Humility

Page 1 of 4  
A few weeks ago I posted a questions regarding lightening the color of an a ntique oak table. The table is a family heirloom that goes back at least 1 00 to 120 years. My folks had already stripped and stained it in the 1950' s so preservation of patina was not a concern.
This morning I am sipping my coffee and getting ready to apply the 4th coat of finish on a project that is coming together fairly well. I am doing it in heated garage workshop that includes a 15" surface planer, 5hp table sa w, wood lathe and other power and hand tools I have accumulated over 30 or 40 years of woodworking and general tinkering.
A project like this gave me lots of reasons to think. The table is made of a combination of red and white oak, rather artfully combined. I wonder if material use was really artistic or just the use of available material in a small, shop. The red oak top is made of 4" wide boards that were edge jo ined with a modified tongue and groove edge. The under-frame and slide mec hanism, that allows it to be expanded, needed a little work. Some of the do uble-dovetail slides were damaged. I was able to "duplicate" these parts o n the table saw but I noticed the old ones still showed slight tool marks e ven after years of use.
Then the legs. The table has five 4" diameter lathe turned legs. The top and bottom 6"-8" are artfully turned spindles with decorative rings, etc. Everything else is a graceful rope turn design that kept us busy for days g ently removing the old finish with toothbrushes. The other morning I laid them out side-by-side before starting the staining process. That is when i t occurred to me they are not duplicates. They are damned near duplicates- -but there are small variations in the width of the turned rings, the coves , the depth of the groove in the rope area etc. I noticed variations becau se I was looking for them but it is clear that the lathe was loaded five ti mes for five legs. Then I looked over at the 14" JET lathe near the wall of my shop and shook my head wondering if these pieces of craftsmanship wer e turned on a water or foot operated machine.
My wife and I have built a few pretty nice projects over our years includin g some hardwood rocking horses that have sold or raffled well . We have al so finished out our entire home.
We are rank amateurs!
RonB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/29/2015 8:42 AM, RonB wrote:

Take heart in knowing that back then it was probably a more common thing for people to know how to do this type work and the opportunity to learn or be taught was more available then as it is today. Surely, regardless of the tools used, there are forgotten tricks and techniques that made those tools of 100 years ago more effective in the hands of the craftsman than now with few left that may know those techniques. Think about the great pyramids. ;~)
On the other hand, most of us today are self taught, and that is a testament to accomplishment too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 9:04:53 AM UTC-6, Leon wrote:

Yep. And on a, somewhat, similar note, my niece's son once ask me to make a new Harry Potter magic wand.... he had broken his.... with braided-carved handle, kinna like gunstock carvings. That carving wasn't so easy a job as I had initially thought it would be.
Sonny
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 9:04:53 AM UTC-6, Leon wrote:

st 100 to 120 years. My folks had already stripped and stained it in the 1 950's so preservation of patina was not a concern.

g it in heated garage workshop that includes a 15" surface planer, 5hp tabl e saw, wood lathe and other power and hand tools I have accumulated over 30 or 40 years of woodworking and general tinkering.

r if material use was really artistic or just the use of available material in a small, shop. The red oak top is made of 4" wide boards that were edg e joined with a modified tongue and groove edge. The under-frame and slide mechanism, that allows it to be expanded, needed a little work. Some of th e double-dovetail slides were damaged. I was able to "duplicate" these par ts on the table saw but I noticed the old ones still showed slight tool mar ks even after years of use.

c. Everything else is a graceful rope turn design that kept us busy for da ys gently removing the old finish with toothbrushes. The other morning I l aid them out side-by-side before starting the staining process. That is wh en it occurred to me they are not duplicates. They are damned near duplica tes--but there are small variations in the width of the turned rings, the c oves, the depth of the groove in the rope area etc. I noticed variations b ecause I was looking for them but it is clear that the lathe was loaded fiv e times for five legs. Then I looked over at the 14" JET lathe near the w all of my shop and shook my head wondering if these pieces of craftsmanship were turned on a water or foot operated machine.

e also finished out our entire home.

You hit on a very important and unfortunate point Leon. The "opportunity" to learn. I know of a few young ones that would like to take some woodwork ing classes in junior high or high school. I only know of one that that th e opportunity that I had when I was young. For various reasons, liability being the main one, schools have dropped wood classes with no plans to get back in. The old, really old, Unisaw that I used in high school is sittin g at the end of the current agriculture shop being use for occasional cutof f work or as a table. The instructor is wood-trained but said the schools don't want to take on the liability of a kid getting injured - football is OK, but not woodworking. She also said the introduction of Saw Stop techno logy isn't helping because the smaller programs cannot afford to replace pe rfectly good Unisaws with new machines.
Very unfortunate in our area. Pittsburg State University (Kansas) is 35 mi les away and they have one of the top woodworking programs in the country. Westhoff Interiors, a leading Yacht interior company, is on the north edge of our town. Westhoff draws some kids into training programs but their be st trained come from Pitt State, which in turn pulls students from other ar eas. Other than the Joplin area there are few local opportunities for wood classes.
Ron
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/29/2015 10:05 AM, RonB wrote:

