I had a very interesting day today….. I spent it at the local Woodcraft demoing (is that a word?) hand cut dovetails. After many questions and several hours speaking with quite a few customers and observers I discovered that there are a large number of us that hold a certain amount of fear with regards to hand work.
Things like basic handsaw techniques, chopping & paring with a chisel, sharpening, etc…. A great number of these questions came in a flurry from one particular individual. I guess we sometimes have a fear of failure or of judgment; maybe we just need some reassurance that screwing up is OK. Some folks stated that they had tried hand tools and just became so frustrated that they gave up. When I asked what specific issues they were having a lot of it was with chisels. I asked them how or if they had flattened and sharpened their chisels. A few just gave me quizzical looks; these where the same folks that had commented that my chisels were so sharp they were scary and that they could never get theirs that sharp.
Like many skills I have picked up I have researched and questioned others (like yourselves) then jumped in with both feet. I just struck me today that we should never be afraid to try, never be afraid to fail. We probably will fail a few times before we get it right. How else has the human race come so far? Why have so many of us become so afraid to try?
Sorry, I’ll get down off my box now…..
Don’t be afraid to fail…...
-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein