My Week Passed

It’s been a good week overall. Special in some ways. I visited with my new granddaughter four times and it’s been so enjoyable getting to know her. I finished her first cot, the pine one that goes to my house, and will hopefully finish the second one for filming this coming week. That’s the oak version I spoke of. It has such fine figuring and it went to together flawlessly because of the first one where I worked out discrepancies between ideas in my mind and reality at the bench. It has proved ever thought provoking as I near the 70 year mark of a seventh decade living on earth. Things get much more focussed and much more important to me. I spent a little time looking through old photographs from thirty years back, pieced the puzzle of life unknown facing my day to day with the now known past. It’s an interesting collage of textures and colour ranging from smooth to abject roughness and then the black, white and grey scale to full technicolour at 4G speeds. In my deserts I have discovered less becomes a feast and in fields of plenty I have felt and seen the more famished. The high mountains of impossibilities have always been laid low and the valleys have always made me look ever upwards to the canopy of life beyond the stars. So it is with woodworkers like me. Finding fulfilment pursuing fine skills with fine woods and fine tools would be nothing new but more the scarce and rare now than ever. Where others only espouse the tedium of hand work like mine, I chop mortises, cut dovetails and plane surfaces with pure joy. Explain that! How many times did I have to listen to those decades younger as grown men and then too the middle-aged man tell me my methods of work were tedious, old fashioned and boring. How long must I put up with their impotence and abuse. But I smile and I do. They cannot understand because they don’t believe. If I were to be told that I could never work with my hands again I would not find it daunting after the initial disappointment because my life has been so richly provided for by working for five plus decades enjoying all that I have done. I feel like that old leather sofa and the slippers that can never be replaced. My tools still comfort me and bring me peace beyond hostility. It’s a troubling world. Socialism, communism, fascism and many more isms each having their own form of radical oppressiveness, and there is an economy of thought when I’m working my tools into the fibres where sense reigns supreme. I am eternally grateful for a life where I have managed to leave the conveyor belts aside. Where I have lifted a mallet and a chisel to chop my mortise and the machine had no place in saving me from what others call drudgery and tedium. Now I am no longer on my own at all. People reading this round the world are discovering what i mean. Others will read this and say aloud, ‘what drive’, but only some, not all! People over politics wins hands down. Love your friends and neighbours..

I changed my bandsaw blades out this week to put identical types and sizes onto three different machines to trial. The blades I have bought from a small maker called Tuffsaws have proven just excellent. Flawless. I think that this is down to the effort they go to to make certain the blades come from the weld with imperceptible joints and perfect alignment. This is not always the case. Each period I change the blades out and get used to a different type and size, but I always come back to two blades I favour that suit my type of work the best. I started a bandsaw blog post that has become more of a treatise. Each time I go to hit ‘public’ I remember another snippet and stop to add another sentence or paragraph. Soon it will be ready to go I am sure. But I have enjoyed sharing my use of the bandsaw and it will lead to helping take the mystery out of it as well as making life easier for the heavy and long sessions of cutting and ripping wood

24 thoughts on “My Week Passed”

  1. The colored image of the leaves is such a beautiful and complex picture. Thanks for sharing. Have you ever thought about doing a book on a collection of your photography?

    I always felt that the “ism” where meant to hold everyone down. It has been my experience in life that people are all the same and it is the “ism” that keep them apart. I took a class of yours in May of 2015. You were talking with a man who was a banker there in England. I started chuckling to myself because short of the accent, I would have sworn that it was two Americans going on about the banking system here. Yet we see each other as so different, when in reality we are so much closer than we thing.

    I is sad that people feel the need to disparage other to bring themselves up or should I say lower the other person down to their level.

  2. Paul. Congratulations…….to hear them call out Grandad, is magic
    We have just returned from a weekend with two of ours…..wonderful…..I have an ever growing list of things to make for and with them.

    How about tuition on wooden toys??

    Best John

  3. Eddie McCormick

    Hiya Paul – Last year I decided to make my 3 year old grandson a bed and, in preparation, knew that my bandsaw blades weren’t up to the job so I researched & investigated before deciding Tuffsaw blades were the ones to go for.
    Ian at Tuffsaw was immensely helpful and the price was brilliant. Joey (my grandson) is happily sleeping in the bed his Pop made (and I’m sure it will become an heirloom). My thanks to you for helping me to understand that woodworking actually means working the wood to get the best from it. May I also use this comment to express my appreciation to Ian at Tuffsaw for helping me to get the best out of my bandsaw.
    Cheers & Happy Christmas from Eddie x

  4. Paul
    Thank you for sharing well grounded thoughts with deep meaning and poetic like presentation. This is one more reason I follow you. Not only do I learn how to use my hands to create and find balance in my life while doing so, I also hear words of wisdom that I don’t often hear. This retired Pastor and Prison Chaplain appreciates you and all you and your team do.. Blessings. Harry

    1. Not yet decided, Anthony. I am leaning towards something like waterbased but unsettled yet.

      1. I started finishing with shellac I mixed myself and buffed out with natural beeswax when I started making things for my Grandchildren.

