Sunday, June 17, 2012

Best Job in Woodworking

One of the Best Jobs in Woodworking 
Producing and hosting The Highland Woodworker is a dream. In the dream I am a dressed in a kilt with my trusted Irish hat upon my head. I am swinging a sword over my head and swinging it down to slice off big chunks of wood revealing a sculptured rocker. NO! EXCUUUSE ME! That was the wrong dream, I am not producing The Highlander Woodworker I produce The Highland Woodworker. Let me tell you about that dream and it's real.

Some woodworkers might say that I produce this show just so I can meet the icons of woodworking like Roy Underhill and Brian Boggs in their shops and spend some quality time with them. To that ridiculous thought I must say, "Absolutely, YES"!

Imagine sitting in Roy Underhill's living room talking to him about how he took an axe to North Carolina Public Television's studio to pitch his famous The Woodwright's Shop show concept. You would not have had a hard time coaxing me to take a tour of Whiteside Machine Company and find out how they make those award winning router bits. One of my favorite chair makers is Brian Boggs, the first time I saw one of Brian's chairs I went back to the museum exhibit every afternoon for a week to see its perfect form and function. In our second episode of The Highland Woodworker I was in Brian's shop talking about band sawing techniques. Wow!

If you haven't seen Highland Woodworking's new internet magazine show called The Highland Woodworker, well it's free and you can watch me have this dream as many times as you would like at Did I mention that it's FREE

The Lowly Scraper Could be "King of Tools"!

After a recent class I noticed that my "go-fast, down-hill, no idea who made it or where it came from favorite scraper" had departed for "Parts Unknown"! It was the perfect scraper and very important to me. I could pluck a mistake right from the surface of a project with it without bothering any of the adjacent surface or having to back up much in my sanding schedule. It bent just right in hand to make a convex or concave surface. It always seemed to know what I wanted it to do and intuitively gave me the results I wanted. Someone unknowingly has this small piece of steel in their collection now and I wondered if it has become as friendly with the new master as it was with me. Parting has been sorrowful as I didn't have a "Go To" scraper to be used for the final detailng of a surface or popping a line on a project.

I have been searching for a replacement. Some were too stiff, some scrapers were too flexible until just recently I found one that was "Just Right"!

Mark Morris from Asheville, NC was down for a day of private lessons. I watched him go through his box of tools and picked a Lie-Nielsen scraper from his collection. YES! Love at first bend. I ordered a set (have to purchase a stiff and a flexible set though I just wanted the flexible one) and they arrived. Yesterday I enjoyed shaping a settee with my new friend. I liked it and I believe it liked me. We may become friends on Facebook.

Although, I would still love to have my "go-fast, down-hill, no idea who made it or where it came from favorite scraper" back home (and if you see a scraper that is not yours but seems to be flexible send it to me), I can go on and be my sculptural self.