Sunday, March 7, 2010

"When you get to the end of your rope. . .

 . . . tie a knot and hold on" That's how the saying is supposed to go. At one point several years ago I worked for an Operating Room that was going through a lot of changes. Our charge nurse found this cute little saying and thought she would burst morale, little did she fully understand what critics an OR staff can contain. Not that I'm proud of it now, but my younger, more passive aggressive self walked around one evening with a sharpie and modified every sign I could to read "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a noose and hang yourself."  The curse is I took what could be an up beat reminder to stay happy and focused and drowned it in my defeatist sarcasm forever. Now whenever I think of that saying, or hear someone say they are at the end of their rope, a noose is the only thing that comes to mind.

I am kind of battling that same mentality right now and all I have to do is convince myself to hold on and we'll come out the other side soon. I also have to remind myself to stay away from the proverbial gallows pole. In my quest to refurbish, renew and add to my hand tools I am starting to walk the line. Some of these items have been used and abused by myself for a few years, and god knows how long by others before they got to me. I have learned a ton along this curve and god knows they were needed lessons, I see the need for a book out there to help others walk a similar path. (maybe I will write that myself one day because I haven't found one that I think does the entire process justice) but the truth is I'm not a woodworker because I like to MAKE tools, I'm a woodworker because I like to USE tools to MAKE sawdust. And though there has been some of that along the way, I feel like I am putting in a lot of work, and in my conscious mind I know I'm making progress and doing well, but in my subconscious mind I'm doing a lot of work and there is not much extra or new to show for it. Mostly I am working on the tools I own, not adding new ones, so I see nothing extra or added in my minds eye to prove progress, and I get restless at times when I see no progress.

Its the difference between hanging drywall and finishing drywall. Hanging drywall is very satisfying, you have bare studs before you, and you get to work. Several sheets up and you can see progress. Several more sheets and you have transformed bare studs into a wall. Then comes the muding, taping, and sanding to finish the drywall. You still know you are making progress, but you feel like you are covering the same ground again and again, revisiting the same dimple in the wall over and over. Hanging drywall - very gratifying, finishing drywall requires more persistence and discipline.

I guess I still have to work on the discipline part a bit.

The planes were finished today, just the scrub plane in the mail to go. For good measure I also took apart all my spokeshaves today and sharpened them as well. So the planes are done (again minus 1) so I set up to sharpen the last two saws of the four brothers. Then I made the mistake of coming upstairs to get a drink and take a break. I never made it back down to the shop. Instead my wife and I ended up taking an impromptu Saturday afternoon nap together. (I must admit, that was pretty gratifying as well)

Next on the agenda is remaking handles for my bench chisels. Out with the crap poly-plastic handles and in with some nice oak  wooden ones. The trick will be making them without a lathe set up... Rasp, drawknife, spokeshave, and scraper card I guess. We'll see how it goes. Anyhow until then

Cheers

Oldwolf

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