NewsPress Release: 8/14/02MacNeille to Appear in Fine Woodworking Magazine
MARLBORO, VERMONT Marlboro College '02 graduate Merrall MacNeilles wood-infilled hand planes are set to grace the pages of "FineWoodworking Magazine" in their upcoming Tools and Shops issue.
MacNeille had originally created the planes as part of his Plan of Concentration at Marlboro College. The Plan of Concentration is the cornerstone of Marlboro's academic program. It is an in- depth, self-designed exploration of a field or fields of each student's choosing. The Plan culminates in a major independent project involving research, one-to-one study with faculty in tutorials and a three-hour oral examination with Marlboro faculty and an outside examiner who is an expert in the student's field.
An article in Fine Woodworking originally turned Merrall on to the work of Carl Hotley, an English master plane maker. Merrall wrote to Hotley asking if he could intern with the master. In less than a week, MacNeille was invited to apprentice and live with Hotley and his wife.
The apprenticeship influenced my Plan greatly. Working eight to 10 hours a day on woodworking and learning things I had not been able to figure out on my own, using machine tools for the first time, and watching Carl approach his work with a level of perfectionism really influenced my own approach, MacNeille said.
In March, MacNeille filled the Marlboro College Drury Gallery with the products of his Plan, hand planes, furniture, shop drawings, a slide show and photographs documenting the plane-making process. In addition to his exhibit, MacNeille wrote three papers on the history of hand plane manufacturing and his experiences working with Hotely.
MacNeille and his wife Monica, also a Marlboro College graduate, recently bought a structurally challenged home in Jacksonville, which they plan to renovate into a home and woodworking shop.