  5. Dear Paul,
    I was so moved by your writings. Earlier this week I was taking a walk with my husband’s family by a river where many beautiful trees grow. I was entranced by the cornucopia of leaves on the ground, so many colours and contrasts. I felt what a beautiful gift God has given us with this natural art. The image has stayed with me all week, and now to find you have posted a similar image with your story has touched me deeply. Thank you.

  6. Lonnie Richardson

    Greetings from Tennessee Paul,
    Grandchildren are blessings to be certain. I have often wondered why God did not give us grandchildren first instead of children. I suppose it is so that we can learn from our previous mistakes. Personally, I prefer to spoil the grandchildren to pay the children back for all the grief they caused me. Just kidding. You sir, have opened up doors for me that have remained locked for many years. I have no aspirations to make a living in wood working as a lifestyle per se. Instead, I aspire to make furnishings for my grandchildren that can be passed on to future generations. I have that time left, God willing. I am a nurse and a minister by trade. To give them a gift that will last for generations to come that I made with my own hands, that means something to me if it means nothing to them. Therein, is love for the family. It really is difficult for me to imagine anything more meaningful in this life than that.
    God Bless you sir.

  7. Love your blog and videos Paul. Grandchildren are an incredible reward and have been the impetus for my best (though certainly not great) woodworking.

  8. I wish you many long walks and talks with this new grandchild. I wish for her the ability to see her hand grow strong and sure in yours, to learn failure is an opportunity for growth, and success is a humbling experience. I hope for the both of you that you’re healthy on her wedding day, can dance with her at least once and say the blessing at the wedding dinner.

  9. Paul, Your blogs are a daily/weekly motivator for me, also the positive comments of your Readers/Listeners. The end of last month my 5th grandchild was born and two more grandchildren by my last two children after the New Year will be 7 grandchildren. They(my children and grandchildren) have their ups/downs and try my best to alleviate their struggles by ensuring whatever’s going on in “Our World” is not going on in “My Switzerland(my home).” Last week one of my cousins passed and like “us guys” I never got the chance to thank Him or others who helped or played a progressive part in my life. This week one of my children and I will be there with me to give my last respects. Hopefully I will be able to reconnect with other family members and neighbors during my short stay at my the home of my youth. There is so much to say but as I read your blogs I understand that you, your family, friends and our Woodworking Community are fighting their own Battles(isms and an pains). Reading their thoughts tell me that we all find a way to push on to the next day… enjoy your Holidays.

  10. Grandchildren are your reward for not killing your children! They are wonderful, but grow up to quickly. Enjoy them.

  11. Paul,
    While my posting here is not directly related to today’s blog posting, it reminded me of the of the two most remarkable people I have had the pleasure to know…each outstanding in their own right. You, of course, are one of the two. Having the opportunity to take your courses during your time in Texas (and now following you online), I feel truly blessed. Moody Anderson is the other gentleman. Perhaps you chanced to meet Moody Anderson while you were in Texas. I met Moody while living in Austin, TX. While you are the consummate craftsman, Moody is the supreme collector. He collected everything Texas. In fact, be ended up buying The Grove, a small “ghost town” outside of Austin which he populated with tens of thousands of Texas antiques. If you have time, perhaps you can view the special our Public Broadcasting Corporation created on him recently. It is located on the web at:
    Thank you for your talents, dedication, and time.

  12. Thanks Paul. If you never uttered another word on woodworking, I’d still read your blog.

  13. Hi Paul Grandkids are great Ispent more time with them than i did with my own kids I now have agreat grandson he is three years old and and loves to help in my workshop hel loves to saw wood and hover up the mess but I am under orders to make him a toy each week and I love it

  14. Martin van Emden

    Hoi paul congratulations …..
    Being a granfather is the so fofiling.
    I no i have one myself its great.
    As life progresses it becums even more forfilling anb than id happens GANDKIDS its AMAZING congrats..

    Ho sory for mi spelling but i am fro holland

  15. Agree about Tuffsaw blades, excellent quality. One thing with bandsaws is that blade must be equally sharp on each side or else the cut will wander. No amount of adjustment ot fiddiling with guides will prevent this.

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