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