Real Woodworking Campaign #3

Well, some are asking for more details of the campaign when lots of people are actually doing it.


The campaign is about choices and the ways we woodworkers choose to work with wood. It is not a club of rules, do’s and dont’s but recognizing key issues and trying to understand the why for of what we do or don’t do. For instance, if you have a bandsaw set up, why do you automatically run to it and fill your shop with dust for two hours when you could JUST AS EASILY have cut it with hand tools in the same time by hand? Now I am not talking about resawing a 4x 8 oak beam, so we must find the balance. These are the questions. It’s about stopping and thinking through the things we do so automatically and forget about the consequences.

There is a strange phenomenon in the woodworking world that developed during the Industrial Revolution, was exponentially advanced through two World Wars, and is now pandemic across the world of woodworking. I call this phenomenon the world of Un-woodworking. Unfortunately unwoodworking is what most so called woodworkers actually do and call woodworking, but is primarily machining wood rather than actually working it. This is a bit like watching a game instead of playing the game. It’s spectating rather than doing, its shoving wood into machines and shoving machines into wood. It requires minimal skill or expertise and was actually developed specifically to eliminate skill altogether so things could be mass made without training and the need to rely on skilled work. It’s dumbed down woodworking to the point of demoralisation. So the show has two dimensions: The Unwoodworking Campaign that started three hundred years ago in the Eye of the Industrial Revolution and the Real Woodworking Campaign, which started officially in 2011 but has actually been going for about 30 years and has been an uphill slog for some of us involved in reversing the negative effects of this industrialising process yet keeping those benefits that have value.

More later. Got to go eat my other half of the B&B. See you at the show.