My names is Caleb James and I make hand tools. That's simple enough but how I got here is a longer story.
My father was a woodworker. A house framer/builder to be more exact but he was the first to introduce me to a brace and bit, hand planes, etc. I spent many a summer and odd weekend building additions to homes and the like. It was a great learning process.
My first taste for furniture making was in a seventh grade shop class. We got cherry off cuts from a cabinet shop donated to us and we made stools. I guess that was a sign of many chairs that would be made in my future.
Fast-forward to married life and my first home. There I cobbled together, what I thought was, furniture with a garage sale table saw. After much self study in woodworking magazines and books I began to make giant strides. I stumbled upon Windsor chairs at this time and it took hold of my imagination. However, it wasn't until I became obsessed with Danish Modern furniture from the master craftsman and designer Hans Wagner that I completely gave myself over to the endeavor of chairmaking as my sole hobby.
After 8 years of running my own successful business and with the addition of my second child to the family I decided to sell my business and become a full-time chairmaker in 2011. I had been making furniture as a hobby for six years at that point and the last two for clients on the side. Even so, it was a huge learning curve but I never looked back. By 2013 my planemaking/toolmaking bloomed into nearly all my work and it overtook my furniture making within two years. That continues to be my focus until today.
I spend most days making tools in the 18 & 19 century style. I have a special interest and focus on Windsor chairmaker's tools. My spokeshave has become the most produced tool in my line of offerings. I continue to make furniture for myself and write the occasional magazine article. Thats my life in a nutshell.