A new frontier for Je ne sais quoi woodworking


Back in November 2015 a reader by the name of Frank Bartlett started commenting on my posts. It turns out that he hails from the Kavango in Northern Namibia where our fishing camp is. He currently resides in Cape Town and is an avid old tool collector/user. Since then we started corresponding with regards to good shops to visit to hunt for old tools in the former Cape Colony. He pointed me towards a few good ones in Cape Town and I returned the favour in terms of the same in the Garden Route.

After my post on the Langdon mitre box and saw, Frank indicated that he has long been looking for something similar in Southern Africa. I undertook to let him know if ever I stumble across one. In April of this year friends of mine (yes that is you Heidi) visited a few antique stores in the Cape Town area and took photos of a mitre box and saw, which they sent on to me. I immediately sent it on to Frank who went in search of the shop with very sketchy directions.

I do not want to elaborate too much more as Frank will probably do a better job of documenting the adventure. Anyway that got us thinking about a post on the restoration of this mitre box/saw. As we discussed it more we realised that I could actually create a category on my site where other woodworkers who does not want to blog full time  could post some of their projects.

Frank agreed to be the first guinea pig and has already sent me some photos of very interesting projects that might feature on Je ne sais quoi Woodworking in the near future.

Over to you Frank and watch this space to the rest of you.



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  1. Eisch, I suppose its up to me now!
    Yes, Gerhard, I came across your website Googling for Assegai wood. Wanted to see what it looks like. Thought, whao, this Frenchmen knows his stuff about African lumber and historical use thereof. After sniffing around on your site, I saw that you reside in Windhoek.
    The quality and professionalism (and uniqueness) of your site amazed me and I was hooked!
    And now you want me to plaster my wood butchering techniques all over the world!!!? Oh, my! Anyway, lets experiment, we can always delete (I hope…)?
    Cape Town

    • Thanks Bob, I actually pointed Frank towards your posts on mitre boxes when he started restoring his.
      Always wonderful to hear from you.