What is this?
As you know, I met with Wally, Rick, Terry, Steve, Brett and Vic of Veritas Tools last week to discuss a range of different issues in woodworking and we all drew on our relational knowledge in each of the fields of expertise we worked in. Though all experts in their specific fields within the overall sphere of woodworking, these men came in to more of a think-tank-session where we wrestled with thoughts and ideas that we saw affect trends, tools, changes and shifts in culture and education and such that thereby determine the future of woodworking. Where the future of woodworking lies splits into segments hitherto undefined and for me we finished up with a specific challenge to recognise various needs that could be reconciled and used to restore handwork in tangible, practical, constructive and even challenging ways. Children as well as adults are both challenging and challenged to a passage of transition whereby they go from never having worked with wood to gaining levels of competence that equip them to successfully work with their hands. We sensed our task challenge was to effectively tackle the various problems and present tools that would help woodworkers from any background and all skill levels to get to the core essentials for effectively working with wood. That in fact meant bringing tools to market that work and are equal to the task. We also saw the need for an education programme that provided ways for woodworkers to get clear instruction that would both facilitate and undergird progressive changes according to chosen spheres of woodworking such as furniture making, carpentry, joinery, guitar making, fine instrument making and so on. It seems to me that most woodworking magazines stop way short of translating woodworkers beyond very general woodworking and furniture making and there is so little about building guitars or mandolins, boat building and making canoes and much more. Most of it is about minuscule portions of technique and there is often little meaty substance to chew on.
I noticed that within the first 20 minutes we managed to get beyond any mere opinions, of which there are millions, to get to core essentials that simplify the craft. Once we did that we were better able to tackle the real problems. We went through issues with bevel-up and bevel-down planes, whether we faced an either/or or both plus some others. Saws too posed many issues and I hope that from our discussions we might see saws we’ve never seen before, or even some we have but not in a 150 years. Bevel angles, strengths of steels, steel types and more enabled us to think outside of the box and we all felt the spark of inspiration as we grappled through each of the issues.
As soon as I arrive in the UK I want talk about the R&D at Veritas. methods and methodology and such. Fascinating!