“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
Because of yesterdays joyous trip to the post office, I had high expectations that today I would find a plethora of woodworking DVDs and a smattering of books, waiting for me. My anticipation remains. Driving across the endless miles, actually yards, which make up Martelle, I thought of Albert Einstein and his bike quote. I haven’t been on a bike in some time, but I was sure that all I needed to keep my balance was a bit of time practicing dovetails.
After the cutting, sometimes on the correct side of the lines, one needs to remove the waste. I am sure there are a bunch of useful tips on how one does this, but alas I haven’t read any of them yet. For some unexplainable reason I seem determined to learn to cut dovetails by hand through experimentation. Even as I write this, it is clear that, this is at best, a dumb idea. Perhaps I will do some research before my next practice session.
A reasonable man would cut a set of pins after a set of tails. I am not a reasonable man. I am a logical man who has delusions of grandeur. Though there are clearly some issues with my first set of tails, I was generally pleased with how they look. I can do better. So I will cut some more practice tails, possibly quite a few of them, before I move onto the pins. There are two good reasons to approach my education this way. One, I am able to focus on one aspect and learn through repetition. Two, the errors one makes don’t really become painfully apparent until the pins and tails are joined. I choose to maintain my warm fuzzy feeling for a few days more.
The source of my warm fuzzy feeling isn’t the results. It started when I began to clean up the area around the tails with my chisel. As I pared away bits of wood I felt comfortable. I felt like my hands were beginning to get use to manipulating the chisel in a controlled fashion. Though I am delusional about the actual quality of my tails, I am not the least bit delusional about the amount of practice and work it takes to master the use of the chisel. I know that it will be some time until I am there, but seeing progress is all that I need to keep the motivation to continue.
Ok that isn’t exactly true. A sign of progress is actually just a one ingredient in the inspiration salad. The recipe for inspiration salad, as it was told to me by Louise, a Cajun chef, motivational speaker, and part time bantamweight boxer, is as follows. One part motivation, two parts natural essence of obsessive compulsive, three tablespoons of competitive juices, mixed in a small wooden bowl (carved by a sharpening monk) and served on a bed of noodles covered in a white wine sauce. This combined with a healthy portion of pot stickers can feed the soul and body.
With each day I feel myself progressing nicely towards my dream of being to woodworking, what Albert Einstein was to the… ‘Tour De France’.
Editors Note: It has been pointed out to me that the population of Martelle, according to the most recent census is 280. I stand corrected. I have fired the entire fact checking department, three secretaries, and two people in legal, just for good measure.
-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com