Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Woodworking Zen-David

I'm not sure how to put everything into a post like this, other than to just write down a few things that have been bouncing around in my head lately. My Wife has a very keen eye when it comes to if I am enjoying something or not... This is especially true of some jobs around the cabin. As far as my background goes with respect to woodworking, I have "no" formal training... Everything I know about wood, tools, how and what to use as well as being safe comes from my Dad. Growing up, I spent a lot of time following my Dad around the shop or the house either watching or helping out with projects, probably like a lot of people my age. My Dad, Who passed away in 1995 was a carpenter and cabinet maker for basically his entire life. When I was growing up my tool box did have what today may be referred to is the little plastic "Bob the Builder" type tools.. Plastic hammer, saw, drill etc... These play sets were quickly replaced with the REAL DEAL and under my dads supervision most play time involved REAL TOOLS. Of course, today if you were walking through your neighborhood and saw an 8 year old with a power drill or electrically powered "sharp thing" some may let out a GASP! and call the authorities.

When working on projects around the house or cabin, I constantly find myself being reminded of something my dad may have said in the shop or some trick that he taught me and am extremely fortunate to have inherited a huge shop of quality tools that I have a sentimental value. Unfortunately, many of these very special tools had fallen into disrepair or had become rusty in the garage. When not at the Cabin on weekends with the family, I've been spending a lot of time in the shop restoring them. With all the specialty type work being done on the cabin these cherished items will once again have life. This is the ZEN part of the building...Not simply putting two-by-fours together.
Quotes from Dad
"The most dangerous tool in the shop is the Dull one"
"The quality of the tools you use is very important to the quality of work that you can do, so if you are going to buy something, get the best you possibly can and it will last a life time."
"Always use the right tool for the job, if you don't have it, save up and get it."

One of my favorite past times when I was 8 was (one which I never got in trouble for and my Dad found to be very humorous) was my habit of drilling into the sawhorses he made. Yes I had my own set of mini saw horses and still use them today, over 30+ years later.

This is a picture of my saw blade carrier (super handy when dealing with so many different blades)

These were a gift presented to my Dad at his retirement. They are only used for the finest work and I wouldn't dream of driving these things into a piece of pressure treated lumber or other abusive job.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Im new to blogging, just started my own. I decided to see who else is out their with similar intrests. I ran across your blog.

Wow, not only are you into woodworking, you have instrests in going off grid with power. Im realy intrested in this too. I havnt done it yet, but Ive been doing alot of reasearch into how to go about doing it.

If you have time come by and see my blog, post a coment, say hello.

Im Randy Anderson, I live in Phoenix AZ. My website is: My blogspot is:
Im intrested in your woodworking techniques, ad your off grid ideas. I also have many ideas to solve our oil, dependancy on gassoline problems.

The Scavenger said...

Great post, I could almost hear someone behind me saying those things your dad said. I love the saw blade carrier, great idea.