Never Changing

     I believe that what makes working with hand tools so enjoyable and relaxing is the unchanging nature of the craft. Whether you were building furniture centuries in the past or for decades into the future, wood is still wood. The material stays the same, and the rules for shaping it stay the same. While technology may be improving the steels we use to cut through wood, or the machines we may use, the rules and techniques remain the same. Run a blade against the grain and it will tear; cut with the grain and the blade will glide through the wood leaving a brilliant surface. Green wood will always be softer to cut and bend with little assistance. Dry wood will always be tougher and less susceptible to warping. No matter where you are and what you make, the material is the same.

     I recently spent a few months away from the craft due to moving houses during the winter. After the move my time was devoted to other hobbies and just staying inside where it was warm. As the spring air moved in I could feel a part of me was missing; a sense of comfort and home. It had been too long since I worked in my shop. As I began to organize the new shop I could feel that missing part of me return. My creative mind began to stir again and that sense of being at home came back.

     Even though during my time away from the craft I learned about new things and changed a little as a person, the work I enjoyed before had not changed. The new shop still smelt of an assortment of fresh cut woods and my tools still affected the wood as it had before. Nothing had changed and it was comforting; the quite sounds of a plane cutting through wood on a rainy day, the sound of birds chirping while sawing through soft pine, the gentle crinkling sounds of my feet walking on the shavings of a hard days work, the soft glimmering surface of hand planed walnut. No matter how much we change or the things around us change, our connection to the craft won’t. As for myself, I find that comforting.


4 thoughts on “Never Changing

  1. Hello Carters –
    I’m very happy to see you online again and greatly look forward to you posting new blog entries. I do believe that what you posted earlier on YouTube, lumberjocks and other sites is some of the best and most inspirational material on woodworking I’ve come across. I espescially like your very calm and composed way of describing what you do. Thank you for your earlier posted material and and any possible new entries I can look forward to.
    Best regards from a fellow, albeit not as skilled, wood worker from Sweden

  2. Hello Carter, I am very much inspired by your work. As with most of my woodworking superheros I wish they could pump out information and videos for me to relish all day long, but I know it is not that easy. While reading your post about your shop I found it strange that I really feel the same way. While I enjoy other things I always seem to gravitate to my shop, sometimes just to sit back and think, my fortress of solitude.

    I have tried on many occasions to share my passion for my shop with my two sons but they always look like they will fall into a coma after five or ten minutes of being out there. Sometimes I do not understand why I feel the way I do when I hold a plane in my hands or have my hand wrapped around the handle of a hand saw or other tool. For a long time I thought perhaps it was my sons that just did not appreciate the feeling of working with your mind, body, and soul, that place in the universe that everything seems to make sense. However when I look around at my other friends I can see that they do not really care about it either.

    It is good to have a place to go and relate to others that enjoy their shops, their tools, the projects they build, and of course the world that we create when we are there.

    Thank you,
    Karl Druschke

    • Thank you very much for your comments Karl. I am lucky to have a few good friends who share the same thoughts on woodworking as me.

      While I currently do not have many actually projects to post on this site I will continue to post a few blog entries as inspiration strikes. I do not have any big plans for the site, it is simply a place I can post my thoughts (and eventually projects) so that others, like yourself, may learn from or be encouraged by.

      Curt Carter

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