When we were at the Des Moines home/unschooler park day on Wednesday, Ann mentioned to me that she and a group of homeschoolers made a trip to Story City (where we're staying) once to attend a workshop at this very unique business. RVP 1875 stands for this gentleman's initials and the year that he researches for all of the pieces of furniture he builds in his store. Everything he makes is made in the same fashion that furniture would have been built in in 1875; meaning he only uses the tools from that year as well.
After story time at the public library, we decided to drop in on this quaint little shop that I'd been eyeing since arriving, since one of his window signs says, "Coffins". Just made me wonder? We walked in only to find another group of homeschoolers busy building their own little tool boxes, using the tools from 1875 and learning a lot about cabinet making in those days in the process. Since the class had started an hour before, we didn't jump in, but just watched for a while. Robby (owner) did let each of the boys try their hand at hand planing a piece of wood. I asked if it would be ok to come back later in the afternoon and see more of the tools and ask more questions. He said his apprentice (a real apprentice, too, this kid doesn't get paid!) would be there all afternoon and would be happy to let the boys use some of the old tools.
We made a quick trip to the grocery to pick up some fruit, then home to eat lunch and ask Dad if he wanted to go with us, and we were off to RVP 1875. The boys, with JD's (apprentice) help, built themselves a nice sturdy little tool box. They got to saw the wood, plane the wood, rip the wood, and nail it all together. They loved it!
If you are ever in this neck of the wood, I *enthusiastically* recommend checking this place out! They are passionate about what they do, and it shows! The store was very charming, with exquisite handbuilt furniture pieces, ranging in price from $100 to $5000 and up. We especially loved all of the sawdust and wood ribbons scattered all over the floor. We took some with us for our next bonfire.