While I have been working on my shed I’ve had time to think and then too to read comments about what I’m doing via social media, the blog and so on. It made me realise that people often might not get DIY or at least get what it means to me and some of us. For me it has meant a decade of undoing the programming resulting from the Industrial Revolution which meant finding a balanced approach to my woodworking that would still leave me able to make a living and even a profit. Whereas my most profitable business products were indeed made using mass manufacturing systems with zero hand skills or indeed much skill at all, my body ultimately suffered in a variety of ways because of the high demand machines demand in the way you work. When I began to dismantle the industrial processes bit by bit and mountain by mountain my whole demeanour shifted. My personal restoration took time and now those who follow in my steps have it ready to roll with on my woodworkingmasterclasses.com site where everything I have learned over the past 55 years is ready for them to learn from. Building the shed means square ends sawn to length with a fifty year old saw and then nailed together with 4″ nails using an ordinary steel-headed claw hammer. To others though it seems to mean using a chopsaw and an air nailer using a compressor to drive nails loaded in the nail gun. I prefer my method because I like the workout deindustrialism has wrought in my worklife. I also like the hand tools I’ve sharpened and I like working at human pace. All in all, this is me, Paul Sellers the lifestyle woodworker.
Now some of you do feel sorry for me, and I get that and accept that is the reason for some of the comments. Some seem sorry that I have ‘yet to discover the chopsaw‘, sorry that I ‘don’t even own a nail gun and a compressor to drive it’, sorry that I ‘don’t own a pickup truck‘ and sorry that I ‘have such a small car and have to struggle with a trailer‘. So I thought it best to say something here in case someone feels sorry enough to go out and buy these things for me. You see I have conscientiously striven to engineer my current life. Were someone to offer me a brand new truck I personally would feel a complication of conflict coming into my life. Now that’s just me. I don’t need a Toyota truck nor any truck for that matter. All I need for now is the very car I have together with my 4 x 8 trailer. If it helps better for other to understand, I recently took my tablesaw to the scrap yard. I also took a second machine there too. Hannah helpedme to dump them and we cheered as we did. I could have sold them but I couldn’t live with myself if someone injured themselves on my cast off machines. I wanted to just not have those two machines. Now buried somewhere is a little-used Dewalt chopsaw I have not used in many years. I could haver grabbed it and chopped my studs but, you know what? I didn’t want to. I liked sawing them by hand. Enjoyed it. Enjoyed doing it at the end of the day after my usual furniture making. Enjoyed being tired and flopping into bed tired. There were only fifty to do. Not much at all by chopsaw, but the chopsaw is not good for my health and my muscle maintenance. Keeping in trim, keeping my eye in, keeping me in training is no different than a sportsman or a musician practicing every day and training themselves through self discipline. Imagine if the musician listening to music via Google told you that they were in training, or the football player (meaning what Americans call soccer) was watching replays to save her or himself the energy for the game they would be playing next week.
Someone was sorry I was “struggling with a small car and a trailer” you see. They thought I should own a truck. To me struggling is a man or a woman trying to raise two kids on minimum wage and paying out exorbitant rent or even fair rent. Struggling is trying to get the kids to school three different locations and then get to work on time. Struggling is the miscarriage someone had when they were alone, or the lack of support in any time of need. Me lifting the trailer with a single hand onto my tow hitch and plugging in the lights is luxury that steers me towards a lesser demand on the planet than say in previous years. I can handle my “struggles” fine. Let me help someone else with theirs.