It is sad. Our country is becoming soooooo politically correct and recklessness letting the lawyers go after any one that might do something as simple as teach some one how to strike a match that we are loosing the ability to actually think and innovate. Let alone do for ourselves. The thinking that it would be too expensive to spend $5K to replace a new saw is ludicrous. The life long skills that could be taught in a wood shop would be thousands of times less expensive than incarcerating those that have no other skill and peddle crack on the street corner. For some odd reason our mentality is switching over to the idea of knowing how to do "ONE" thing that requires no thinking. The grocery store cashier from the 70's would look like a genius compared to those that take you money these days.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/29/2015 2:07 PM, Leon wrote:

AND Jeez. Our president wants to make community colleges free to all!
I can appreciate the gesture but that is only going to appeal to those that should not be going to college in the first place. A free college for all will be no different than adding more years to high school. It will be free so the vast majority that did not want to be in school in the first place will be there taking up space. I am of the firm belief that 90% of the students that don't directly pay for their higher education will get less from it, what do they have to loose? If you want a lower quality education choose one that is funded by the tax payers. If you want a lower quality health care system, choose one funded by the tax payers.
I will get down off of my soap box. ;~)
AND I did not mean to hi-jack your thread, I did appreciate your thoughts on how much more adapt we as a society were 100 years ago.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

It's only "FREE" if you maintain a 2.5 GPA.
That's a little tough to do if you are one of the jerk heads you describe above.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:38:03 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

2.5? Bs and Cs? In today's colleges? Sheesh!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/29/2015 7:38 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

you could expect anything much better that a HS teacher instructing the class.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

Lew Hodgett wrote:

"Leon" wrote:

Why is that?
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/30/2015 3:37 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Given how much in debt the government is as a base for comparison, of all the money the tax payers give the government, how much do you suppose will actually go towards an intended purpose.
Simply put, the government wastes so much of the money it collects that darn little will actually be spent on the staff. There will be exceptions but simply look at how the government runs the education K-12. Free community college will simply be the new K-16.
Private enterprise will always trump the government in production and results. Private enterprises have to run efficiently or they don't exist. This is not true with the government.
While private college professors are not all being paid near what the colleges collect for tuition I can assure you that a government paid system is going to pay those professors even less. Where do you think the smart professors are going to work?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
*snip*

Do we really need to put people through 17 years of formal education? Even 13 years is too much for some people. What it seems a good many people haven't realized is that after a point formal education holds a person back.
*snip*
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Puckdropper wrote:

I didn't here the president say he was forcing anyone to go (please pardon me for not reading all of the preceding messages of this thread). I'm hope you're not saying that you have figured out a way to filter out some of those who would like to go.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/31/2015 12:27 AM, Bill wrote:

Well I did not listen to him either but the notion of making yet another thing free, for the taxpayers to pay for, will with a certainty end up as unsuccessful as most any thing else the government participates in.
As far as forcing students to go I have a couple of thoughts. A. There are millions of HS drop outs so the government does not do a good job at keeping kids in school either. The number of students that actually attend does not affect the cost to educate them. The cost is the same whether there are 15 or 30 students in any particular class. B. There is a vast number of students that pay for their higher education and should not be in college. When college students end up not going into the field in which they studied, what good is that $60,000 of debt which will take 30 years to pay off with a job paying $20,000 a year? C. Countless families will continue to support and let their kids live at home as long as they are in school. This turns into 4 more years of HS quality education that the dead beat kid will attend so that he does not have to gout and support himself.
Again I will say that a free education sounds good but in reality you often get what you pay for.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

If it's paid for by the government it will soon become the standard. Like a HS diploma now, one won't be able to get a job flippin' burgers without a 2-year degree. It's the way the world works.
It's a *bad* idea all around. It's probably worse than the college loan program.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/31/2015 12:59 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

Hmmm, I've read that a few time and do not understand.. Could you give an example?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/31/2015 8:38 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Over qualified. During periods of economic down turns, like the one that we are starting to recover from, there are lay offs and college kids graduating. They are all hunting for jobs. Typically when there are cut backs/lay offs, those that are the least important to the company are let go. Those that immediately find jobs are not over qualified. Those that can't find a job, even when people are being hired, are over qualified for the jobs they are seeking.
And if you read between the lines, over qualified can also be defined as educated well beyond ones intelligence level. If you don't know how to apply and sell yourself with what you have been taught you are over qualified for the job you are turned down for.
In addition an overqualified person can be a risk. He is desperate to find a job to support his financial needs and in a tight market will jump at anything to have income. If the economy improves or a job that suites his qualifications better comes up, he is gone. A workforce is going to be more stable when it's qualifications match it's pay level.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/31/2015 10:25 AM, Leon wrote:

We have that situation now. I don't think it would get any worse by educating people more, given a proper education. By proper, I mean something usable. I have a PhD in 4th century Greek sculpture and can't find a job in my field.
My point is, having the opportunity for an education does not lead to the problem it is what you do with it. Instead of Greek scupture, go into the medical field where there is a steady demand, or maybe engineering, or even learn a trade.
There are some professional students that will stay in school as long as mom and day foot the bill. They have no direction and will be overqualified if they ever do get kicked out of the house.
The higher education system needs serious overhaul. Tuition is going up much faster than the cost of living and inflation rates The tuition at UCONN is up 6% and the president got a 20% raise. Yeah, that makes sense. Tough getting by on only $750,000 a year.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/31/2015 2:23 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I think we agree. Better educated is not the problem but can compound the problem.
And while, thank goodness, we still have people in this country that can be trained or educated to do most anything....the vast majority is not going to do well with that process.

Agreed. But giving away an education seems, to me, to be the wrong road to an overhaul.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.