This video from 83 years ago follows a German woodworker as he selects a log half, cuts out a bowl blank on a large band saw, and then turns 3 separate parts to create a lidded bowl. It’s neat to feel such a kinship with a guy at his lathe some 13 years before his country would enter into WWII. I wonder if he made it to the war, and what he thought of it. There’s something a lot more tangible about this video than the still black and white photos of men with saws over their shoulders standing by huge, fallen trees – my usual window into woodworking during this period.
I watch the wood chips pile up on his left arm, just as they do for me here in my own present time. I wince sympathetically when his hook tool catches at 6:08. I note the injuries on at lest 3 of his fingertips, dark marks around his cuticles. With some small amount of introspection, I realize he’s a much snappier dresser than I. Also, his lathe is bigger, and he has a more complete set of tools.
Wait… what was that? Was that jealousy? I think I need to get me one of those hats.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator