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Shop McDowell

Everything you need right here
in McDowell County

Lonon Jason

19314 Hwy 221 N
Marion, NC 28752

Woodworker, Blacksmith, Maker of Fine Woodworking Tools.

After serving a three year apprenticeship in the late '90s with a master cabinet maker, I started on my own as a woodworker and blacksmith. Combining a love of history and working with my hands, I built Colonial and Shaker furniture, primitive camp furniture and green wood bowls and spoons. In my tiny blacksmith shop under a spreading oak tree, I made all kinds of hardware, camp gear for reenactors, axes, knives and tools. Though all the variety kept me from getting bored, I felt compelled to specialize, and yet unable to choose between wood and iron.  So I continued taking what jobs came along: furniture repair, teaching blacksmithing at a summer camp, peddling my wares at reenactments... 

The most fulfilling projects for me were combinations of both wood and iron. A favorite project was a dovetailed sailor’s chest with hand wrought hinges. My blacksmith’s toolbox with all the iron hardware and tools inside has gotten a lot of use. Soon tools I made were helping make more tools; like hatchets of wrought iron with a steel bit forged with a hammer that I made, its fine hickory handle carved with a drawknife I made. 

And so, somewhere along the line I began to specialize in tools. Working both wood and iron, being both a tool maker and a tool user, gives me an “edge” on making fine woodworking tools. Function, comfort and beauty are my goals in a tool. If a tool doesn’t function, it isn’t even a tool. If it is uncomfortable, you won’t use it. If it is also beautiful, using it will be a pleasure. 

My family and I live nestled between the mountains at the end of the valley my ancestors have called home for 170 years. Currently I divide my time between teaching welding at Mayland Community College, blacksmithing at the John C. Campbell Folk School, blacksmithing and woodworking at Turtle Island Preserve, and of course, making tools in my own shop