Monday, February 13, 2017

When are Tools more than Just Tools?

  We returned from a very good holiday in Ponta Delgada on the Azores island of Sao Miguel yesterday and this morning I returned to my work shop.  Recently I watched a video by  April Wilkerson talking about her feelings related to moving from her current wood working shop. Aside from the pragmatic aspects of having a shop,  like saving money and the creative control available she talked about personal sanctuary, peace and joy.  

    If we pause to consider our shops and tools fully I think we all have those feelings.  Maybe not all the time, joy is not the feeling I have when struggling with an awkward glue up or when facing hours of hand sanding, but mostly my feelings are positive.

  This morning I was making a couple of little trucks for my Granddaughters in Sweden.  As I was working I realised that I enjoyed our holiday, but I love to be home.  I was aware that I was using tools that were my late father's and grandfathers.  I thought about the really good hand planes that were bought with Christmas gift money from my Mother.  I also looked around the basement at the lovely home my wife and I have made here together, all those feelings: peace, joy and sanctuary were all there.

  Wooden toy trucks is one of the many children's toys I've made over the years. 

Image result for simple wooden toy trucks
I've actually made a few of these.
Go to a clearance store and you can buy the bins for cheap.
  My policy is that all the toys I make are simple, study and meant to be played with until they are fire wood.  And....I don't care if the toys are played to death or forgotten at the play ground, I'll make a replacement if asked.  I don't like to see toys smashed in anger but I hate to see toys  sitting on a shelf in a pristine box,'collected'.

  Today was the first day working without a table saw.  So good.  I was able to break down the boards as needed with my band saw and hand saws. I used my shooting board more this morning that in the last year.  It was actually a quieter more gentle way to work.  I'm not kidding myself, this is small stuff with more sanding than sawing going on.  I'll report later in the week when I get into a heavy duty storage cabinet that I have to build for a stained glass group. (glass is really, really heavy).

  Anyway, I'm off to take care of those 3,275 that that pile up while one is away on holiday, and visit my Mom.

cheers, ianw

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