Ron Herman, Master Housewright
Ron has been working with antique and vintage tools
almost all of his life - some of those tools weren’t
vintage, back then! From his start with and now
ownership of his more than 100-year-old family
contracting company, Antiquity Builders, Ron has been
sharpening, fettling, using and restoring these tools
since he was ten years old. Now a master housewright,
toolwright and carpenter who gained his skills through
the traditional apprentice program and his own
voracious thirst for knowledge, Ron uses these skills
and that knowledge to teach others. From giving
instructive courses to local woodworking club members
to full seminars for Popular Woodworking’s national
Woodworking in America events, Ron’s knowledge of
tools has helped others grow and develop theirs.
For many years, Ron has also been entrusted with the
sharpening and fettling of significant tools from the
collections of several prestigious tool collectors and
dealers, and provides a tool sharpening and restoration
service to the general public.
The company mill is stocked with an tremendous tool
inventory, arranged and sorted by type. Ron maintains
an extensive library of tool catalogs, research and
patents, dating back more than 100 years--he has
researched tool patents to understand information
about and the original uses of tools many may find
esoteric today, and can type, catalog, and give details
on hundreds of tools right off the top of his head.
Students at the Woodworking with Ron school have the
use of the thousands (seriously!) of company tools.
Ron’s shop is basically a working tool museum, except
this collection is not for show - parts of it are used
every day in the normal course of business. The best
part of it all is it is a true blended shop, and Ron has the
expertise and skills to convey his knowledge about all of
these tools to those who are interested.