Man thinks,God laughs

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Blog entry by kiwi1969 posted 02-19-2009 09:18 AM 1156 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My old boss once told me that “man thinks, God laughs” Well I have to say right about now the Big guy must be thinking i,m just hysterical. In my last blog I related the tale of how things had gone from bad to worse here in the Philippines ( sad violin music optional) and how business wise it just didn,t happen.Well all I can say about this year is it has been more of the same. None of my plans have gotten off the ground, I was supposed to have my workbench completed by now and a couple of sawhorses, not to mention a traditional tool chest and I was hopeing to be well on the way to completing my handplanes and the bicycle free wheel treadle lathe that has always intrigued me, but financial hardship and illness have taken their toll this month and the only good thing was the free wood I was given, which should be enough for some picture frames or small boxes, just enough for me to practice my new found desire to make all my projects by hand. But at least there has been another opportunity apear before me, not related to woodworking in any way, that I should be able to take advantage of, if God would just stop laughing at me for a moment. I don,t want to say to much about it as I don,t want to jinx it, but it would mean an end to my career as a woodworker, in the professional sense at least, and to be honest I will not be shedding any tears at this turn of events, in fact the beers are on me!
I will be glad to see the back of the factories, glad to be out of the noise, the dust and the danger. Glad to free myself of the pressures of deadlines, the shop floor politics, the tedium of standing at a machine for days at a time, pushing buttons to produce thousands of pieces of average furniture that only have to look good for a couple of years until they end up on the kerbside for someone else to collect as junk.
So despite the hardtimes i,m thankfull this site is here to entertain and inspire. Frustratingly I don,t have much in the way of woodworking projects to share with you at the moment, I can only offer comments where I think i,m relevant and admire the projects that get the juices flowing and keep me motivated and positive. And if this new oportunity comes to pass I will finally be able to post pictures of my hand tool only workshop, I might even wear a puffy sleeved shirt and a silly hat, Just like Adam Cherubini!
Here,s a couple of different veiws of Filipino woodworking. Which would you choose to work in?

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

7 comments so far

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3710 days

#1 posted 02-19-2009 09:29 AM

Wow, the pics are cool… That headboard is gorgeous.

I hope things pick up for you.


-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3910 days

#2 posted 02-19-2009 11:18 AM

Rhetorical question, I’m sure. I hope things work out for you

That’s one giant bowsaw! 2 person I’m sure. Would that be used for resawing?

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4084 days

#3 posted 02-19-2009 01:13 PM

Ya’ll need a dust collector.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 3978 days

#4 posted 02-19-2009 02:29 PM

Keep pushing for what you love. By the way, I was in the Philippines in 2006. I saw many small furniture stores. I wanted so bad to stop and see what they were building, but never had the time. Here are some of my pictures from when I was there.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3741 days

#5 posted 02-19-2009 03:45 PM

First off, I wish you well in your endeavors. Looks like things have actually progressed in the Filipino woodworking industry. I was in the Philippines back in the ‘70’s, when the Navy still had bases there, and most of the woodwork was done by guys in little tin shacks. They were quite amazing. You could show them a picture of what you wanted, spread out your hands to indicate how big you wanted it, and in about 2 weeks it would be done. Like you said, very passable for several years, then it would fall prey to the improperly cured wood problems. It was fun to watch those guys work though. Well, again, good luck, and thanks for the post.

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3438 days

#6 posted 02-20-2009 03:32 AM

In case anyone was wondering that is NOT the factory I was managing, these guys supplied a major american chain store ( the one with the two red circles starting with T) and not long after these were taken they went bust. Chasing big american contracts is a double edged sword, the rewards can be in the millions of dollars per year, but the penaltys for deadline overruns and quality issues can sink you real fast. The contracts are tough and the pressure is intense. These guys overstreached to get the contracts and simply failed to meet their obligations. Some 800 plus people lost their jobs and none of the machinery and timber suppliers got paid. The people in the pictures just went back to the shanties from whence they came to survive until the next factory comes along.
STEVE Resawing like this is still common but not in a pit like we would see in our history books, its done with one end of the beam resting on a x frame and is surprisingly fast.
TIM You still buy furniture the same way now, the tin shacks are still there and they still charge you double if your a foreigner! And they still call you”joe”

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 3438 days

#7 posted 03-07-2009 10:44 AM

WOW that was an eye opener. I do hope you fair well


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