Reshaping the future of my handsaws.

After I reshaped my saw handle, the one on the new-version, inexpensive Spear & Jackson resharpenable saw I recommend to just anyone and everyone, the one shown above in its original state from the maker, I felt all the more in tune with it! yesterday I crosscut 20 boards with it running my saw plate to my knifewall and I could not fault it for performance. It is one of the sweetest little saws to use, takes and holds a good cutting point whether rip or crosscut and it costs less than all the other resharpenable saws on the market just about — maybe around £25, Euros or US dollars. It’s a good and fair price for such a saw with a hardwood handle and great steel, I think. The reshaping of the handle brought me immeasurable joy and doubly so when I was able to show you how to do it for yourself!

I’m one of those people who believes that some things we do in the present somehow manage to telegraph through into a spiritual future. For me, shaping a handle is shaping the future, it’s shaping the mind, reshaping it, and then giving new purpose in the most positive way.

When I repurpose pallet wood (not a species) to become a shed I take something destined for pulverising or even just the landfill or burning and give it a different value as well as a new purpose.

Transformation is what humanity is largely about. Transformative processes make life better, for the main part that is, by enabling us to make comfort from the harsher coarseness of raw materials. In times past, populations made all that they needed, they grew food and shaped life more for good. We are so disposable throwaway society today that it seems that even people have become expendable. We must guard against this, otherwise we will return to the central days of the Industrial Revolution when orphaned kids worked in factorial orphanages situated by factories at the age of six on up and died at aged 17 from emphysema. We as humans texture life be that in good and bad ways. The Industrial Revolution was for the longest time hailed as a British marvel to humanity. Today we see more the negative ramifications of destruction and consumerism than we do the positives. The reason is because it’s true. How many drive massive diesel-fed cars without shame because they can when others travel the public transport to halve the carbon footprint because they want to see and make a difference.

It would be wrong to decry all as wrong. We all have benefits from industrialism. And it wasn’t industrialism necessarily that caused the problems! It was the insatiable greed known now as consumerism! Greed of consumers and greed of profit mongers with no soul. They feed off one another day in day out.

I rely on a marvelous contraption that enables me to painlessly inject my body twice a day and painlessly with insulin. The piece comes from industrial developments in many fields including plastics. I dial in precise quantities, change the needles for each shot in two seconds, press the plunger and the exact amount enters my body when the plunger stops. I recall forty plus years having a glass and stainless steel syringe with countless parts that all needed dismantling to boil and sterilize the same to prevent any kind of infection. These are two industrial developments that benefitted me but 50nyears apart; steps if you will! The old needles were painfully inserted into the skin through constant reuse and unfortunately could not be resharpened. I say this because at the end of the day we are intrinsically inventive. We are born to make and that anatomy of our bodies and minds show that, unlike all other animals, we can capably reinvent wheels into a million different configurations. When it comes to mouse traps we have hundreds to choose from too. This is who we are.

Abingdon, once the home of MG cars.

Some of our villages and towns were known locally, nationally and even internationally for furniture making while others, my home town of Stockport, for instance, were known for making hats. A few miles away, the town of Macclesfield was called silk town because it had a silk weaving industry, as did the neighboring towns of Bollington and Stockport. Here in the town in which I now live, Abingdon, the once well-famed MG cars were once made. The local pubs have nostalgic images of the car and the factory and the workers who once worked there. Not the same car or company, the MG cars are now made in Shanghai, India and Taiwan. It’s wholly a Chinese car.

Intrinsically, all people are makers, growers and bakers and cooks. In the mix, of course, there are designers and investors, Inventors, business entrepreneurs and many more.

My favourite breakfast of cheese omelette, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.

Did you ever ask yourself why you like to grow, a few things, bake, cook and make things from raw ingredients? Why you find it naturally drawing to pick up something rough and work it into an art form, grow food in your garden or on your window sill and then too raise an animal or two for eggs or to eat? What about the woman and the man plugging away at a computer all week who swings an ax to split firewood at the weekend so that the house is warm and toasty.

