Craftsman - not the tool

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Blog entry by canadianchips posted 07-29-2010 03:55 AM 1081 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

How much knowledge does a true craftsman have to know to be labeled “craftsman” ?
I see some excellent work done on LJ’s.
Are the true craftsman going by the wayside. Todays special fields, subtrades, everyone is becoming an expert in one particular area of the trade.
The same basic pricipals of building are the same, the materials and the tools are changing dramatically.
Can anyone build something if they have the “TOOLS” ?
I don’t believe so, I still believe the person needs talent, a desire to do it and the practice.
I relate this similar to music and painting. I my lifetime i tried the accordian,piano, guitar, drums, flute. and the only thing I can really make music with is the “Radio”. okay CD’s and I pod as well.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

4 comments so far

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3454 days

#1 posted 07-29-2010 08:19 AM

I agree. Just because you have all the “newest and best” tools, does NOT mean you can build anything. You still have to be able to use them, and have an eye for design, technique, and patience. Skill matters!

It also goes the other way. I have seen wonderful works of art being done by LJ’s that have a VERY limited shop. Some of the work done here is just astounding.

Keep it up everyone.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3088 days

#2 posted 07-29-2010 11:46 AM

I have to agree with Scrappy. There is some amazing work on here with just a few tools. They have defently learned to have paentince.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2950 days

#3 posted 07-29-2010 03:58 PM

I certainly agree with the talent aspect.

I recently viewed a tablesaw dvd featuring Kelly Mehler, where one of his first comments was “it doesn’t matter the quality of the saw, you have to bring something to the machine”(paraphrased).

In my life I have worked in construction; with concrete, framed, contract finishing residential and commercial, worked on 10 million dollar houses and now manage landscaping crews, staff, apprentices and small projects, but my real passion is getting in my shop to “create” something.

Considering all that I have done, I am so amazed at the creativity of those with much less life experience, yet seem to “bring more to the table”.

Lumberjock talent has impressed me from the first project I saw here.

I can’t play guitar well either, yet my son makes his living doing just that…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2964 days

#4 posted 07-29-2010 08:49 PM

Yep, craftmanship is about skill and experience and talent. You cannot be called a master craftsman untill you’ve had decades of experience and honing of skills behind you. Doesn’t matter how many tools you may have.

I sometimes have to laugh at some of the gizmos on offer in tool catalogues. With practising the craft and some common sense, these things are not neccessary.

Time behind the bench, THAT is the thing!

Only thing I can play is the fool!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

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