Please Consider Checking Out My Website: MonkWerks.org
I decided to take last week off; Holy Week was a busy one and I needed a little rest – he didn’t go to Cozumel, no really he didn’t. But I am back this week talking obliquely about a project I started in my shop. Its a little hush-hush because I am participating in a tool swap on the Woodworkingtalk.com forum, and we are not supposed to say what we are building nor for whom we are building it. If we do so, the tool being built for us is automatically swapped out with the Little Tikes Discover Sounds Workshop (I thought about it, it is a sweet toy) and we have to make a pair of winding sticks only with the tools provided with the workshop. I am enjoying the build immensely. I have near carte blanche on what to build (it just has to fit in a medium sized, USPS Flat-Rate box) and the biggest problem is narrowing down what I want to build with my skill set.
Before the advent of mass production – really, you’re giving a history lesson – part of the way you moved from an apprentice to a journeyman was building your tool chest and the implements of your trade. The chest was your sales model, how you advertized your capabilities. It is so far from our modern experience that we see it as out of our grasp, reserved for the select craftsmen who are meticulously obsessive about detail. That view is simply untrue. Building your own tools is not that difficult, and with a few basic skills anyone can build tools of which to be proud – don’t worry, we edited out the part where he quoted himself from a few months ago.
I cannot give too many details right now, but the tool I am building requires only a basic number of skills: flattening stock, cutting wood, drilling a hole, tapping a hole, and finishing (oh, and using a hack saw and grinder is helpful but not required). Those simple skills can build a tool worth $100. That is it! When approaching a project, look at the skills necessary to complete it, not the size or time or perceived difficulty level – now I get it, he’s doing a motivational speaker thing – which will tell you whether or not is a doable project. It will also let you know if it is a skill you are capable of learning. Push yourself, learn new skills. I do not consider myself a great woodworking guru – at least we can agree with him on that one – but I am able to make some tools.
Alright, because I am interested in possibly getting the Little Tikes’ toy, I am going to drop a hint:
-- Fr. Thomas, http://www.monkwerks.org