An Evangelistic Gestation.

This past Sunday I was once again joined a couple friends to demonstrate the traditional woodworking skills of turning logs into stuff at The Castlerock Museum of Arms and Armor in Alma WI. This is the third time we've done this "Forest to Furniture" event, this time they let us make a mess inside due to uncooperative weather. Of course I'd happily work in the driving rain to stand in the company of Tom Latane ( and Paul Nyborg (

The best thing about doing these shows is most of the audience doesn't know the first thing about woodworking. I don't like it because it's easier, (in fact the questions can be more complex) I like it because it spreads the word outside the already converted. Many woodworking demonstrations happen for woodworkers. These can be good things, new techniques and new tricks can be learned.

Showing hand tool woodworking to the uninitiated is a lot like performing a magic show. The awe at the effect sharp steel and the concept of a log turning into something useable is palpable. It seems like something that we've left behind as a society and when it's rediscovered, . .  well it's a hell of a lot of fun to be the catalyst for that. 

Ratione et Passionis


  1. Derek, I agree with your observations. One of the most rewarding things I have had happen at an event is having an elderly person walk up and just watch. You eventually feel that they are doing more than just observing and you may engage them in conversation or I have even had some stare at a particular tool and you can tell there is a story there. When I see this I usually invite them to examine it or I ask if they have experience with the tool. I have been told some very good stories from these events which I cherish.


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