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Beyond pain

Rough hands in veined steel knots clasp the chisel’s smoothness yet once more to pare the frame and fresh-cut shavings falling to tumbled piles at my feet and ankles braced now upon the oak board floor.

 

I strain, press, twist and the steel has my will at the edge that separates wood from wood and then as night separates day from day and year from year a tenon fits inside the mortise firmly gripped and held in place forever.

 

The chips now fallen feed the fire in winter as I warm my hands to lift another board to lie in wait upon my bench. And so the plane, my old plane, refines with shavings swiped side by side and with each swipe reveals the wood that no man’s seen before.

Beyond the presence of pain, through pain, I gain mastery over the wood and the tool. My hands hurt as any craftsman’s do much of the time in the pressure of my work, but no longer do I concern my thoughts with the pain for beyond this lies the treasure now emerged from deepness in the wood and soon I rest contented as the wood lies now in new and wrested smoothness.

  • Jeff D on I Read a ReviewSpeaking of chisels and strops...I can't recall if you should strop the flat side of the chisel...is that called a York pitch on a chisel or just on a plane blade?
  • Ed on As Boring Things Go…Al, I think Paul is saying that humans have a basic need for respect and to feel valued by others. If we take a persons work as just a moment of amusement and then cast it aside, w…
  • Samuel on As Boring Things Go…The actual poor don’t read this blog extensively I think.. And they couldn’t afford a tenon saw or the wood for a bench, unless will power well exceeded means. Rent,fuel, insurance…
  • Jeff D on As Boring Things Go…Can that pillar drill take other kinds of drill bits like the auger bits?
  • Max™ on As Boring Things Go…I was looking at the minicurls coming from my iwasakis and on a lark rubbed some around in my palms when I realized it could make a remarkably nice grit in a hand scrub. I also kee…
  • Al on As Boring Things Go…Paul, I started my journey into hand tool woodworking about a year ago and have learned an incredible amount from your videos and your blogs. You have such a clear and direct manne…
  • John2v on As Boring Things Go…Hi Paul Your handraulic "drill press". I did post a comment the first time you showed it to us about STAVROS GAKOS using one on utube. In fact one of your followers said " he would…
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