Reflections on technology and woodworking #1: Blog one

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Blog entry by Douglas Bordner posted 04-14-2007 12:22 PM 1921 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Reflections on technology and woodworking series Part 2: Distraction »

Well here goes… I had started out with the intention of simply wanting to learn how to paste a picture into my blog.

Well actually the whole thing started when I finally managed (with the help of my step-son, Nic) to get a wireless network installed that would let my Macintosh talk to the web through my wife’s PC cable modem connection. That led to The WoodWhispser Podcast And that led me here to LJ, Flickr, and a host of internet wonders that I had never dreamt of. I must say thank you to all who have commented on my work and to everyone who has shared the sweat, blood and toil that they have poured into their craft. The photos of work and ideas of people who are on fire with creativity are a gem to me. I hope that as I am inspired by your work, I have the opportunity to meet some of you and get to know a bit about you.

As I have bounced around in this process, I have visited cherished sites and reviewed photos of work by some of the folks I consider ”Box Gods”, Phillip Weber (, William McDowell ( and Doug Stowe ( I started thinking (uh oh) about the incredible opportunity the internet presents the woodworking community. There was a detail of box construction at the Teknodeco web site that flabbergasted me, I had see it before but finally “got it”.

This led me to consider the world in medieval times when local guilds were formed. Secrets and techniques were shared by those craftsmen, but communication was stilted, slow and limited to the spoken/written word, or hand-drawn illustration. Schools developed so that a technique or fashion was identified by either the master craftperson (ie Sheraton, Hepplewhite, Boulle technique) or locality (Tunbridge Ware) And although commerce allowed items to spread across the world (engendering movements like Chinoiserie-when the French adapted style details from Chinese arts and crafts), nothing on the order of sharing has ever occurred relative to what is occurring right here literally under own noses (or at least perpendicular to your nose as you look at your monitor).

From the standpoint of inspiration alone the thought is staggering, but the fact that techniques can be discussed, and details elucidated between members of this community really has a overiding significance. Here is the biggest guild imaginable. Mentoring is going on, skill levels advanced, secrets are shared, all at the the speed of electrons (yet bogged down here particularly by my typing skills, but you get the drift).

That’s all for tonight but I hope to pick up the thread with some thoughts about the dark side of this watershed when I contemplate the consequences of distraction…

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

11 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4188 days

#1 posted 04-14-2007 12:36 PM

it IS mind-boggling, isn’t it? The information that is readily available on here is … phew.. pzt there goes a mind boggle..
and the connection with people—all over the world—as if they are right here—pzt another boggle..

and then there is the addiction, the loss of time in the “3D world” as I used to refer to it back in my chat addiction time. (Some people call it “the real world” but the internet IS real.. the information is real, the people are real on the other end (even if they are pretending to be someone else, they are still real)...

the potential for humanity, for craftsmen, for artists, for philosophers, for researchers, for… yup.. mind-boggling!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4355 days

#2 posted 04-14-2007 03:24 PM

My discovery of this site was equally mind-boggling and fulfilling, though I was at the beginning of my journey as a woodworker with one project to post and a lot to learn.

I love the comraderie, friendship and encouragement that has blossomed here. We keep seeing comments that this site is like no other site or forum “out there”. Warm and full of encouragement, rather than detailed, technical and informative as so many are. (handy resources for sure, just not a place to “hang out” and have a safe place to “give and take”

I could find hardly any resources, or like minded folk out there when I began this journey (and started blogging about it). I expected to find plenty of others like myself. Looking to learn and share, but couldn’t find anyone (or anything beyond a few outdated text only pages. I as afraid that the world of the craftsman was lurking in the shadows, if not dying out, waiting for the torch to be passed from our grandfathers, and not enough of us had any computer savvy. Oh how relieved I am to see my fears were unfounded!

Glad to have you here, hear your input, and check out some of the resources you’ve brought to the table!


-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4342 days

#3 posted 04-14-2007 04:34 PM

I’ve enjoyed the cross disipline inspirations I’ve found here. You box builders inspired the interior of my pine and alder cabinet. Just soaking in the blogs on bow building, plane care and repair, chip carving, inlay…ect. My woodworking vocabulary has increased. Learning from pros and beginners.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4428 days

#4 posted 04-14-2007 04:46 PM

Ditto Dennis. I’ve done a lot of small things (woodworking) in my life. Toys, puzzles etc. It’s paid for the tools that I own. Then got into computers (A job, a way of living) and now a melding of them both.

I’m making bigger things now furniture, something that my family can use, hopefully something that my family that may not know me but will know of some of the work that I’ve done.

It’s been a great trip, and I hope it doesn’t end soon.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4274 days

#5 posted 04-14-2007 06:45 PM

I hear what you guys are saying. It is like some one is boosting you up to do better or try harder or different things. Yes and computer skills all have increased out of want and neccisity. My confidence is much higher then it was when I got here thanks to guys like you Dennis and Karson and Dick, and mostly Mark D. who always had an encouraging word and lest I forget Obi and DEB. You know no one had ever seen anything I had done but my family, what are they gonna say, it stinks, nah. Here you might get some criticizim, but you don’t mind coming from someone you know is a mastercraftsman. jockmike

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

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4120 days

#6 posted 04-14-2007 07:21 PM

Ditto everything Mike just said… couldn’t put it any better.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4091 days

#7 posted 04-14-2007 08:41 PM

“Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness on sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.”-John of Salisbury 1159

Here the cool thing is someone hasn’t had to pre-decease you to give you the leg up, and today I might be the giant, and you the dwarf; and tomorrow we might trade off.
Similarly I don’t necessarily have to (although I’d like to) move to California to learn from Maloof, or attend the College of the Redwoods to get a boost from the Krenovians, or locate to the heart of Frid-dom. The information is out there for the taking, and who knows there may even be one of the students of those masters here in this peer-to-peer network.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4091 days

#8 posted 04-14-2007 08:58 PM

whoops sorry-redundant entry.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4327 days

#9 posted 04-15-2007 01:04 PM

Thank you for your interesting incites on woodworking.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Jeffrey's profile


15 posts in 4071 days

#10 posted 05-01-2007 07:48 AM


You my friend sent me to this site. Thank you.

I’m glad to hear you FINALLY got hi speed . My wife talked about getting rid of our hi-speed and I said I’d get rid of the phone first. Thats where it ended. Doug, you know my wife and what a risk for me that was. Its a risk writing it. The amount of info available is endless and expanding daily! Your life will never be the same.

As someone who has been fortunate to have known you Doug for 10 years I want to tell you what a joy it is to see your projects. I knew you when. Now you are truly an artist.

-- Jeff - Bellevue,Ne.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4091 days

#11 posted 05-01-2007 09:23 AM

That’s my number one friend! I didn’t even have to tip him a fiver for calling me an artist. (see Phil Brown’s blog about the gumption to call yourself an artist) To get an idea about his “knowing me when”, he set up my first decent table saw. This is before the: jointer, planer, drill press, router table, mini-lathe, Performax 10-20 and the thousand of other widgets that make my wife’s car suffer in the weather outside our two car garage. Welcome, mentor and fast friend.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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