This inherency, my friends, is indeed who and what we are. The most common of all English surnames is Smith. By origin, the name Smith comes from the word to smite or strike, as in ancient forms of metalworking. Hence we have blacksmith, tinsmith, goldsmith and silversmith. Then, of course, we have leathersmith and other names ending in the name smith too.

My dovetailing was both quick and slow. A corner like this one takes me about three-quarters of an hour, but I allow myself the benefits of being distracted with other important things like taking my granddaughter through fields and woods to feed the ducks and geese by the lake behind my workshop. It takes a while to steer an almost-but-not-quite-two-year-old quarter of a mile past blackberry bushes when they are ripe and ready to eat. But steer I do and then I sit on a stump with her for ten minutes as we watch the establishment of hierarchy between waterfowl as they fight their way to supremacy and relegation for the tiny morsels we send overarm and underarm to them. We so enjoy the swing park too!

I have not lost the thread on building the houseful of furniture at all. The pandemic necessitated many changes and hopefully we will all ultimately be advantaged by the changes wrought by its ravages to our cultures. It’s an unfortunate thing that life seems to be reverting in many ways to its former self of normal selfish carelessness. My hope in many spheres is that the economy will indeed change to become more controlled by the lesser demands rather than its former controlling and thoughtless self where many if not most were governed by impulses driven by clickbait and things they never thought about until two seconds after they saw it. I have spent several months as others have in a sort of survival mode trying NOT to rely on the fakeness of so-called science and struggling to take ultimate responsibility for my own life and the life of others. There has not been sufficient data with this new pandemic to predict the future as we have seen, but after the dust settles I am sure that that half of the world that says there is no such things as COVID-19 will believe that it does and take the very simple precautions to prevent themselves from infecting others with their two diseases — unbelief and COVID-19.

My prototype is coming together nicely with nine dovetails per corner coming from two chisels, a 10″ R. Groves brass backed dovetail saw, my Thor chisel hammer and a few pencil lines following a combination square and a knife — the Stanley folding pocket knife for the knifewall is, of course, my non-negotiable.

Today I will finish the corners and negotiate some 17″ long sliding dovetails. I am getting ready for the doors and drawers. It’s a bigger project for woodworkingmasterclasses.com. I am using some oak I have had in stock for ten years or so for the final version. This prototype I will likely use myself for storage. The thing I love the most about my work is that rough-sawn wood of any kind gets made into something nicely refined and fully joined together by tradition. Thankfully I will never use a biscuit or a domino in my remaining lifetime of joinery. This, along with my never having used a power router to cut a dovetail, is most satisfying. It means I remained in control of my life and was never tempted from what I believe in and that is that hand-cut joinery is the true power of my lived life.

37 Comments

  1. Brian Edgeler on 4 September 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Enjoying your blogs and looking forward to a few days away from sitting at the computer, incidentally in Abingdon, taking in local gardens and a visit to Didcot steam museum. Then home to Cornwall, finishing my kitchen refit and hopefully clearing my bench to try out my new saws and chisels that I bought BC (before corona virus).

  2. Steve P on 5 September 2020 at 12:18 am

    I still need to order one of those saws.

    Btw, I drive a plug in Hybrid that gets over 100 MPG when charged, and 54 MPG on fuel alone.

    One thing I liked seeing in Germany in some of the old villages were the “maypoles” (i forget the german word), but it was basically a tall pole in the center of town square or feont of village with little signs hanging down that showed which artisan could be found there, butcher, smith, cobbler etc.

    • Andrew on 7 September 2020 at 7:08 pm

      They are called „Maibaum“ (singular) or „Maibäume“ (plural)

  3. Paul Boegel on 5 September 2020 at 5:46 pm

    I have collected some Western Red Cedar from a friends property. They are large pieces that I had to use a chainsaw and chisels to break up as the log is over 3ft thick. I have lots of my own cedar but am attempting to trade the large heavy pieces with local native carvers rather than just cut it into boards myself and lose a lot of the wood. I live in a neighborhood here in Vancouver that has several large native housing apartments. Cash would not likely be an option as they often do not have much but there is cured salmon, jewellery and other things they make themselves that are very tradeworthy. Cautiously optimistic. Trade works for me. Do it myself sometimes.

