The other day I spent hours doing 5 minutes of work. I had decided that the firetruck I am working on, should have telescopic outirggers to help it balance when the ladders are fully extended. Of course I am too cheap to buy a pattern so I found some blue prints online (www.seagrave.com) and I have been working from those to try to make this work. I spent hours measuring and drawing and cutting, then recutting, then realizing I cut it too short, then starting over again, then cutting, then cutting the wrong side then… I am guessing some of you may have experienced the same type of thing. A friend came over shortly after and in about 5 minutes showed me how to draw a pattern that worked right the first time. I sat there in stubborn disbelief. Why hadn’t I asked him in the first place? This has been a life long struggle for me. I am not really a vain person in my day to day activities, but I hate asking for help. I am not sure how much of that is wanting to be selfreliant because I don’t want to be vulnerable to others or how much of that is that I love the feeling of having figured it out for myself. My dad had many sayings that he shared with me before I lost him a few years ago. Often, instead of correcting my mistakes, he would simply shake his head and say “old too soon, smart too late”. He knew that my personality leant itself towards wanting to figure it out for myself if the lesson was going to have any meaning. He was also suggesting that trial and error over time would teach me what he couldn’t. He was right. I am discovering that wood working, like life, is so much easier if I am humble enough to admit when I need help and seek the advice of a master to steer me towards the best path for reaching the results I was hoping for. I am so blessed to have someone who is a master carpenter that I can call on for help. There are so many great tips, and lessons I am learning that keep me from wasting time, wasting wood, keep me safe and giving me the tools and skills to be more creative. I am beginning to see that iinstead of being limited by the instruction, I am getting more freedom to use my gifts in different way when I take the master’s advice. I think about my dad’s words alot and I am seeing another master’s advice in them. I am still getting old too soon, but my time covered in saw dust is showing me that perhaps it isn’t too late to become a little smarter.
-- The CNC machine can either produce the work of art you imagined, or very decorative firewood.