”Broadax or Yariganna”
Well here I go again writing about my approach to woodworking in the non-traditional sense. I sit back sometimes and wonder where has woodworking gone, as the art of working in wood with non-motorized hand tools is now being more and more replaced with the use of power tools. The role of the woodworker today is becoming less, as one who works with wood and more of one who works with machines.
We now must understand power tools and then we need power machines and all the extra’s that go along with these ‘beasts of burden’. Yes, you heard me right, we in the modern world of technology today—-2007, have been blessed with the curse of ,’beasts of burden’. And so I run to my favorite store to buy a new ‘beast of burden’ and then when I get home I now must understand power cords and voltage laws, electrical codes, city and town codes and by doing all this I now create job security for all those who are also involved in the above mentioned process. Please don’t anyone get offended here as I’m talking first and foremost to myself, yes I’m pointing the finger here at my-self and laughing at my-elfin-self.
When I built my barn and put my floor model table saws and planner into place, along with the bandsaw, I then had to surround them on wheels so they could move as cars across the interstate of my floor. And then since I would be standing before these gods, for sometimes long periods of temple worship, I found I needed to surround them with rubber floor mats to give my feet a break….not that I would need a break, only my feet. And then I needed a dust collection system and eye and face protection, ear protection, nose protection, hand protection, foot protection and maybe, just maybe I need to look into bullet proof chest protection to protect me from any flying timber wood splinters that come off my table saw at 100 plus miles per hour. And then at the end of the day I must clean up and do all my scheduled maintenance, oh I almost forgot, I use worm drive circular saws both for trim work and beam and plank cutting, so I need to check their oil levels daily. Come to think of it, I’m more in tune with their oil level then the oil level of my steel horse. I just realized that after having said all this, I have not even picked up a non-motorized hand tool yet, much less even thought of one—-oh yes, those non-motorized wheels on the bottom of my table saw….they’re a non-motorized tool aren’t they? And there’s a thought, what if I did some robotic design and put some motors on those wheels, well then when taking my coffee break I could just wheel them around by electronics. Hey this woodworking thing with power tools and power machines is starting to sound like a lot of fun!
And then slowly from my dream I came awake and gave thanks for my broadaxe as I once again picked up this impressive and all powerful tool and walked over to the pine slab and started pulling and pushing the edge of the blade across the surface as I went on finishing for smoothness. I was in awe the other day when I noticed on the webpage for Master Kintaro that here was one who also uses a like minded tool called a Yariganna, the ‘spear plane’. www.eurus.dti.ne.jp/~k-yazawa/style.html What a blessing of refreshment this is to see, no-power tool here for working in wood, by being connected to wood. So the question asked is: would I rather be connected with wood through my power cord or through my use of the broadaxe as it caresses the wood? Oh yes, one other thought going through my head is, why is it called wood art if I am creating with the use of a power machine—-maybe I should start calling my work, machined wood art!
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/