  4. Paul Boegel on 5 September 2020 at 5:49 pm

    You are a rare person Paul. You are a thinker. Most people just wander thru life and do not think much about it but you obviously do and it is good to see. I have been accused of this and take it as a good thing. We take the time to stop and smell the roses and seek to improve on an ongoing basis. Some are just here for the ride, some improve others lives along the way. One has to ask what we are here for…..

  5. Elliott Timms on 5 September 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Hello Paul,during lock down myself and my nine year old daughter have been hard at work turning wood sourced from the skip into various usefull items,during such technological times with many devices demanding our children’s attention my daughter has taken up carpentry, her own choice!we have spent much time creating real items,usefull items rendering digital entertainment “boring”is home carpentry making a come back?are we once again directly teaching our children new, but old skills? carpentry in our house is now”cool”so I’m informed! ironically this all came about from watching your video’s on YouTube,so perhaps there is something to be said for modern tech? Maybe it’s all about getting the balance right.Thankyou for inspiring myself and my daughter to enjoy our joint hobby,all the best,Elliott and Georgina.

    • John Besharian on 8 September 2020 at 3:41 am

      Mr. Timms, & Mr. Sellers,
      I highly recommend looking in to the life, writings and videos of the late Larry Haun, whom I consider was to carpentry what Mr. Sellers is to cabinet making. Yes, he used power tools, but he also revolutionized the common claw hammer and turned it into what today is now known as the [also sometimes preceded by “California”] framing hammer. He didn’t look for ways to “Cut Corners”, he looked for ways to be more efficient at what he did while simultaneously maintaining the same high standards he’d been apprenticed in.

      • nemo on 8 September 2020 at 9:22 pm

        Firmly agree, I have three videos of Larry Haun (from YouTube, IIRC; roof framing, framing floors and wall framing) and they have been both enjoyable and educative to watch, even though over here we don’t build houses in that manner. Many little tricks of the trade in those videos, and mr. Haun is a pleasure to watch at work. Endearing, humble and down to earth, with a peculiar but calm voice.

        To see him wield a hammer and drive a nail with one blow or at most two blows… impressive. Not exactly fine woodworking but I definitely learned a few things from him. His emphasis on efficiency in his work was an important lesson to me.

        • Samuel on 9 September 2020 at 8:49 am

          Larry warms the heart because he is what he does and gave of himself like the best of humanity.

  6. John Kelly on 5 September 2020 at 6:57 pm

    Hello Paul. I thought I recognised the accent, me being from Lancashire, (Rochdale). My parents were horrified when I left school at fifteen instead of carrying on until I was 16. Of course I didn’t get my “School Certificate” and instead of taking the apprenticeship as a joiner, which was offered me at £1.10. per week, I went into the cotton mill at £3.00 per week. I have rued those decisions ever since, (as my parents warned me I would). I was recycling at 12 yrs old. I could not afford wood and went fairly regularly to the auction rooms near my home and bought old sideboards, the type with the large mirrors on the back. These I pulled apart and used the wood for my woodwork. What I couldn’t use went to my parents for firewood. I still do the same today at 86. Thanks for your great videos on U Tube and your inspiration.

  7. Tom Bittner on 5 September 2020 at 8:27 pm

    You asked what I did today:
    I helped my youngest son with a plumbing project as he is remodeling his house.
    We had to extend a radiator fitting so he could put a new cover over it. The extension went fine but a bib leaked around the packing for the bleed off valve near the furnace. It was 60 years old so it wasn’t surprising it leaked after not being used for many years. I had three bibs I had saved that were maybe 7 years old. So we tried to reuse one to fix the problem. Every one of them leaked, right around the stem. These were a new style ball valve that were supposed to be much better than the old gate valve style. We ended up running to a local hardware store and bought the old gate valve style to fix the problem.
    My point is it’s not just woodworking tools that are only for one time use.

  8. David Crozier on 5 September 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Beautiful blog Paul.

    Today I set about repairing the horn on the handle of a very rusty old Disston D-8 26″ 7 point saw I’m restoring. I’m using a bit of beach from a broken old moulding plane which I have superglued on and will shape by hand using a rasp, finishing with sandpaper, shellac and beeswax.

