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Blog entry by Woodbutchery posted 04-04-2017 01:52 PM 702 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s about the practice.

Saw a video this morning emphasizing this, someone doing very nice calligraphy with a crayon marker. It is an excellent reminder that craftsmanship is about something other than collecting the finest tools.

I’ve been a musician, of one sort or another, for most of my life. While I occasionally get paid gigs, this is another hobby for me, and I’m driven to find ways of playing better, learning new tunes and songs, and then learning how to master them. I gain nothing from the effort other than satisfaction at continued improvement.

That being said, I understand practice, and the video reference is a good reminder to anyone in any hobby, but especially with those who craft wood pieces. Whether they be art or utility pieces, each act in the creation process is a chance to practice and sharpen skill sets. Machine or hand tools, making the choice to use these actions as a continued practice helps keep me in a learning frame of mind.

I’m transitioning to using hand tools more, and while my hand saw cuts and chiseling are still a bit sloppy, I’m not deterred from continuing on, because I know that continued practice will slowly help me improve. I see incrementally better practices and results each time. I make mistakes and learn from them.

My tools are not the finest, but they are what I have, and as I learn more about their maintenance, sharpening skills developing as I hone the blades or set the teeth on saws, they become more adequate tools for the job, not because the tool has changed, but because the user has learned to do the best with what they have. Just as with the music, I gain satisfaction at continued improvement, no matter how incremental.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery



6 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

25832 posts in 2090 days


#1 posted 04-04-2017 02:03 PM

Good topic.

The best tools may make it easier to do a job, but it’s still the craftsman that determines the finished product.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14634 posts in 2371 days


#2 posted 04-04-2017 02:07 PM

Very nice post, great read. It’s a great reminder why we often do the things we do: Improvement is it’s own reward.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5672 posts in 2984 days


#3 posted 04-04-2017 02:09 PM

Then you might find this of interest.

I too am a musician, after a sort. I am a multi instrumentalist (Electric bass 4 and 5 string, percussion, and learning guitar). Like you I occasionally get paid gigs, but mostly play for the sheer joy of playing.

Like my workshop, my music room isn’t filled to the gills with the finest of anything. And like my instruments, what makes tools do their best, is when I keep everything tuned properly, and I practice, practice, practice…

FWIW, my basses are SX, Squier by Fender, and Ibanez, my drum kit is Peavey, my guitars are Rogue and SX. My amps are Fender and Behringer, my mixer and mics are Behringer, and my powered PA speakers (I am the only one in my band that can foot the bill for speakers) are Harbinger. Far from the best gear, but we make it work.

In summary, it’s not about the having, it’s about the doing.


It s about the practice.

Saw a video this morning emphasizing this, someone doing very nice calligraphy with a crayon marker. It is an excellent reminder that craftsmanship is about something other than collecting the finest tools.

I ve been a musician, of one sort or another, for most of my life. While I occasionally get paid gigs, this is another hobby for me, and I m driven to find ways of playing better, learning new tunes and songs, and then learning how to master them. I gain nothing from the effort other than satisfaction at continued improvement.

That being said, I understand practice, and the video reference is a good reminder to anyone in any hobby, but especially with those who craft wood pieces. Whether they be art or utility pieces, each act in the creation process is a chance to practice and sharpen skill sets. Machine or hand tools, making the choice to use these actions as a continued practice helps keep me in a learning frame of mind.

I m transitioning to using hand tools more, and while my hand saw cuts and chiseling are still a bit sloppy, I m not deterred from continuing on, because I know that continued practice will slowly help me improve. I see incrementally better practices and results each time. I make mistakes and learn from them.

My tools are not the finest, but they are what I have, and as I learn more about their maintenance, sharpening skills developing as I hone the blades or set the teeth on saws, they become more adequate tools for the job, not because the tool has changed, but because the user has learned to do the best with what they have. Just as with the music, I gain satisfaction at continued improvement, no matter how incremental.

- Woodbutchery


-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoa-AgyeFWqnQfGIJwdzkog

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1530 posts in 400 days


#4 posted 04-04-2017 02:26 PM

I agree … great post! Being a musician myself I understand the need for practice. There is a big difference between a drummer who can play wipeout  and a percussionist, or someone who can play Yankee Doodle on a fife and a fifer! With that said a percussionist can play a toy drum as a fifer can play a plastic souvenir fife and both make music. Why? Because they have practiced!

Same goes for using tools! If one cannot make a board smooth with a cheap plane … why then do they need/have ten really expensive planes?

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1236 posts in 1426 days


#5 posted 04-04-2017 10:19 PM

The goal for me is always to rise above my tools and abilities. At 70 I’m as good as good I’m ever going to get as a cabinetmaker and musician. Now I just bring ideas to both fields and try and make something pleasing to me. Good topic WB

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View TheFridge's profile (online now)

TheFridge

7722 posts in 1238 days


#6 posted 04-05-2017 12:04 AM



Very nice post, great read. It s a great reminder why we often do the things we do: Improvement is it s own reward.

- Smitty_Cabinetshop

Amen.

Acquiring sweet tools is a bonus.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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