The old time woodshop journals #38: Woodworker's Revival

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 12-29-2012 10:11 PM 2257 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 37: Woodworkers thoughts by way of world works Part 38 of The old time woodshop journals series Part 39: Trials of the pine »

Many times I ponder the current state of our lives on this pale blue dot better known as earth. I witness the more than horrible events of random shootings of children, firemen, and street kids in poor neighborhoods and sometimes think that perhaps my childhood was way too easy, maybe even a bit unrealistic.

I have never been a member of any church or one set in stone belief, and I am fully accepting of anyone who believes full on in theirs as long as your not at my door pushing it on me. I suppose my church has been found in many wonderful facets from playing music with friends to peeling bark from a hickory tree knee deep in the woods. A sky laced with soon to fall snow or a herd of 800 mph stock cars blazing around an asphalt oval on a Saturday night. I have found miles of lengthy fortune in simple measures.

There was a few unorganized tossed about years in my late twenties to early thirties where I thought making money and just not caring about much was the toast of the town for living good. You run wild and sometimes believe that your untouchable from grief, hardships, or losses when your busy being young.

Now I am lost in the simplicity of real things, a pocket knife and a good book to read. An old scratched pick up truck and a haul of cherry wood. I currently get as giddy as a 6 year old running the roads of upstate NY with my beloved Jenn at the wheel as we pick out how many large portions of the side mountains have birches on them.
Something about that wonderful white bark inviting thoughts of Christmas, calm, or good wood to carve!

As the roadsides sweep up my imagination I feel rested in thought realizing no matter how many unexplainable times that we see in our current day that my mind still has room for simple wonder. Daydreaming is the best application that no machine, gizmo, cell phone, tablet, etc….can give you. The game of daydreaming is totally up to unleashing your inner child and I call for all of us to take a few lost minutes and do so daily.

My thoughts take me to the caring of our souls in these stressed times, we need to remember to be better to ourselves so we may love our families even more. When your inner soul rolls down a dusty road lost of any proper navigation it can get pretty complicated steering others we care about in the right direction.

This morning as I push keys to communicate my text I have called myself “A messenger” that’s it, that’s what my wood working is. I have no professional carpentry experience, I lack any high caliber building credits, I am an enthusiast, a lover of the ideas of a total open field of creativity through the expression of wood.

This notion to give anyone the urge to want to get closer to using hand tools, saw a log, feel the enjoyment of planing your own shavings…..that is what I love doing! It is not only for me to aspire to improve my own exercises at the bench…but to inspire yours. I feel that if a troubled kid spent at day learning these old traditional skills, hewing timbers, drawknifing a branch, turning on a lathe, what a terrific inspiration and beginning process of giving that kid confidence and self regard.

I look at these passing days, this sad economy and we need roots once more of what we as humans do best…basics. Wood work provides pulling the fallen upward to meet themselves in the mirror and dust off their lost courage. Somehow these simple activities provide some greater satisfaction within our human engine than we truly realize.

So I suppose as I sit at my stump with axe, knife and passion for trying to learn more I have more messages to give to anyone who cares to see them. My message is….. sometimes we miss what’s really golden while chasing all day for something that’s only temporary in it’s rewards.

Excuse me friends….let me get off of my stump…lmao.

Now…’s some fun pics of Christmas goodies!!!!!

1-3: If green wood work is your thing look no further than calling up the great Drew Langsner at Country Workshops and ordering one of these gems. The Hans Karlsson Sloyd Axe, it’s a keeper! Wonderful gift, very light, very sharp and only an instrument to be treated with the highest of respect when using. The handle is crafted spot on fitting just right for the job. It has a double bevel so south paws like myself still get to enjoy this serious awesome handcrafted hatchet. Hans Karlsson is a swedish toolmaker and one of the highly regarded at his awesome skill to craft great tools. This is no comparison to something from a big box store so if your serious about wanting a life long hatchet….call Drew. You can find his site here:



4: Topping this off with a Hans Karlson hook knife for spooning some bowls makes for a wonderful session of sharp enjoyment. This is a real hookknife, trust me pay the $70 dollars you really will not look anymore to the cheaper models with poor steel. They cut…but nothing like this. This hookknife is strong and very supported with a razor sharp blade. Drew sells them both right and lefty. Keep in mind if you are unaware of it and you get Drew Langsner on the phone… are talking to one of the super talents and teachers of country woodworking, although Drew will act as if he’s unaware of it…...uhh…..he’s the man and knows his craft forwards and backwards.
DSC04833 5: What a nice trio of Christmas gifts….thanks to my loved ones! Making spoons as well as other treenware just got a whole lot easier. A lovely Mora Scandi knife rips the shavings down with ease making for clean cuts.

6: Time to give the hatchet a test drive on some found storm birch…..think I will make a larger serving spoon….let’s take a spin.


7: Roughing the shapes the hatchet flows with such light easy to handle hewing. You can practically carve with this hatchet once you get your skills up to par.

8: Through the power of show biz…..look the spoon is roughed out and ready for additional tlc once it dries out a little!

Hope your Christmas was wonderful and that you enjoy all of your daydreams!

All the best and thanks so much for your comments. I appreciate all of you for taking the time to have a read and take a look! THANK YOU!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

7 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2804 days

#1 posted 12-29-2012 11:13 PM

I appreciate your thoughts. This is some times that would have never ever thought of. My heart is heavy for all the innocent lives, and devastated families in these ruthless acts of evil. I won’t get into this because it makes me sick. It’s not a gun problem, it’s a people problem. I will only say this. A big part of our problem, is our “slap on the wrist” judicial system. My system would be very simple. You do wrong, you get hung by the neck until dead…..........end of story. One other thought, I am in agreement with having teachers, principals, or someone who is armed in every single schoolhouse, to hopefully prevent this atroscity from ever happening again.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View oldnovice's profile


6854 posts in 3368 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 12:40 AM

I also appreciate your thoughts and, though I cannot find any fault with what you wrote, I have a sickening feeling that many people don’t care or are afraid to let their feelings be know so as not to be “pigeon holed”!

Violence is abhorable, but is there more of it or are we being made aware of more of it? I have always thought, and was raised to believe, that all people are by nature good. However, after I graduated from UW and started working I found out that there are some people that do not have a conscience and I have a hard time understanding their motivation(s).

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2408 days

#3 posted 12-30-2012 03:14 AM

You got some nice tools there. I am sure you will put them to good use and learn a lot from them.

As I have said before, you write a great and insightful, thought-provoking blog….no matter what the subject.

Keep on, keepin’ on !

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3901 days

#4 posted 12-30-2012 11:49 AM

I Like this; I read it twice. Very thought provoking Joe. I especially resonate with: ”I suppose my church has been found in many wonderful facets from playing music with friends to peeling bark from a hickory tree knee deep in the woods. A sky laced with soon to fall snow or a herd of 800 mph stock cars blazing around an asphalt oval on a Saturday night. I have found miles of lengthy fortune in simple measures.”

Thanks, Stewart

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Brit's profile


7376 posts in 2842 days

#5 posted 12-30-2012 08:17 PM

Anyone got a hatchet I can borrow? I promise I’ll give it back, but you can hold on to my Justin Beaver CD just in case I forget.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2840 days

#6 posted 12-31-2012 12:56 AM

Joe I have just started a bit of green woodwork and I am not used to being squirted in the eye with tree sap. I am enjoying what I have done so far. Thanks for the inspiration.
Joe I love that axe.
Keep up the good work.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3089 days

#7 posted 01-01-2013 03:58 PM

Always a pleasure when you share your thoughts.
beautiful tools.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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