    The saw came in a job lot with a load of others things. A Stanley No6, Stanley No71,
    two 78s, a Pierce Egg Beater drill, chisels, a 22″ Disston D-8, saw set, engineers square, sliding Bevel guage and more. Everything was rusty and seized after sitting in an old washing basket in a shed with a leaky roof for years.

    £60 I paid the lady for them after she’d cleared them out of her late father’s shed and popped them on Facebook marketplace.

    One by one I’ve taken a tool out of that basket, cleaned the dust and rust off them, freed them up with WD40 and, in some cases, a blow torch. I’ve retouched, resprayed, repaired, made a new tote, shellacked and polished each one, acquiring new skills and techniques along the way.

    Some have been in a real state. But I’ve managed to breathe new life into them. The process has been rewarding to my own wellbeing too. In that regard it’s probably been the best £60 I’ve ever spent.

    Thank you for all that you do.

    David

  9. Mike Z. on 6 September 2020 at 6:20 pm

    I have been enjoying the width and scope of your pandemic posts – they are great for keeping up our spirits, yours included! How many times have people said, “Why are you working on some small wood project, and isn’t there something better you could be doing?” Well, it is for my own mental and internal health – not just about the making but the doing that keeps me upright and moving forward. Please keep up the good work – I am working hard to relearn the knowledge I had over 40 years ago with regard to hand saws. I set the teeth on a 100 year old Disston crosscut saw with a nail set and it worked like a charm. The eastern saws will likely be phased out as the old saws are fettled and up to snuff. Take care and please stay safe.
    I found an older post regarding the SAS shoes you wear regularly – I thought they looked familiar but just could not place them. One more mystery solved ……..

  10. RS Hughes on 7 September 2020 at 11:11 am

    What I did today (actually yesterday – I’m late to the party).
    Started teaching my 20 year old granddaughter the art of MMA welding. (She asked…)
    Did a bit more of the brake system rebuild on my 43 year old Abingdon built MG Midget. There’s your link right there!
    Did the daily safety checks on the LifeBoat. My actual day job.
    Started cleaning up the Record Improved Combination Plane that my old mate Norman gave me, because he’s 83 and doesn’t know how to use it. Neither do I but I have the original instruction booklet and I reckon I can work it out. In any case I have successfully reset and sharpened the two damaged irons, thanks to your teaching. Although realistically I think I’ll be looking for a more deserving home for the old plane – it’s a bit beyond my aspirations but it’s a beautiful tool.
    Read a Paul Sellers blog post – always a treasured moment.
    So all in all a very good day, thank you for asking!

  11. Salko Safic on 7 September 2020 at 1:59 pm

    When I saw the first saw handle I thought to myself how in the world can you work with that thing. As I scrolled down, I ate my words as quickly as thought them. That is a beautiful saw handle and I agree with you that it works just good as any of the more expensive or “premium” saws out there. The steel may not be as shiny or reflective as the more expensive saws and I am refraining from using the word “higher end” but they do work just as good for as you said the fraction of the price.

  12. Jan-Reinier Voute on 7 September 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Pallet wood (not a species). This made me laugh loudly and as such is really appreciated, priceless in the world of today.
    I possess 4 power routers with quite a few bits (auction lots) that I have never used. I do use my hand planes though (same auctions) and cobbled up a blade for the stanley router. Am still learning but steadily improving. Thank you Uncle Paul, stay healthy.

  13. george cronin on 7 September 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Paul, your site is a breath of old school fresh air. But please dont go out of your way to decry the use of power equipment (even though I fully agree with you), let those who think power tools make worthwhile heirlooms, live in their own ignorance of the shear beauty, and satisfaction of hand tool working.
    I found an old Spear + Jackson on Ebay a few years ago, from the Isle of Skye. When I asked the seller if the saw would cut in a scottish accent, he was sure that it would cut in a Gallic accent.
    It took me a few years to get round to refurbishing the saw, but what a joy all the work it took, to bring it back to a fully functioning panel cross cut (as you taught me in your video about sharpening old saws), gave me.
    I re-shaped the handle to fit my hand, re-stained the handle, and finished the job with a few coats of modern wax.
    And now have a saw of beauty, and functionality
    Please be positive about what you do, not what the others are missing out on.
    Always a pleasure to read you blogs, and watch your videos.
    A grateful old kindred spirit of 69, who still works with old wooden handled tools, and refurbishes sash windows to pay his bar bill.
    George.

