Pondering things

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Blog entry by toolchap posted 02-06-2011 06:38 PM 729 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

On a few occasions I peep at thoughts, the sharing of others and find an enjoyment of sincerity and growth in others which of course translates to a growth in myself.

Why did I start writing it now? Perhaps a quiet place where only those searching would find me. Do I lack the confidence to share what I have learnt? Perhaps. As I have grown older (This without comparison to the age of others, but my own journey) I have found that most of what we do in woodworking has been done before and often better. Thus the longer I think about it, the more I feel I am ill-equipped to offer much beyond my thoughts. You know those moments when you are working alone? When all manner of drab and dull thinking is surrounded by the contented happiness of the actual doing? Then from nowhere….really?? those occasional epiphanies. Reinventing the wheel so to speak. Something you find later written by someone else, yet for that moment, it was your own. The first. In the quietness of the shop when you have just switched off a machine, that ringing still in your ears, you are awestruck.

This is it for me. A personal journey that up to now I share with few. I feel humbled as I get older.

Yesterday a fellow woodworker came to me with a laminated pine stool top with a circumference of 350mm. He asked whether I would turn it for him as his lathe was too small. The next question: “Do you mind if I watch while you turn?” I chuckled and answered that I prefer working alone. Here was the rub. Alone. My successes and failiures alike, happened alone. Reaching for success, whatever that is, is something most of us do better once we have realised what our personal definition of it is. I am accomplished at what I do, I do it efficiently and to the best of my ability. I have done this for nigh 20 years now, this making a living largely as a woodworker and of late, a metalworker as well. As needs must, the devil drives. Or something like that.

These are meanderings possible best kept to myself. Fortunately the site is large and there is so much interesting work out there that only a few will find this little meandering.

Todays thought…as ever…to live this moment and its immediate neigbours to the full.

9 comments so far

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 2851 days

#1 posted 02-06-2011 06:51 PM

I think all humans are unique and born with a divine spark for creativity. With the trick being not succumbing to all societies and cultures that are hell bent on suppressing that uniqueness in the interest of fairness to the majority that can only manage to percieve themselves as another cog in the wheel without much uniqueness.

The majority of humans possessing this divine spark but not using it are literally spending their lives standing on a whale and fishing for minnows.

Theres my deep thought for the day. Thanks for yours.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Sodabowski's profile


2123 posts in 1679 days

#2 posted 02-06-2011 07:06 PM

I also found your post, and don’t have much left to say as Miles already said so much.

Personnally, I never turn it down when someone asks me for help or advice, but that’s another part of the journey: gaining enough self-confidence to share these very personal moments, even if that means being in a position where someone else could criticize the way I do it, or learn me the obvious trick I’ve missed so far, or merely learn from my experience, and that last point is the only one I really care about. Be it in human relationships, ww, DIY, using a computer, picking up chicks, understanding guys (for the girls), whatever can help make life more enjoyable to others is good for me to share if I’m asked to.

Though I understand your point.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 1786 days

#3 posted 02-06-2011 10:53 PM

...And I am one of the few that DO find your meanderings! Then, I am one of even fewer with whom you have shared moments of your personal journey, as have I with you. Thank you for that. Physically we work alone, yes. Spiritually we can have company anytime we choose. Sometimes we don’t even have the choice… Sweet shavings my brother.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 1844 days

#4 posted 02-07-2011 01:54 AM

I think it just gets to a point when you realize what is important and you stop being that interested in doing things to impress others and begin to challenge yourself. I guess that it takes the perspective of age to read what others say and compare to what we know and have seen for ourselves to separate the grain from the chaff. Many of the things that we read from others become integrated into our thinking, much is also discarded. Before we reach that point, all we really can do is go through the motions and repeat what others say by rote. Often, you can have to wade through a huge pile to find the one grain that is worth keeping. Sometimes you come up empty but what you discard also becomes part of you.

The thinking is what makes working by hand so much more enjoyable. It is easy to get lost in what you are doing.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View toolchap's profile


138 posts in 1766 days

#5 posted 02-07-2011 06:40 AM

Then there are the times when those you seek will find you. Enough said.

View mafe's profile


10027 posts in 1935 days

#6 posted 02-07-2011 06:15 PM

Found you!
We are never alone, and to reinvent is in our nature.
To share are a challange, but I think it’s also our nature, to feel a joy by ssing others learn, and to feel we give back to the big circle called life.
I think also it is our nature to be happy when others like or see what we do, I hope I will never get to old for that. I think this is a good driving energy also.
So share what you can, but never expect to get back, this will make you rich in your heart.
Best thoughts,

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

View toolchap's profile


138 posts in 1766 days

#7 posted 02-07-2011 08:58 PM

“This is it for me. A personal journey that up to now I share with few. I feel humbled as I get older.”

Allow me to step back and clarify: I share my knowledge and experience freely to those who seek my advice and whom I think I can help. I have come this far with the help of a few 1000 old spirits, some still alive but most gone for now. This circle of knowledge is not mine to break, even the things I found which perhaps I have not seen elsewhere. And regarding the absorption of knowledge from others….One of my personal statements “I shall die an apprentice.”

I have met folks who are in love with their own voices, pedantic, overbearing and egotistical. They do unseen damage to those who they deem to know less but are in fact truly seeking more. If I ever think myself guilty of this, please someone kick me slowly and painfully to death.

However, thank you all for reading my ramblings. I truly expected less and the quality I found in these few answers left me with a good feeling. Know that I have a quiet smile inside…..

View mafe's profile


10027 posts in 1935 days

#8 posted 02-07-2011 09:03 PM

You should have a big wonderful and warm smile inside, you deserve this.
I try not to see those people you describe, it’s the rest who add color to my life, and I to theirs (I pary and hope).
Best thoughts on your further journey,

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

View Sodabowski's profile


2123 posts in 1679 days

#9 posted 02-08-2011 01:26 AM


-- Holy scrap Barkman!

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