What LJs Means To Me

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Blog entry by David Craig posted 11-04-2010 03:37 PM 1537 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I think, with all the hostility that has been in the air to take a moment, let the fan blow in a fresh breeze, and reflect on LumberJocks, why I came here, and what this site has done to accentuate my life. I have been here just 17 days short of a year and I can honestly say that no job, no school, no internet site has had as large an impact on my well being as this community has. I am extremely grateful for that.

It is said that “Without a vision, the people perish.” That is what this place has provided, among other things. When I first started this hobby, a few years ago, I was like a child ignorant of not only what I could do at the time but what I could potentially grow into. I did not have friends in the woodworking scene and most of you know how it is when you try to discuss with friends and family a passion that is not shared. The eyes start to blank and you see the mind drifting to a far off place where wood is just something you knock on. After nearly a year of reading posts, making friends, contributing what small items I thought worthy of note, my understanding and vision of what I could potentially accomplish has expanded far more than I thought was possible.

I would like all of you to step back for a moment, think about the first time you turned a hollow form or made shavings with a plane that was crisp and light. Remember the first time you used a jointer and planer and made that first rough board look better than store bought. Think about the first time you noticed your chisel cutting, rather than breaking the fibers, or the first project that made you feel glee rather than a form of hopelessness that made you feel unworthy of the hobby.

Whether or not you are aware, all of you gave this gift to me. You all inspire me to try things I would not previously consider and you all have given me confidence in my hands that I would not have previously had. That joy, that passion, those moments in the shop where there is a sense of peace and tranquility that runs through the body, no matter how crazy the world might get, is what it is all about.

I thank you all for the gifts you have given me,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

27 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4607 posts in 2456 days

#1 posted 11-04-2010 03:44 PM

Thank you, David.

I certainly echo these feelings, particularly those in the last paragraph. It is good to escape the casual insanity of the world now and again and make something.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3945 posts in 2584 days

#2 posted 11-04-2010 04:00 PM

I could say similar things about myself, David…......but in a nutshell, this is my home on the internet, and I look forward to my time spent here, which happens essentially every day. The genuine helpful attitude of everyone I know here makes this site a haven from the everyday stresses of work and the world in general.

A very well defined culture has developed on LJ’s, that has many attributes, all of which are a positive influence on my life, and obviously on others.


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View swirt's profile


2107 posts in 2391 days

#3 posted 11-04-2010 04:04 PM

Thanks David. You did just take me back a few years to when I first put a plane to wood (not including several swearing fits at trying to plane down some sticking doors with a dull and poorly adjusted plane). I was planing four 6×6’s that were roughly 8 feet long and smoothing the rough sawn wood with my first bench plane. It was a very cool experience. The people that were helping me that day thought I had lost my mind. Thank you for suggesting I recall that. It was a very good memory and yes I am smiling now. ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View ellen35's profile


2719 posts in 2852 days

#4 posted 11-04-2010 04:07 PM

Thank you David… you said it all.
When LJ is your homepage as it is mine… well, that’s what it represents.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2286 days

#5 posted 11-04-2010 04:08 PM

I think that I’ve made a few comments concerning what this site means to me. It’s a great woodworking site. I belong to Charles Neil’s site, the Woodwhisperer, Finewoodworking’s site, Wood Magazine’s site, and Tommy Macdonald’s. Occasionally I go to some others. However, Lumberjock’s is my anchor for woodworking on the internet and I spend more time here than on any other site.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3093 days

#6 posted 11-04-2010 04:12 PM

Thank you David, I love coming to LumberJocks!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3638 days

#7 posted 11-04-2010 04:39 PM

You could have taken those words straight out of my head, David. Thank you.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3117 days

#8 posted 11-04-2010 04:47 PM

I agree with all of the above comments.

View chrisstef's profile


15459 posts in 2426 days

#9 posted 11-04-2010 04:47 PM

I too, whole heartidy agree with your sentiments. This site has helped me transform a thought into a hobby that i can do for the rest of my life. Woodworking has become a passion, an investment, and an outlet for me. I do not think that my abilities would be where they are today without the help of this webiste and its wonderful members, and i assume that this was Martin’s goal when he created this site.

My feelings are that no one should never let his or hers emotions get in the way of rational thinking. Desicions based upon emotions usually lead to regret.

I think its an absolute shame that there are people bailing from this guild created here due to reactions based upon emotions.

I sincerely hope that those who have been offended, those who have offended others, and the rest of us out there can realize that like everything that is good in life this too can be taken away from all of us.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View canadianchips's profile


2310 posts in 2417 days

#10 posted 11-04-2010 04:53 PM

Never considered myself an inspiration to others. I just post my projects because I really like doing that kind of work.
You said it very well David Craig.
I think that way as well. THANKYOU.

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

View pawpawsteve's profile


16 posts in 2410 days

#11 posted 11-04-2010 05:16 PM

Whole hearted agreement from me as well. I found lumberjocks quite a while ago but it wasn’t until I hurt my back last year that I really started watching the site – like four or five hours a days simply because I could not do much else. Because of what I was learning just by reading I became even more determined to have a shop and really learn to work with wood.
Two months ago I had surgery that looks like is going to get me back on my feet again. It has really been painful to see so much negative stuff lately. So much so that I have found at least a dozen or more other sites that I have started following (mostly blogs). I probably would never have gone looking for something else if it had not been for what has happened here lately.
I won’t go away. There is too much good stuff here – but every time I see negative stuff it will be real easy to flip channels.
Thanks to all of you who teach and model the good stuff!

-- Steve ... determined to die working and believing that God is good!

View HerbC's profile


1567 posts in 2279 days

#12 posted 11-04-2010 05:25 PM


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5103 posts in 2614 days

#13 posted 11-04-2010 05:25 PM

I used to really enjoy coming on LJs and checking out the site, visiting with my friends, etc., but not much anymore….It’s got way too strict, and seems like a lot of the fun has been taken out.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3580 days

#14 posted 11-04-2010 05:33 PM

oh how I can relate to your wise words!
When I first joined it was to find out info on working with wood because I wanted to try it (never did anything before and had no mentors in my life to teach me).
It wasn’t long before I learned enough and felt confident enough to give it a try and posted my first project .. from there, the encouragement, support, and yes, the proposed challenges (make a table, Debbie) .. lead me to trying more and more and more
I don’t call myself a woodworker and I don’t make a lot of things but when the “urge” hits me, I go for it, knowing that my online family and mentors will be there to answer questions and to say “good job” when it is done.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 2916 days

#15 posted 11-04-2010 05:43 PM

So very true….. well said and I, like most others feel the same way.

This really is my “home away from home” and it is a daily pleasure for me to be able to come visit my friends here on LJ’s and continue my learning experience…............... this is the very best!

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

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