I'm something of a "thinker" by nature, and I am blessed/afflicted with
many of the consequences of that condition.
The last couple of years have presented a lot of challenges, and a guy
like me might tend to spend idle moments churning the permutations
around in my head. Having a project in progress ("in progress" is a
long-lasting condition for my projects) gives me something else for my
brain to chew on, during my commute to work, for instance. I turn the
pieces around in my head, reshape them, fit them together and mostly
puzzle out how to turn those ideas into reality given my current
limitations. Definitely an aid to good mental health.
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Know the feeling all too well. My mind chews on a problem, and goes over
and over possible solutions, like a dog on a bone ...even when I'm asleep.
Can't tell you how many times I've woken out of a sleep with solutions
to a problem, or ways to do something, I'd been wrestling with the day
When I took an interest in computer programming in the late sixties
there were no books at the bookstore, no online sources and you
bascially had to puzzle things out yourself, sometimes by the brute
force of trial and error.
The reward is coming up with an "elegant" solution, even though you
might find out later that you rebuilt a wheel some Wizard came up with
before ... than you can just say "Great minds ..." ;)
In woodworking one often gets greater satisfaction from how you did
something than you get out of the actual piece itself.
This is especially true when devising jigs and fixtures to do something
that no tool can do, and/or do it safely.
On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 11:08:04 AM UTC-5, Greg Guarino wrote:
As woodchucker pointed out, it has a lot to do with having the right hand t
ools. Same as with power woodworking. Right tool makes the job easier. U
sing a scrub plane makes dimensioning boards fairly quick. Not as quick as
with powered jointers and planers, but still fairly quick. Scrub planes r
emove a lot of wood quickly. Whereas when you use a regular plane to remov
e wood and dimension it, it takes a long time because regular planes cannot
cut a lot of wood. Scrub planes are fun to use.
Dimensioning wood is not fun with hand tools. Its physically demanding wor
k. Its not really skilled work. Its hard physical work. I think there ar
e a fair number of handtool woodworkers who use machines to dimension the w
ood. Joint, plane, rip. Then use handtools to final dimension, smooth, jo
I've done it... and still do at times. I also taught my sons, starting at
about age 8, how to resaw, rip saw, crosscut, 4-square, and shoot with
handtools... They understand the intent, purpose and process now rather than
just know they have to shove a board through a machine.
In recent times they've been using my large stationary tools (bandsaw,
jointer, thickness planer, table saw). This coming weekend my youngest will
use the shaper for the first time to shape and mold using the template I
recently mentioned in another thread. This would have happened last weekend
but the rub collar I needed didn't show up until yesterday... I tested the
set up last evening and it works like a charm.
It is satisfying and with small stock it is often the right way to go.
Not any more ... but, the ability to be able to do it, if it is the only
way to get the job done ... Priceless. ;)
Luckily, both my grandfather's, and my Dad, were self reliant men in a
self reliant culture, so I was blessed to have been exposed to the use
of woodworking hand tools early in life. Mostly by my maternal
grandfather who had a shop, sawmill, and built his farm buildings, home,
and the furniture that went into it.
I wouldn't necessarily advocate that everyone start off with only hand
tools in the 21 century, but skills, once learned to a level adequate
for most jobs, tend to stick with you, and come in handy even though you
may be rusty.
I recently installed crown, base and shoe mostly by hand (I did use a
finish nail gun) in a bedroom remodel. Learned to cope inside miter
joints when I was around ten, and here, 60 later, it's was like riding a
bicycle. And, by being able to do so, I managed to save and reuse a
quite a bit of trim that was no longer available in a house 90 years
old; and a good deal of time to boot by not having to remove but one
side of the trim on intersecting walls.
Basically, and though I have never even been anything but barely
adequate with hand tools, I can't count the number of times what I did
learn as a youngster has saved my bacon.
And ... I grew up in an age when there were actually SHOPS to be seen in
public schools ... Man, have we lost an incalculable amount of desirable
human traits, skills, and basic psychological/cultural health, in that
I think this holds true with most anything and may be one of the reasons
that some people have difficulty in learning to using computer drawing
programs. Having a formally taught back ground in analog? drafting
seemed to have helped me greatly 28 years ago when I first started using
Congratulations Billy boy ! You are even a bigger pussy than Leon ! ~g~
You wouldn't know a troll if it crawled up your vagina and set fire to
Good luck - let us all know how that kill-file works out for ya.
On Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:24:05 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Lurndal)
Sounds similar to my first shop teacher. He had us saw wood by hand
until we almost had blisters and then taught us to use the table saw.
His reasoning was we had to learn the basics before we went onto the
The ridiculous thing about all of it is that now, some of the well
paying, life supporting jobs are the plumber, electrician and similar
type jobs. When I went to school, those were the lower tier jobs that
the less motivated students were streamed into.
Schools don't get rewarded with tax money for successfully streaming
students into those jobs. Now the schools don't even help students to
prepare for those jobs.
Community colleges have some programs, such as HVAC.
In the year 9595, I'm kinda wonderin' if Man is gonna be alive.
He's taken everything this old Earth can give, and he ain't put back nothin'
Now it's been 10,000 years, Man has cried a billion tears,
For what, he never knew. Now man's reign is through.
-- Zager & Evans, 1969
OBWW: Denny Zager now builds custom guitars in Lincon Nebraska.
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