Here is John’s upcycled Ashley Iles 35mm 7-sweep gouge replete with its new beech handle and his retro box is shown below too. Trash to treasure turns the useless to full of use and what one person chunks another knows will last another lifetime. Today I realised a few things as I filed the teeth on the £1 saw I bought last week and made it into a very, very functional saw that now cuts like the very best of saws I ever owned. I topped the teeth and redefined the shape as the students watched me to learn my techniques. The light flashed off the newly topped teeth for a few strokes and then they disappeared stroke by stroke as the teeth became uniform in shape and size before their eyes. This is the very best way to learn to sharpen if it’s possible and it’s the way I learned 49 years ago to the day. I stripped the rust off yesterday in readiness for this class. What they saw today will never intimidate their saw sharpening in the future.
Progress on joinery went well and I pointed out the joints in my tables we made for the videos as I taught them joinery, which is really useful of course because it makes it so applicable. Most people see joints in mostly one-way applications when there are many more uses for each joint when you make a few minor adaptations to suit the task.
I recounted a story from a former occupation when i learned that bank tellers are only given real notes when they are learning their banking skills. After a period of time has elapsed they slip in a fraudulent note and, remarkably, every time their fingers touch a bad note they can sense the difference in their fingertips. What they do is what we do. We present the truth first. A tangible permanent reference in the fingertips and hand pressures of every student who pushes a sharp chisel into wood for the first time. From this day forth and forever they will always know what sharp is.
Phil is setting his brass backed R Groves dovetail saw with a hammer and nail set…
No other single aspect of hand tool woodworking is more important than sharpness and every person we teach comes to know that from the very start. Knowing sharpness cuts to the very chase and showing students the way to that end means the eradication of any and all doubt. That’s what happened today. Well, a couple of hours later we did the same with the hand plane. Next week we are filming much of what I taught today because there is a lot we want to upgrade for everyone to learn from. They will be free videos that you can watch for on either YouTube or woodworkingmasterclasses.com if you have signed in for your free online subscriptions.
Here is John’s finished chisel box. the one I mentioned in yesterday’s blog.
This what I wanted from the beginning, when I started teaching my first workshops two decades and more ago.
Upcycling is, according to Wiki, “the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.’, so I think that’s me and many others who are being upcycled as we upcycle our finds.
I hope you enjoy these little shavings. Tips and chips from my bench to yours.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.