  14. John Cunneen on 7 September 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Paul, I have been restoring old MG cars from the 1950’s for the last 10 years. Ones that came from Abingdon with wooden dashboards, door cappings and window surrounds. I am helping a friend with his latest one. I am up to number 6.
    I will be flattening my recycled bench top in the next week or so as the weather gets warmer here. The pallets from the Welsh slate for the next door’s new roof are sitting in the backyard. I like the small shed.
    Regards and thanks for all. John

  15. Paul Frederick on 7 September 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Today is Labor Day in the colonies so I did the traditional. I froze my nads off in the pool closing it. The summer is over.

  16. Gary on 7 September 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Paul, another great piece from you. I look forward to them. Three quarters of an hour to do the dovetail is amazing. It might take me more like three quarters of a day to get it right. Of course I do not have your vast skill and experience. In the pandemic time my son and eight year old grandson have been putting their woodworking skills to use making fishing lures. Each has an interesting painted patterns using many different items to make the patterns. They even used some of my very old computer punch cards. They are almost too nice looking to use but they do catch fish.

  17. Terrence OBrien on 7 September 2020 at 6:16 pm

    While we may not like it, without the consumer economy, we wouldn’t have the medical devices that make life so much easier for diabetics or heart patients. The people who made that devise are working because they very much value the consumer goods they will be able to buy with the proceeds from their work.
    And greed? The genius of capitalism is that it uses the greed of individuals to generate welfare for millions more people. The guys who made that medical device may be very greedy, and they may have done it because they are so greedy. I don’t know. I don’t know them. And those guys do indeed benefit. But the people who benefit even more are millions of diabetics who now have a better life.
    The core driving force of the economy is the values of the people. They will work to get what they value. We all decide for ourselves what we value. Note there has never been any system that has brought more prosperity to more people. Perhaps there will be, but it will take a bit more time.
    Meanwhile, my coffee cup sits on the small cherry table next to my chair. I cut all the mortises and tenons, built in a one inch high shelf for my laptop, and I rate it as a 100 year table, hoping for 200 years. All built following Paul’s instructions. Individual values…

  18. Geoff Taylor on 7 September 2020 at 8:29 pm

    I have a S and J saw sharpened to a Rip cut It’s about 50 yrs, it has a plastic handle which has broken I will replace with some Beech but my dilemma is how to cut the very thin grove for the blade into the handle.
    Any good ideas welcome.
    Geoff

    • Peter de L. on 8 September 2020 at 2:12 am

      Hi Geoff,
      I have made 5 saw handles ovewr the past few years; one to replace a broken wood handle and the others to replace horrible plastic handles. Cutting that slot isn’t as hard as it may seem; here’s how I did it. You need a saw with a narrow kerf, just wide enough to fit the blade of the say you’re repairing. I used a small tenon saw that had a kerf just the right width. I always cut the slot before doing all the shaping of the handle, so that I won’t have wasted a lot of time if my saw should go off-line. Take your block that will become the handle, and draw the outline of the finished handle (I used a template for this). Match up the blade to the handle outline and mark the ends of the blade so that you know where your cut line will stop. Next mark the centre line where your cut will go – or, better, set your gauge to just less than half the handle width – about 0.5 mm less – and then scribe a line along where the cut will go, then turn the block round and do the same from the other face. This gives you two scribe lines to cut between, and it’s easier than trying to follow a single line. (I got this tip from one of Paul’s videos, and, like all of Paul’s tips, it works!) Now cut the slot; let the weight of the saw do the work, and stop frequently to check your cut is straight. I found turning the work around often helps, so that you don’t run the risk of the far end of your saw wandering from the line. (Another tip of Paul’s!) Cut slowly and carefully, and you should be OK.
      Best wishes for your handle-making. There’s nothing quite like holding and using a tool you have made yourself or modified to suit your own hands.
      Peter.

