Over the weekend
We finished two workshops this weekend and I will spend time getting ready for the upcoming class starting this coming Saturday. It was a special weekend really. Nick Richards finished his Timber Framing workshop and everyone took away their trestles made exclusively using timber-framing methods and M&T joints of different types with them. The weather was so beautiful we kept all doors open and let the gentle breezes pass on through. I got to make friends with the guys Nick was teaching too as they came in the shop to see my class and we sat for lunches together too. Of course mortise and tenons are all scaleable and so we cut the same joints in furniture making but we adapt techniques and tools to suit size and task. The accuracy they strove for in making the trestles was impressive. Shoulders dead square in both directions and then the draw-bore peg pulling the shoulders permanently tight. The bracing gave absolute rigidity to the whole and when they came to lift them, being green wood, it really took two to hoist them into the back of the trucks and trailers.
Saying goodbye always has mixed feelings somewhere between satisfaction and separation. Everyone shook hands and hugged and went on their way with their trestles in tow. The workshop was made all the more powerful without machines subbing for developed skill and so too the sense of accomplishment is always heightened because of the physical demands it takes to work wood by hand. So, I think we will all look forward to meeting again somewhere in the future.
As the real woodworking campaign continues gaining success from one phase to the next, I find more and more people becoming creative in realms they never thought possible. My two days passed in a heartbeat. Much faster than I thought they would and before I knew it I was sitting on a bench by the pond getting my journal up to date. I think we gained so much and of course the thing that makes the workshop so interactive is of course around the bench Q and A time. You could say that this is somewhat predictable but, really, it’s not at all. Every question may have the same inquiry, but then it’s often asked differently by different people. This makes the time really proactive and one day I may get to recording the questions.
Pretty usual early on is the time spent on sharpening. I just read a book on sharpening that someone put our recently. I thought it was funny because the intro said in two sentences that the task was remarkably simple and then made the whole procedure more complicated by presenting analytical facts and scientific data that totally changed what is essentially simple and straightforward. How many books we need on sharpening I don’t know. perhaps I should write one too. Six pages should do it. There was no new revelation in the book and I couldn’t really recommend it. There is nothing new under the sun I suppose. We spent time demystifying the misinformation on planes and planing, joints and making joints and of course this is all preparatory for further workshops whether they be at the bench live with me or through our Online Broadcast with Woodworkingmasterclasses.com.
Judging by parting comments we did hit the mark. The goal of course being to inspire and make free. I think the mysteries were debunked for sure. The joints came out well and some needed a little more practice, but they are now ready for the next phase in their training. This two day workshop really works well so I was glad to see its success so well received. I closed with the last picture as I walked to my apartment for rest.