NBSSIt wouldn’t be a Season of Rough Cut without a visit from North Bennet Street School instructor and frequent RC guest, Steve Brown. On this season’s Episode 4, Steve stops by the shop to work with Tommy on Childs Chair. The piece features some great details and subtle complexity, like tusk tenons, raked legs, and a tiny dovetail on the seat and battens to attach the legs to the seat.

We’ll leave it to you to decide if the Childs Chair is a project you could see yourself taking on; we’re going to use this space to shift our attention to that esteemed institution that produced this Episode’s two stars: the North Bennet Street School.

The list of NBSS alumni is long indeed, but we dug out two diamonds in that sea of jewels to highlight here. The point? Simply to broaden perspectives on how NBSS has helped so many turn an interest into a passion, or a passion into a career.

Brent Hull, Preservation Carpenter

Brent Hull attended NBSS to learn Preservation Carpentry with no training or relevant experience. Upon graduating from the program in 1993, Hull started his own company in Texas, building custom homes with historically accurate architectural millwork. He’s now considered a nationally recognized authority on historic design and architecturally correct moldings and millwork. He’s also written two books and gives regular presentations to industry architects and designers.

Take a look at some of Hull’s restoration and residential work:

A before and after of a Federal stair hall restoration.  Photo credit: www.brenthullcompanies.com

A before and after of a Federal stair hall restoration.
Photo credit: www.brenthullcompanies.com

A Colonial kitchen restoration.  Photo credit: www.brenthullcompanies.com

A Colonial kitchen restoration.
Photo credit: www.brenthullcompanies.com

Hull restored the millwork throughout this Santa Fe depot house, originally built in 1910. Photo credit: www.brenthullcompanies.com

Hull restored the millwork throughout this Santa Fe depot house, originally built in 1910.
Photo credit: www.brenthullcompanies.com

Ken Craggs, Custom Knives & Fine Furniture

Like Tommy, Ken Craggs studied Cabinet and Furniture Making at NBSS. An ’07 graduate and CT native, Craggs has since moved to Cumming, GA, where he has been making fine furniture and helping a good friend with a handmade knife business. The attention to detail and perfectionism one can see in Craggs’ work is striking – it’s clear he was meant to do this, and even more clear that NBSS provided the exact skills he needed to bring his craft to the world.

Take a look at some of his furniture and knife projects below.

Photo credit: www.kencraggs.com

Photo credit: www.kencraggs.com

Photo credit: www.kencraggs.com

Photo credit: www.kencraggs.com

Photo credit: www.kencraggs.com

Photo credit: www.kencraggs.com

Many of our readers share a love for woodworking and sometimes it just takes a little extra nudge to take that leap. Perhaps these success stories can serve as that nudge.

Be sure to tune into Episode 4 to watch two legendary NBSS alumni ply their craft!