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Just Words #1: Change of Pace...

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Blog entry by Pacewoodworking posted 03-25-2011 03:10 AM 661 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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It’s not the wedged through tenons, or the gap free miters (with contrasting splines), it’s not even the “I’m a real woodworker” half blind dovetails. All of these skills come with time, practice, practice, and more practice. The most difficult, most challenging, and most grueling aspect of woodworking for me is learning to pace myself. Throughout my “career” in woodworking it’s always been about getting things done ASAP. We often learn more about taking shortcuts then we truly do about the skills and techniques that go into what we are building. Whether it’s a simple free standing bookcase, or a large slab coffee table, or even those finicky dovetails. We are always looking for a way to get to the finish line faster. Why? So we can move onto the next project? Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate deadlines and realize that time is money but is that really what fuels you? My concern is that at what cost to the knowledge and experience we gain during the journey are we willing to sacrifice just to get done quicker? Occasionally I get asked if I get tired of being around wood all the time? You figure I am covered in it 10 hours a day, and I’ve spent numerous weekends and late nights rushing out side work. Even at the end of a long work day, followed by the evenings with my wife and five kids, there is nothing that keeps me more grounded and brings me more contentment (other than maybe cuddling with my wife and watching “Charlie St. Cloud” I love you dear!) then spending an hour or two working wood by hand in near silence. The beauty of it is that everyone has their own pace, by the definition of the word,
PACE (verb transitive) means : To set or regulate the rate of speed for . I think that the goal of any woodworker should be to find their own pace and accept it for what it is. Whether it takes you a year to finish a small shaker table (I’m almost done mine!) or if you are able to produce multiple projects a year. Finding your own pace will bring peace & contentment to your work and your life.



3 comments so far

View lumberhack's profile

lumberhack

37 posts in 1374 days


#1 posted 03-25-2011 03:25 AM

Very well said! I constantly remind myself (and others) that life is a journey, not a destination.
Cheers!
Mark

View amateur's profile

amateur

91 posts in 1408 days


#2 posted 03-25-2011 10:58 AM

Thank you. Zeal can either fuel your desire to grow or press you into a corner of stagnation. Inspiration beats perspiration every time.

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2997 days


#3 posted 03-25-2011 02:30 PM

I fully agree. Mostly because I have had to. Physically I’ve had to learn to slow down or I’m laid up for a week. I used to put in a 10-12 hr day. Now if I try that I’m unable to do anything for a week or two, because of health problems. My wife really hates having to put on my shoes and socks because I can’t. It’s gotten worse too. As most guys that know me know, I used to be able to put out a lot more projects. Too bad, but then not. What I do do now, I think, is more thought out and a better grade of work then I used to. Good subject to bring up. I’ve also learned that by teaching you learn.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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