Sunday, July 6, 2014

Change The World



"The mere act of owning real tools and having the power to use them is a radical and rare idea that can help change the world around us and - if we are persistent - preserve the craft."
Chris Schwarz - The Anarchist's Tool Chest

I have the most amazing woman in the world supporting me. My wife Naomi listens patiently to all my hair brained ideas and ramblings as I piece things together. I understand it can't be easy to put up with me everyday, yet for almost twenty years she has done it with a smile, well, most of the time there's a smile. I was worried my next idea may just push her over the edge into the "not smiling anymore" zone. 

As I worked on the first draft of the chapter on the Maciejowski Bible Footstool, I came across a problem. I needed a way to succinctly show the basics of woodworking joints without getting into a dissertation on them. I decided to create an appendix in the book, something of a brief "Gray's Anatomy of Joinery" section. So I could refer to the page when talking about the cheeks of a tenon, without getting bogged down in explaining in text. 

There are several options to showcase joints, but hand drawing them appealed to me the most. There were other ideas I wanted to have hand drawn for the book as well. Issue being, there was no great place to do this kind of work in our small house. We have a small dining room table, but it's neither comfortable to work at, nor is the flat surface ever free from the clutter of a five person household that includes three teenagers. 

So I proposed an idea to my wife, unsure whether she'd agree or not. I asked to empty out our dining room area and bring in my Father-In-Law's drafting table which he's had in storage for quite a while. 


She didn't even hesitate to say yes.

I cleaned out the area and retrieved the table last weekend and the last few days I've been spending a few hours a day stretching muscles I haven't worked in nearly 20 years. I regularly sketch ideas for furniture and I've made measured drawings, but I haven't done anything I'd consider "real" drawing since the days of drowning myself in art classes. 

The muscles are there, the refinement is returning, and I'm having fun renewing a skill I have not worked on since I was young enough to take it for granted. 


They're not worthy of a gallery, but they'll get the job done. 

Thank you Naomi. 

Ratione et Passionis
Oldwolf

4 comments:

  1. You are correct....you are a lucky man.

    For not drawing for years, they are not bad and even if I didn't work wood I could understand what you were trying to show. Good job. BTW, Galley work isn't needed for illustration, just clarity.

    One more BTW, I'll be at Bad Axe for the Sept class. I would like to buy you a beer if you have time.

    ken

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    1. Ken,

      Baring the end of the world or similar disaster, I'd love to catch a beer with you. I'll make the time. Drop me an email and I'll get you my contact info. oldwolfworkshop@gmail.com

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  2. Very nice setup. I would do anything to be able to install a proper drafting table in my house. The drawings look very good.

    Greg

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  3. Wonderful drawings Derek. You're right about retrieving an old skill. It doesn't take long, My drafting skills came from college engineering courses over 60 years agon and I still use them frequently.

    It's also great to have such a great drafting table to work with, and a spouse who likes having you/it around. :)

    What you need nest is a sliding parallel rule. for that table. You can find them as wide as the table itself if you're willing to search, or you can make one. This fellow has a video about making one very inexpensively. (Frankly, for an heirloom drafting table, I think I would go to the effort of putting all fasteners on the bottom side.)

    Not only is it a wonderful tool for making parallel lines and any others you might draw with a triangle riding the rule, it is also good for keeping your beer mug from sliding down the table. :)

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