September 1, 2008 – Labor Day

Well, it’s Labor Day…Okay…for me it’s Monday.  I depend on what I accomplish to live, what I get done is reflective of what I earn.  Number of hours, overtime, have no impact whatsoever, so yes, it would be nice to not work today, but its not a luxury I can afford.  I have a lot of projects to complete so here I am…and that’s what this blog is about.  My day to day happenings, it’s a look into my world, not intended to be an instructional tool.  I do show you a lot of what and somewhat how I do it, but the videos are the instruction, not this blog.

That has been hard for me to get used to because most everything I write is instructional.  In the course of a given day, my mind is constantly on “how would I describe or show this.”

As I was travelling to and from the class I did on Saturday.  What’s missing here?  What’s not coming across and I think I know what it is.  It’s the basics.  As we have been doing the Step Back it has been intimidating for a lot of folks but for me it is Woodworking 101.  A very simple build.  Maybe it doesn’t seem it to you, but think about it.  The bottom is a box, screwed and plugged together and the upper case is the same, very basic construction, but what’s missing?

What is absent here is how I figured out the proportions, how I got the panels glued up and flat, how I cut them square, how I kept it all square, how I made sure everything fit….the basics.  While we have addressed these issues in many different videos and writes, they have never been brought into a simple and basic form and without the basics this step back would be extremely intimidating as well as overwhelming, so I think we need to back up and get the basics.

To understand, let’s compare this to cooking.  The basics are fry it, grill it, broil it, boil it, bake it.  Pretty much anything cooked is done in one of those ways.  Think about frying, heat is transformed to a pan, pan transforms heat to the food, too much heat – food cooks too fast on the outside, doesn’t get done on the inside or it is burned.  Now, what you fry, the list is endless.  How you season, use oil, no oil, all are endless topics but you have to understand the heat/pan thing or debating the rest is just a confusing mess.  Also, if you don’t have a stove, a fire will do, but if you don’t have something to act as a pan, well, it gets a little tougher.  Now a stick over an open flame can work on some things but if ya want egg’s over easy, well…you get my point.  It’s like a dado, you can use a table saw, a router, a hand plane, a hand saw and chisel, but all are means of achieving the same thing.  If ya don’t know what a dado is and when and where to use them, how deep, all that stuff, you are lost and I think there are a lot of folks who are in the “novice category and don’t have the basics and are too intimidated to ask…so perhaps this is where we need to go.

I have said and written many times how this isn’t “Rocket Science” cause if it was, I wouldn’t be doing it.  So maybe we need to build the foundation before we worry about the rest of the house.  I remember all too well how a lot of this intimidated and overwhelmed me.  I would watch or see something made and just hang my head and think, I’ll never be able to do that…I was wrong.

I learned the hard way, there was no computers, not much written, so it was a lot of trial and error, but I learned and in reality my way of building is very simple.  Now days, I have tools and things that help me get from point A to point B much easier and faster, but point A and point B have never changed and I think that is where we need to back up to and then move forward.  We need to also do a balance.  I have some thoughts, one is to do a moderately complex project, say a hanging corner cupboard and then do a “side” link of an in depth look at each step…still pondering on it.  If ya got any suggestions, let’s hear them.

Catch ya Later!

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3 Responses to September 1, 2008 – Labor Day

  1. David Harms says:

    Sounds great to me Charles. Every time I watch you do something I learn something new!

  2. Hi,what a beautiful jeans,thanks for sharing.I will get one like that.bill

  3. Hi, I just thought I would post a comment and let you know your web site layout is really screwed up on the Firefox browser. Seems to work OK in Internet Explorer though. Anyways keep up the great work.

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