It was a special moment, an offcut of ash 6″ wide, 1/2″ thick and before I knew it I had the mirror recessed to perfect depth and the shape came so naturally from a flat-bottomed spokeshave, a little rasp work and then some scraping with a card scraper followed by light sanding. It’s another prototype. You should watch me make table tennis bats. We used to make and use them when I was an apprentice.
This was my preparation for a relaxed weekend, an unquantifiable therapy after a weeklong workout making. I closed the garage doors, turned out the lights and said goodnight to my friends. Who can know such a thing as this; the contentment I always feel week on week and day on day? It’s the sensed happiness closing of the door brings but not because it’s a Friday night and I am glad work is over for the five day week, more that my work gives me so much pleasure and I don’t deserve to feel such pleasure and enjoyment all the time. Anyway, the sweeping up, the tools sharpened and placed ready for more work in a day or two. These simple conclusions mean so much.
And then too, I don’t know anyone around me that knows the kind of total captivation my craft gave me and the effect that can have on a man and in my case after doing it daily, six days a week, for 55 years. I’d like to meet another man like myself who has done such a thing using hand tools to make a living and sit and share some time with him; just to hear his story, see his side of things. Now that would be interesting but highly unlikely.