I started reading my book this week; just a couple of pages a day. I wrote in between 2014/16. It’s called Essential Woodworking Hand Tools. Reading it is like reading something someone else wrote. I daren’t say I’m enjoying it for fear of reprisals. Reading along the lines reminded me that the original manuscript was over 950 pages just on the hand tools we included and we had to cut it because, well, the book would have been far too big. I’m so glad I wrote this particular book because I filled it with the things I needed to be preserved in the future’s of woodworker’s lives and by that I mean the lives of the amateur woodworkers – those that pursue woodworking no matter the cost. Those I meet with through my blog and vlog, social media and even now on the streets or in the supermarkets where someone I never met says to me, “Hello Paul, you don’t know me but I’ve been following your teaching online for some time.“
Reading the book made me realise how concretely different paper editions are than going online. what’s the difference.? I’m not sure if it is an age thing but online always puts me back on the conveyor belt I came off when I decided never to work for money again back around 1985. That doesn’t mean I did not need to earn my living by selling my work – earning my pay. More that the pursuit of money and the illusions that brings lost its stronghold on my life. I returned to my original intent from the mid sixties and that was to design and make designs come to life. Hand tools opened the doors for me to get off the conveyor belt so that I could work at human speed and become a part of what I call the undriven. You may not like it said, but experience has shown me that using machines will, does, ultimately drive you not you the machine. So the reasoning behind my working needed a paradigm shift. I’m so glad I saw that my future was with the hand tools I love so much.
Back to the reasoning. You pick up the book, thumb to the index, and suddenly you have 30 pages on the router plane alone. These pages are important because what’s written there on the router planer is mostly unwritten. Adding in the filming we do, my blog, woodworking masterclasses, common woodworking, YouTube and such all expand into visual imagery, annotation and so on to create a comprehensive tutorial – my dream coming into fruition. The blog fills in any gaps because it is instantly editable so I can update my output with any new ideas and findings. You might take it for granted to refine your tenons with the router plane. Did you know that no one did this before I introduced it in my videos? So often I receive questions about this or that and I think about how much work I put into the book and would love for everyone who loves woodworking to own a copy. Most of what I know is all in there.
Anyway, narcissistic or not, I am enjoying reading it over. I have another book I have written but am not sure what to do with it just yet. What I have never wanted to do was what magazines do and that is regurgitate the same articles every six months. I want everything to be new and current.