      • Peter de L. on 8 September 2020 at 2:14 am

        Whoops! Typo :
        just wide enough to fit the blade of the saw you’re repairing

  19. Denis schoone on 7 September 2020 at 8:50 pm

    What did I do today? It s Labor Day here in America. I spent the last 4 hours attempting to raise a burr on a card scraper and also a no 80 cabinet scraper. I did it with videos alongside of me and I have still failed. This is not my first attempt at it and I feel I must get this right before I can move on. It appears my burr is too small to do any cutting. All I get is dust ! I have followed Pauls videos to a tee but I am surely missing something. If there is anyone on this globe with suggestions please Help. I won t go any further until I get this right. Denis

  20. Ray Powell on 7 September 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Today, I cut by hand a single large dovetail joint – another of John Bullar’s challenges in his joint-making book. Another imperfect result but a perfect way to lose myself in other things big and small. I was thinking of artists who challenge themselves standing in front of their easels and ladies knitting balls of wool into clothes to keep us warm probably losing themselves in just the same way. I once visited an Austrian ex-fighter pilot and when I arrived at his home way out in the forests of his country I found him quietly turning a blank in his little shed. When I asked him what makes a fighter pilot take up wood turning as a hobby he replied “When I came back to earth I needed sanity and this is it”. These were the things I was thinking of today Paul while trying to make one piece of wood fit into another.

  21. Myk Hough on 8 September 2020 at 12:50 am

    I got back to work today after about six months off due to illness and the lockdown. I help a friend with his stage scenery business, making and mending sets, props and equipment. Today I got on with making the last of four heavy duty boxes which hold all the hardware for assembling a stage set. The boxes are all made from plywood recycled from other things.
    I discovered that I am much more unfit than I thought and couldn’t complete the job today but I’m going back tomorrow and the next day until I’m back in shape again. I don’t charge my friend for my work but in return I get full use of his workshop for my own projects so we both win.

  22. Robert Estes on 8 September 2020 at 1:38 am

    Hi paul, I started to use the insulin pens like you, over 10 years ago. At the time I was a fishing guide in an open boat in Alaska, many times in the cold and rain for 12 ours a day plus getting ready in the morning before greeting my clients at 5:45 am and getting in at 6 pm and cleaning fish and taking photos etc. Then a 1/2 hour drive home to prep for the next day. I found it was a big hassle to remove and part enough clothes to find my belly for the shot, so I gave that up and just poked the needle right through my shirts before each intake of food, in those 10+ yrs I have never had any sign of an infection and my A1c has always been well within the normal range, so I guess the Docs reading this will cringe but it has worked for me this long and I will continue to shoot up that way until I’m proved it causes infection. Good luck with yours, and to the rest of you youngsters dealing with it.

  23. Graeme Payne on 8 September 2020 at 1:44 am

    Paul,
    As always, I enjoy reading your blogs. I often learn something new, or a memory is triggered, and in every case the reading is interesting.

    Your mention of MG was today’s memory trigger. I remembered that many decades ago my father told me that “MG” stood for “Morris Garages”, the original name of the manufacturer. Also, when I started driving in late 1964, my first car was a Morris Minor four-door touring model (or “convertible” here in USA.) Left-hand drive, of course. I don’t remember what model year it was, but it was definitely pre-1961 because it still had the semaphore type turn indicators. Very odd over here. But that car served me well until my younger brother started using it and I went into a Triumph Herald.

    My father probably learned about “MG” from his father, who was a native of Chipping Campden – just over the Cotswold Hills from where you are.

    Like you, I appreciate much of the technology that has appeared in the last 25 year’s or so. But even though I can say that I have been “beating computers into submission since the early 1970’s”, the speed and depth of change is often too much for my old brain to keep up with. But as a believer in continual learning, I keep plugging along.

    This week’s project is planned to be turning handles for a set of Narex chisel irons. Much easier than computers!

