LumberJocks

Observations

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Blog series by Russel updated 05-22-2010 04:17 PM 14 parts 23882 reads 198 comments total

Part 1: Big Fish Small Pond

11-08-2007 02:27 PM by Russel | 11 comments »

I just read Dennis’ entry about the Western Design Conference he went to (yeah I know I’m behind) where he described himself as a “mediocre woodworker” and that statement struck me as representative of LumberJocks. Many years ago, in my formative years I wanted to be a musician. In my local area I was actually pretty good and had a bit of a reputation. Based on my interests, I went to a specialized school that would allow me to take college level music courses whi...

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Part 2: Even the Bad is Good

12-04-2007 11:37 PM by Russel | 31 comments »

I cannot say enough good about LumberJocks, and apparently, I’m not alone. I periodically like to see who’s online and go wandering through their projects and blogs (is MsDebbie ever offline?). In my travels, I have read numerous entries about the value of LumberJocks. The testimonials to it’s unique ability to combine professional and amateur seem never ending. The enumeration of benefits received and friendships found goes on and on. Oddly enough, I seem to be mis...

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Part 3: A Real Challenge

01-25-2008 10:28 PM by Russel | 9 comments »

Okay, once more, with feeling … I love this place. However, it does try my patience at times. The most recent challenge is a perfect example. I am quite the novice at this woodworking thing and I’m pretty pleased with my progress, and even more so with what I’m learning to do and appreciate. As it turns out, I am learning a craft, a skill. And in the process I am learning to recognize and appreciate the skill in the work of others. A few years back I could not have k...

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Part 4: Growing Pains

02-28-2008 01:34 AM by Russel | 15 comments »

HELP ! I’ve fallen and I can’t catch up! I have been a member here at LumberJocks for a bit more than 6 months and the membership has effectively doubled since I joined. When I joined, the goal was to get to 2000 members by year end. We kinda left that one in the dust. I tried to make it a point to look at all the projects and read all the posts. I love to read and like looking at pictures. At one time I thought I couldn’t get enough to read ... I was wrong. Wh...

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Part 5: What's in a Name

05-01-2008 01:44 AM by Russel | 15 comments »

Just a little musing here; nothing of consequence; merely a curiosity. It seems that those that create contemporary woodworks are often referred to as “artists” while those that create more traditional works are considered “craftsmen.” Now this is simply my observation, but I’ve seen it often enough for it to make an impression. The question is, “Why is that?” Does “art” mandate non-traditional? If utility is the objective of a piec...

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Part 6: The Value of a Pro

05-05-2008 10:00 PM by Russel | 15 comments »

For about 5 years I made my living fixing computer systems for businesses who’s owner’s nephew knew something about computers. More often than not, my task was to take the work of a hobbyist and revise it for a professional environment. Contrary to what many believe, there is a vast difference between a professional computer person and a person who fiddles with their home system. Home and work are two different worlds. A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend who was ...

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Part 7: I Need More Time

07-01-2008 01:21 AM by Russel | 3 comments »

Douglas Bordner posted his first marquetry project and it was not only impressive, but motivational. The second pen-turners swap is under way and I am enjoying watching it as much as the first one. Intarsia, veneering, bending, carving, bowls, spindles … All fascinating stuff. I have never done any of it. But I’d like to and Doug’s marquetry just reminded me of all the skills and techniques that I still have to learn. And brings me to just one more reason to continu...

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Part 8: Summer Challenge - Why? - Just Because

07-29-2008 12:19 PM by Russel | 15 comments »

How many of us expect to win these challenges? Based on what I’ve read here, that’s hard to tell. But, also based on what I’ve read here, there are many that expect to not win, myself included. That observation struck me as interesting; why enter if you won’t win? And then there are the prizes. I realized as I was entering my project that I didn’t even know what I was competing for. When the challenge was announced I didn’t pay attention to the priz...

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Part 9: The Spirit of LumberJocks

12-28-2008 01:33 AM by Russel | 8 comments »

It’s been said by others at various time and diverse places, that the folks on LumberJocks are the best to be found on the internet. Here’s my take on that. Today I had the opportunity to share a meal with Marc and Nicole Spagnuolo. It was nothing like I expected. With Marc being an internet celebrity and Nicole being a national beauty, I was at first surprised that they would be willing to meet and spend time with a silly old man. This surprise was seeded by the fact t...

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Part 10: Odds and Ends

02-01-2009 06:53 PM by Russel | 8 comments »

The last few days in the shop have provided opportunity for some self-observation. My power tools have been ignored while I do some assembly and finishing. And since a piece of sandpaper in my hand to typically pretty safe my mind has been kinda watching me do things. First, let me say that hand tool work is hard. I’m making a few tables and thought it was a good opportunity to practice flattening the tops using my planes. And, when all was said and done, they were definitely bet...

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Part 11: Does It Really Matter?

07-04-2009 03:17 PM by Russel | 30 comments »

I am a fan of LumberJocks. Particularly in it’s current form, because it has pretty much been this way since I joined. That was a little more than 9,000 members ago and not quite two years. It may be me, but lately it seems that there have been a number of posts saying that people should be stopped. People should be stopped from posting so many projects. People should be stopped from making so many comments. People should be stopped from greetings newcomers. People should be st...

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Part 12: An Inconvenient Idea

12-29-2009 06:03 PM by Russel | 12 comments »

Ever since my kids moved across the country three years ago, the Mrs and I have been making semi-annual trips from Royal Oak, Michigan to Phoenix, Arizona. I honestly enjoy seeing my children and, the fact that there are grandkids with them only makes the trips better. However, it is what some might call bittersweet. Generally, each trip is about two weeks. It’s long enough to spend quality time with the offspring, but not so long that we become a major bother to them. This is ...

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Part 13: Non-Woodworkers

01-16-2010 05:24 PM by Russel | 19 comments »

I just had to share this with you folks because I just can’t stop laughing. I recently got a slab of wood from fellow LJ BlueStingRayBoots and finally took it out to the shop to see what it looked like. After I planed off some of the saw marks some really georgeous grain appeared. It was worlds better than I expected. So I told the wife about it and we started talking about what I should make with it. Her response was classic. She said, “How about something like this, on...

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Part 14: Final

05-22-2010 04:17 PM by Russel | 7 comments »

I have to say that in my time on LumberJocks I have learned things that I never imagined. The access to knowledge is the most remarkable feature here. Additionally, there have been quite a few folks I’ve interacted with who have become as good a friend as cyberspace will allow. I have nothing but thanks for Martin and his work here and folks who made this place what it is. When I was a kid we had a taunt that went, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never...

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