In some ways i am used to working on my own. Even with a crowd around me I tend to isolate. Working with machines automatically isolates you. Especially is this so if you adopt the safety protocols machine woodworking always demands. But there is another kind of isolating that most if not all miss. When…

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A limb torn from a tree stem by weight and wind tells a story science does not tell. The formation of cells encircling the rooted continuity of fibrous strands of growth becomes evidence enough to convince me of the amazing attributes of nature in wood. I record the evidence in my brain, of course, but…

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I think it’s more the strange thing to work still at an actual craft at my age. By that, I mean full time as a maker when the retirement years come and go. I don’t know any others that do, or, perhaps more accurately, I have yet to meet any that do. The internet gives…

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The lockdown and such has given me less time than ever but I did get through the added projects and never missed a step in keeping all of the regular work totally on track. That’s thanks to everyone I share my life with at work. Thanks, Joseph, Izzy, Natalie, Mark and Will, though he had…

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Independents in micro-businesses are few and far between and often hard to discover, despite the internet’s ever-increasing web of enterprises. The backbone of British industry is made up of small, independent people striving to retain a measure of individualism, independence and entrepreneurialism in their lives. Statistics from 2019 show that in Britain there were 5.82…

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. . . the Little Big Things It should come as no surprise that skill often takes most of us a developmental period to establish it. When we already have skills in one area, connected to or not to a new one, skill development can take some just a fraction of the amount of time…

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I rarely abandon a project because something goes wrong. In most cases, I can make a fix disappear into the wood itself. My screens are almost done and ready for the rice paper. The only time where I refuse a glued repair is where any failure might result in a danger. I once saw a…

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I try to imagine life without making, but something inside me tells me that that is perhaps as strange a thought to me as it is to those who might find it impossible to think of their making something to sell or use, whether to sell for self-support or not. I can’t even think what…

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My isolation has been both good and not so good. I often think that we have stopped listening and stopped most of the time; to the point that many if not most cannot stand the unsilence of silence. Because of course there is no such thing as silence, except for the totally deaf, it is…

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When you have just made a window frame and the stile has eight mortises in it, it reflects much work. George and I had been making the frame together for a little over a week and when we were moving it off the bench it was too heavy for my skinny frame and I slipped…

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  • Dan on Branching outSteve, was that the one on display inside a ranger station in California? If so, I have seen that as well. Definitely worth a look to anybody interested. Keep well, everybody.
  • Gary on Working AloneYou are not alone when you go home to your partner at the end of each day. The same person you saw when you awoke this-morning. They're even with you in many ways when you're apart…
  • Paul Sellers on Edge Sharpening Under £10Is it "cheap" plates or 'less expensive' or 'low cost' plates? There is a difference here. Mylow cost plates in all gritt=s are holding up well after almost four months to date. My…
  • Paul Sellers on Edge Sharpening Under £10I might suggest something different here. I think that with the larger diamonds to top angular points fracture more readily and in a sense, create a sort of plateaued top which is…
  • Richard C on Edge Sharpening Under £10with the cheap plates, I find that yes, they wear very quickly initially, but then 'settle'. another thing I've found is that it's possible to scratch the grit off completely if yo…
  • Samuel on Working AloneThere’s a childlike joy in only having the bare essentials in tools and knowing them and admiring them.
  • Anthont on Edge Sharpening Under £10I found the 240 grit plate I have seemed to wear very quickly. I wonder if that is normal for them to wear for the first few sharpens, unless I’m unlucky?