  24. Ken on 8 September 2020 at 3:58 am

    And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among those dark satanic mills

    A wonderful couple of lines, the industrial revolution was dark and satanic In many ways but brought light In others

  25. Monte Hyler on 8 September 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Do you have any videos covering making a new saw handle? I have made a couple but they didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped they would. Thanks!

  26. Andy GIENAPP on 8 September 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I went scouting for my upcoming elk season in Wyoming…..which is not woodworking, but certainly gets me out to observe all things in the wild.

  27. John Cadd on 8 September 2020 at 10:39 pm

    Mike Z reminds me of a tv interview of Bill Shankly the football manager . The lady interviewer kept chipping away with “Don`t you ever want to do something else instead of Football ?” He kept going though and when she said he had not gained any weight he said “I like to keep Fit–I want to die a Healthy man .”

  28. Michael on 9 September 2020 at 3:44 am

    Hi Paul,

    I really enjoyed the way you describe humans and their intrinsic qualities. I feel you left out the human element of socialization.

    We are meant to be social and amongst others- not isolated.
    Consider cases of feral children, people learn how to be human by being around others. Unfortunately there have been fatalities, and there always will be.

    Continue your good work, sir! I appreciate it.

  29. Peter L on 9 September 2020 at 8:01 am

    I’ve just read your post with pleasure and appreciation. I am so pleased that I stumbled across your YouTube channel recently.
    How ironic to discover that you have diabetes. My ten year old daughter was admitted to the Royal Berkshire Hospital last night diagnosed with T1 diabetes and now faces the same challenges you have, to manage the condition.
    I’m well aware of the complications linked to being diabetic but am reassured that she will be able to cope as well as you have.
    Thank you Paul.

    • Paul Sellers on 9 September 2020 at 9:07 am

      Absolutely! I am a third-generation diabetic and learned a lot about what not to do and be. 1) Never feel sorry for yourself. 2) Never give up on searching for what suits you. 3) Doctors and health care providers are well-intentioned but their science and knowledge is not sacrosanct. 4) The ultimate responsibility for a diabetic is the diabetic inside his and her own body. 5) Cooking your own food keeps you in touch with your carbs and other healthy foods too that will promote a healthy lifestyle. 6) She will be just fine with the right attitude.

  30. Vidar Fagerjord Harboe on 9 September 2020 at 10:38 am

    What did I do today? Well, at least a few days ago?

    I planed and thicknessed a small plank of oak from the tree I felled and milled this spring. The moisture content is about 8%, so it’s good. It was a very thin piece, so it dried fast. Felling the tree in february helped, of course.
    Now, I’ll admit I used a planer/thicknesser machine to do this. I can do it with my plane but I do not like “donkey work” like that, nor do I prioritize to spend shop time on such things. Being a father of two girls aged two and four, shop time is precious.
    As the hum from the dust collector and the scream from the other machine faded away and I removed the hearing protection, I sniffed the board. A hint of vanilla! Just a smidgen, but it was there!
    I love working with oak, especially smelling a freshly planed surface. But the recently sawn oak do not smell at all. Wet wood, at best. Some obscure hints of the aroma that (I hope) will come, but not the strong and pleasant smell I am used to.
    Guess it’s an aging thing. We’ll see, but not soon enough! Having several cubic metres of oak lying stickered and stacked is a painful torment to me. I just want to start using the wood for projects!

    In 2 years time, though. In the meantime, I’ll stick to the small planks and offcuts I can get dry in my shop.

    But getting a whiff of that vanilla… It was one of the highlights of the week!

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  • nemo on A Future PastYour point is very valid. Didn't come across as a rebuke at all (and even if it were, nothing wrong with a gentle rebuke). As I was writing the stairs comment, I half figured it wo…
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  • Michael Rodgers on A Future PastReally enjoy the stories as well. So I have been to Reagan Wells and you made me curious about why, in all of God's green earth, you would settle in Reagan Wells. I love the Texas…
  • Glen Blythman on A Future PastThese 'real life' blog posts are some of the most helpful you write Paul. They enliven the mood, even on the darkest of days, and inspire me to enjoy each and every moment. Looking…