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Cronicles of Draven #1: Stumbling onto something far bigger than myself

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Blog entry by Deuce posted 01-14-2010 06:14 AM 1133 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cronicles of Draven series Part 2: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of more slivers... »

Deuce’s log, January 13, 2010

We’ve all heard stories of past lives coming out to the surface…I cannot forget how crazy i thought the person who first suggested it to me was. Memories of being someone else? Where’s the lithium? The past few months I’ve been biting my tongue, because memories are now something I cannot remove from my head.
I’m not crazy, but lately i have been remembering quite vivid memories about being someone else; About a past life. Toiling away in a large log home, I held a chisel in one hand and an oak mallet in the other. Guided by the light of a distant candle, I sat there for hours chipping away at a seemingly perfect back rest on a chair. I can see the scored groove on the flat river stone sitting on the table to my left, and I remember thinking it was going to irritate me if I had to sharpen the plank of cold steel again.
Sadly enough, I don’t remember anything else. Maybe it was a dream I had that I was remembering when I was conscious again, but it felt strangely different from a dream. I felt the cold of the steel, I smelled the burning animal fat candle, I coughed and watched the wood chips fly from my breath….This was more than real to me. It was the beginning of an answer.
When I’m in the shop, I don’t think about anything other than what I’m doing. My workshop is my escape from life, my vacation, if you will. The stress of everyday life lifts from my shoulders to burden someone elses world because I’m no longer in its world…I’m in my own.
Born the son of a mechanic, I was raised with limitless amounts of scrap metal laying around. While I could tinker with the machines and create life from them, I had to turn astray. I was living someones dream, I was being trained for someone elses job, not mine. While metal has its advantages, wood is what calls to me. My dreams, my art, my life…they can all be expressed thorough my pieces.
Also, in being a mechanics son, I had a limit to what I could do. Adventuring into woodworking with a limited amount of tools was like being castrated before i even began. I was always trying to make complicated cuts by hand and smoothing out the screw-ups with sandpaper. When you’re 15, even the simplest thing as buying tools limits you greatly.
That year, my brother gave me a set of Stanley wood chisels, 1 inch, 3/4 inch, and a 1/2 inch. From then on, I don’t recall a day I haven’t had to pull a sliver out of my sock. I was an artist that received new paint brushes, and I was going to make the most of it.
My life is furniture. I dream in furniture, I draw furniture, I live and breath for the smell of fresh cut pine in the morning. I have a 2 inch binder notebook filled with design ideas with detailed parts lists, design schematics, blueprints, and its almost full, yet life has handed me some pretty raw deals over the years and I still dont have an adequate workshop. The table saw I have doesnt cut square, nor does the blade adjust for depth, nor is there a power switch. I have a compound miter saw with an 11 3/4 inch cut width…other than that, I have a jack plane, a block plane, the same fore-mentioned chisels, and a set of cheap Wal-mart carving tools. Needless to say, even the smallest project poses a huge time constraint because everything has to be meticulously calculated to work around those certain setbacks, and it takes even longer to finish, due to the flaws in the cuts and sanding everything by hand.
My work is far from perfect. With the right tools, I know I could be doing much more much faster, and much better, but I am still strapped for cash. No worries, though. I’m a glutton for punishment, and I still welcome the challenge with a smirk.

-- When a robot can dream up the ideas I have, its time to silence the competition



6 comments so far

#1 posted 01-14-2010 11:48 AM

lithium will not help you my friend what the prognosis is.is you have wood fever this can be fatal so i recomend you dont seek medical help but spend more time in the shop i suffer from the same problem and i have found that the only cure is a sharp table saw blade a few feet of rough lumber and a lot of saw dust.so take two boards and call me in the morning.R.Hudon wood dr of woodology

-- i wonder if obama stood in a wind storm with them big ears of his would he start spinning like a drill bit

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3627 days


#2 posted 01-14-2010 12:07 PM

I enjoyed your blog.
You know the story of how Michelangelo (or one of those greats) said that when he carved a sculpture all he did was chip away the stuff that didn’t belong – that the sculpture was just buried beneath? Sounds like you are a master craftsman buried beneath what life has given you. So it won’t matter if you have old tools, cheap tools, no tools, – you will create from wood because that is who you are in your core. That’s pretty cool.
I love your attitude – the limitations are just challenges not roadblocks. Keep on making sawdust!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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stefang

15512 posts in 2800 days


#3 posted 01-14-2010 05:21 PM

I enjoyed your blog and the story, but I sensed a little negativity when you said life handed you some raw deals. I don’t believe life gives anybody anything. We just have to use life wisely to get what we want out of it. We all have our ups and downs. I too have some pretty poor chisels. They work as good as the expensive ones when they’re sharp, but I just have to sharpen them more often. If your saw doesn’t cut square you should be able to somehow adjust or compensate with the fence. I assume your saw is at full height all the time, so you can lay different thicknesses of hardboard or MDF onto the saw top to have the effect of lowering you blade. We woodworkers do love tools and I’m no different, but we all compromise and make do with what we have and dream about something better. I didn’t buy my first mitersaw until about 3 years ago and I’m almost 70 years old. To be honest, even if I had almost no tools I would still be working wood because I really love it. I hope you will too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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Deuce

5 posts in 2532 days


#4 posted 01-15-2010 02:43 PM

Thank you, very much. Your positive reinforcement put the first smirk on my face this month, and I couldn’t appreciate it any more than I already do. While my workshop may be limited on resources, mainly tools, I know in my heart and in my head that at one point there was no table saws…no miter saws…no routers, no biscuit jointers…and even though I wish for those items, I know that they are not a necessity. Humans have been chipping away at wood for several thousand years the same way I do it now and it makes me feel more human than if I was to use the tools. It’s a primitive link to my ancestors.
My negativity on the situation isn’t due to the situation, I just tried too hard recently to keep everything in my life from falling apart, and the more I struggled to hold the ropes, I still lost everything. I enjoy my style of woodworking. It’s unique, just like me. And I do stack MDF on the table top to adjust for my depths when need be, but the fence doesnt assist me in the square cuts, so I have matched the angle (very big pain in the butt) and built a wedge that sits under the piece being cut to balance out to as close to 90 degrees as I’ll ever get with that saw. I’m sorry if I sound egotistical, but I dont agree with you stefang. Life gives you choices. While one choice you make might get you what you want, it may also have an adverse effect on another. When I say life has handed me a pretty raw deal, I didnt mean that there wasnt an option or choice I had to make. I have had the opportunities for the tools I want, but then I would have made a choice to hinder my life or the life of someone around me, and I don’t feel that I made the wrong decision. I love woodworking, and I’ll never stop because it’s the only way I find happiness anymore. The only limit I have is what I am willing to do, and the only reason I cant do something is because I tell myself I cant…but I know better than that.

-- When a robot can dream up the ideas I have, its time to silence the competition

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3627 days


#5 posted 01-15-2010 03:01 PM

isn’t it interesting how life has a plan and no matter how hard you try to take it in another direction you will end up going where you are meant to be. The challenge for most of us is being patient enough to wait for the plant o unfold as well as having the strength and determination to keep dreaming, keep trying, keep doing while the journey unfolds.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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stefang

15512 posts in 2800 days


#6 posted 01-15-2010 04:54 PM

Sorry Duece, I guess I did sound a bit arrogant and smug. I don’t have any dreams about a past life, but I also like to feel a connection with long gone woodworkers when I am working with hand tools. Of course they had to actually work hard while I am just having fun. I’m glad you are finding solace in your woodworking and I wish you well. I hope you will post some of your projects.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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