By Wayne MacPhail
Down an industrial hallway, in an old, white-walled factory, past a sprouts company, a chocolate shop, and a caterer sits the Unplugged Woodshop. The spotless, bright space is Tom Fidgen's baby. Fidgen is a musician, a writer and a boat builder. He learned his craft from his father, a firefighter and wood craftsman in Cape Breton. But, over the years, as a set builder, blogger and master woodworker, Fidgen has refined his craft and his tools. He's built a large international audience for his books and his classes. Now, Fidgen teaches weekend wood warriors and seasoned vets how to build beautiful objects with their hands, hand tools and lovingly selected wood. His capacious shop, in the Leslieville area of Toronto, offers classes, workshops and a maker space for Torontonians who have more ambitions than room in their condos. You can tell Fidgen cares about his craft. Even the fob to the woodshed's washroom key is a lovely piece of woodworking craftsmanship. That should come as no surprise, Fidgen's attention to detail and his care for his tools shines through everywhere in the shop. He even plays jazz on an old Califone turntable, a tip of the hat to the handmade and vintage. Fidgen has two books out on his craft - Made By Hand - Furniture Projects from the Unplugged Woodshop and The Unplugged Woodshop.
A Video Made of Wood
The Unplugged Photo Gallery
Click on thumbnail for full images - Photos by Wayne MacPhail