Ryan’s comment on my “Case for hand planes blog” got my mind to drifting again, when he talked of seeing the faces of those who have used these tools before us. I get this sense a lot and wonder how many others do as well.
For some reason, it reminded me of a chapter in Aldo Leopold’s “A sand County Almanac”, which was required reading for anyone in a Natural Resources major (me) way back in college. Even though I wouldn’t call myself a hard core environmentalist, I still believe this book should be required reading for anybody on this ship…I highly recommend it.
The chapter is called “Good oak’ and while it doesn’t refer to woodworking, it brings to mind similar feelings about faces of the past. Leopold says there is a spiritual danger in supposing the heat comes from a furnace. He then takes us on a journey back in time as he makes firewood, sawing through the annual rings of a good oak, reading from what he sees in the rings and describing the surrounding events of those times. It’s a wonderful read.
I don’t know, maybe it’s the aging process… maybe it’s simply stepping back from the race to take a leisurely Sunday drive through life…maybe they’re one and the same, but it’s really comforting not just to use my tools, but to feel the tools. Not to look at a plane as a way to end up with a flat board, but to savor each stroke as part of the PROCESS of flattening the board.
Well, I’ve rattled on long enough on pretty much the same subject as before, so (is repeating yourself a sign of getting old?) it’s time you all got back to your woodworking.- SST
Well, I’ve rattled on long enough on pretty much the same subject as before, so (is repeating yourself a sign of getting old?) it’s time you all got back to your woodworking. -SST
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you