All my life I wanted to work with wood. But no, I did other work to please people who had other ideas for me.
There was even a time I had a great start on a shop complete with 16 inch jointer…20 plus year ago. Not until the last 3 years have I realized what I’ve wanted to do…what I’ve always enjoyed all my life…making useful and beautiful things from wood.
My education prepared me for a career in radio. A B.A. from a respected university with a solid broadcasting program…Washington State University where Edward R. Murrow graduated from many years earlier. And yet, from the time I was in high school I’ve enjoy working with my hands…making things of one kind or another.
Nope, says my Dad…nope, says my Mom…gotta do this or that to make a living. Torn between two people and a few dozen others. Now don’t get me wrong. I learned alot about people and life in the other things I did over the years. And that knowledge has been important.
But… I never went to trade school or spent time learning much about what I thought I deep, down would enjoy doing for a living.
Years ago, I picked up a great book at the library that just screamed at me from the shelves. A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook by James Krenov. I can’t tell you how many times I went to the library to check it out. Dozens. Or I’d have it extended. Today I own a copy and a number of other books on woodworking by this or that woodworker. Nothing pleases me more than to go through a book…like last night I was reading a book on shop jigs…planning another phase of jig making. But I also spent time looking around the Internet…primarily here at Lumberjocks for a jig to saw lumber from logs on my bandsaw.
Now what would it have cost me to travel to snowdog or Bob #2’s places to see what they were doing
with log sawing jigs for bandsaws. Or what would it have cost me to travel to see all the crosscut sleds I’ve looked at on this website to help me build mine. Gas, motel or camping, food, etc…provided I had the time…and thousands of dollars.
But how would I have met them in the first place? I wouldn’t have. I’d have asked from town to town about people who were working in wood. I’d have become a vagabond with no money…not able to care for my family…like I am now caring for my elderly mother. Lumberjocks has saved me thousands of dollars on books I might have purchased to learn something or see something. Lumberjocks has also given me a greater sense of confidence. Oh sure, I built the interior of a retail store and all the fixtures in the late 70’s…but I enjoyed that more than running the retail store I had. I went broke in retail. I hated it and went back into broadcasting for a number of years. Being a member of Lumberjocks in the last few months has given me something I just haven’t quite been able to put my finger on…a sense of self-worth? Maybe. So when the other Bob asked me to make a donation…well…it was obvious. A few bucks not spent on something else for a month were better spent going to Lumberjocks. So I donated last night. And surprise, I feel much better even today.
The world is changing today…very rapidly. Gone are the times when we could thumb our way around the country gleaning knowledge from the local artisan. The price of energy…the price of food…all contributing to changing the way we live completely. Communications have changed. Radio is is a world of hurt, in my opinion. Newspapers are suffering a huge loss in revenue now. But with the Internet…and the people I can meet here and other places…though this is a pretty good spot for me right now….I can create my own education even at this time in my life.
So, here’s my plea…donate to Lumberjocks like I have. Fewer than 100 of the members…or so it was earlier today…out of over 4000 have given a few bucks. The value of this knowledge is priceless. And yes, I wish I could have given more…and maybe I will one day…but I did donate. I gave $25 bucks. Could you give $25 a year? What a bargain for the pictures…the information…the advice…the friendship. I spent $25 at the hardware store last Wednesday on things I won’t use for two months…how crazy is that? So, give a few bucks if you can. I’m giving up my breakfast at a restaurant on Wednesdays, my only day out a week, to do this…and it’s such a bargain…and I don’t need the chicken fried steak, if you took a look at my gut.
A man is advertising once said to me that if you can’t say it in 30 seconds it can’t be said. Well, this took a little longer for you to read and me to write. The short version? Donate to Lumberjocks...it’ll save you from making the wrong cut, the wrong finish, the wrong decision somewhere down the line…and save you thousands of dollars in travel to glean the information. Give.
-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.