented by reference to your books – to consolidate what I have learned. The logic and especially the counter-intuitive stuff (using a curved blade for accurate work etc) was compelling.
The whole package of the course, B&B with Merlyn next door and the feeling of being albeit temporarily part of the community was really good.
Thank you again for a really memorable, productive and enjoyable week. I am coming back if I may.”

Steven Cruikshank

“As a retired Nuclear Engineer I have been used to fine tolerances in machined metal components produced by very skilled craftsmen. However I had my eyes opened on the Tool Tuning Course. Not only did I witness the production of 1 thousandths of a inch shaving of wood with a hand plane but it was me doing it, with my own plane and on END GRAIN. Of all of the training courses I have attended in my life this was the most enjoyable and informative of all. A must for anyone contemplating fine woodwork.”

Colin McColm