Blind Woodworking

Last night I had the honor of speaking  via phone with an amazing group of folks…blind woodworkers, and I have had the occasion to view their work, it is mind boggling .

  I can not even begin to imagine how they accomplish what they do, but rest assured they do, they have talking tape measures, talking computers , but table saws and the like, but they have al their individual ways, measuring is done sometimes using a threaded rod and nut, counting the threads and turns, and knowing the distance each revolution equates to, lock down miter gauges, and using scratch ,or scribe lines instead of marked lines…some have been sighted , some blind since birth,  the questions were great, but I found myself trying to think in their world and how to describe things,  an example would be   “shine”, gloss ,  if you have ever seen it you can understand it, if not how do you explain it, I referenced it to smoothness…something understandable from a feel standpoint…it was quite interesting to say the least and quite enjoyable , I have offered to do some CD’s for them if they will give me the subject matter,  I would personally enjoy doing it …but i did tell them they would have to coach me along,  the amazing thing for me was that unless you knew they were blind you would not have known from the questions., very on point , very advanced…simply amazing how they have overcome , to be able to do something that we would consider impossible, and do it extremely well , in many cases as well as any sighted person could do….just amazing…I stand humbled and glad to be their friend….. I would love to do a class with them …I really would…

   Well tonight at 9pm I will be chatting with my good friend Marc Spagnolo ..The Woodwhisperer on his guild site , should be fun, Marc and I have had numerous chats on all sorts of stuff…he is fun to talk to..sharp guy…

  well today , its process more wood and finish  some stuff and got to film a little bit, but right now its coffee time…need coffee..lots of it….Im getting to be like a 2 cycle engine with a fouled spark plug, getting harder to start, and want to spit and sputter alot until I warm up…then I can run….but seems the old fuel tank has gotten smaller…runs out quicker….cant seem to figure out what the problem is….went to the doc and got a tune up….didn’t seem to help…  think I need a vacation…. but thinking is about as far as it will get…oh the he** with it, gonna throw a little high octane in the tank and get with it..

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4 Responses to Blind Woodworking

  1. teenagewoodworker says:

    personally i just find that amazing… i dont know how i could do woodworking without my eyes… i do find myself using my hands alot to feel and feel has a big impact on my work but without vision i just am flabbergasted that they are able to build… oh and ill be setting my alarm for 9 tonight with the woodwhisperer 🙂

  2. Ken Weinert says:

    Terrazzo coffee from Puerto Rico is my favorite.

    It’s amazing what an attitude can do – to some, blindness would be a full stop end to thoughts of woodworking and for others it’s an inconvenience, something to be worked around.

    Life is like that for a lot of folks, whether or not they have physical disadvantages.

  3. DavidH says:

    i second the comments above amazing how people prevail no matter what.

    i wasn’t able to tune into your conversation with marc tonight i don’t have a guild membership, hope it went well.

  4. Torch02 says:

    I can’t even imagine what that must be like. The first thing that jumps out at me is how tuned-up their tools must be. Countless times I’ve made slight sight adjustments as I was working over the length of a piece. Talk about dialing-it-in accurate!

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