Evening Air

 

 

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I find it often that the hour just after sunset is the most serene.  The sun has completed its rounds, furnishing the necessary light for flora and fauna to flourish.  It sinks into its hiding place just beyond what we can see and quietly tip toes around to appear again when our slumber is complete.  Without the warmth from the sun the temperature begins to subside.  The creatures all have found their place to rest, a quiet place, safe and secure.  The sounds of preparation, to sleep, can be heard.  The hens quietly settling down on their roosts.  Fluffing their feathers to insulate from the declining temperature.  The cow chewing away at its cud and lumbering slowly to find a soft spot to lay.  The birds of the air have found refuge in their nests.  The cool dryness of the air has caused the mosquitoes to go dormant.  The nocturnal’s are beginning to stir.  In the distance a coyote yelps.  Nature is following God’s plan.  Work with light and rest with darkness.

We humans have strayed from the path.  We try to conquer both night and day and bend them to our will to be productive.  A car passes on the highway, a train horn blows longingly in  the distance.  We trudge on trying to get the last bit of work done before collapsing from exhaustion.  Even inside the home, work carries on.  Cleaning, cooking, homework for the school children, it all continues as if there is no end.  Even when the work has ended and we sit, tired and longing for sleep, we stare mindlessly into that empty box, filled with made up reality.  Trying to ease our mind and make ourselves feel less stressed and more acceptable of our own situation.  Where are we?  Here, there, no where?  The constant barrage of sensation and stimuli leaves unable to feel.  To feel where we are and what is going on around us.  We have become numb to the authentic life and have replaced it with a version twisted and manipulated into an unrecognizable form.

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Perhaps, now, we should take those last moments as the sun slowly slips away to reconnect to the world around.   To take in those last moments of light and allow our bodies and minds to prepare for rest.  To once again be connected to the natural ebb and flow of nature and time.  Work and all of our created bustling will be there tomorrow.  Waiting for the sun to rise from its hiding place and once again give its light.  But for now, lets take in the serenity of the dimming light.  Let our minds and bodies follow their natural paths to rest.  Unplug ourselves, for just a moment, and breathe.

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Practice, practice, practice

The saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”.  Well, my hand tool skills are far from perfect, but I have been practicing.  My wife wanted me to build her and her sister a screen door frame with hardware cloth, or chicken wire covering the middle.  It is going to be used to display handmade necklaces and jewelry, hair bows, hair bow holders, and various other items that need vertical display space at craft and yard sales. 
So I dug out some rough sawn poplar from my Dad’s sawmill, I’ll post on that a little later, and started getting it prepped.  I did use power tools to get it sized and ripped to width.  After that I turned to hand tools to cut the four bridle joints.  This was my first set of bridle joints.  I’ve watched other people make them, Roy Underhill, Chris Swartz, Jim Tolpin, but these were all mine.  It took me a moment to figure out my methodology to cut the joints.  Boy, it is alot harder than any of those guys made it look.  However, by the fourth one I was getting alot better and more efficient. They still looked like I cut them with a chainsaw, but improvement was evident. 
After I got the joints cut and everything dry assembled, I made a rash decision and decided to nail it together.  I know, blasphemy.  Cut all those joints and then turn to nails.  I can remember my Grandaddy cutting bridle joints for field gates and nailing them together.  He always said that the glue wood eventually fail out in the weather and you would have to nail them anyways.  I even clinched the nails on the backside.  A technique I thought was lost until I ran across a Youtube video recently from The English Woodworker.
All in all I’m happy with the results even if they are a little crude.

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Practice, practice, practice

The saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”.  Well, my hand tool skills are far from perfect, but I have been practicing.  My wife wanted me to build her and her sister a screen door frame with hardware cloth, or chicken wire covering the middle.  It is going to be used to display handmade necklaces and jewelry, hair bows, hair bow holders, and various other items that need vertical display space at craft and yard sales. 
So I dug out some rough sawn poplar from my Dad’s sawmill, I’ll post on that a little later, and started getting it prepped.  I did use power tools to get it sized and ripped to width.  After that I turned to hand tools to cut the four bridle joints.  This was my first set of bridle joints.  I’ve watched other people make them, Roy Underhill, Chris Swartz, Jim Tolpin, but these were all mine.  It took me a moment to figure out my methodology to cut the joints.  Boy, it is alot harder than any of those guys made it look.  However, by the fourth one I was getting alot better and more efficient. They still looked like I cut them with a chainsaw, but improvement was evident. 
After I got the joints cut and everything dry assembled, I made a rash decision and decided to nail it together.  I know, blasphemy.  Cut all those joints and then turn to nails.  I can remember my Grandaddy cutting bridle joints for field gates and nailing them together.  He always said that the glue wood eventually fail out in the weather and you would have to nail the anyways.  I even clinched the nails on the backside.  A technique I thought was lost until I ran across a Youtube video recently from The English Woodworker.
All in all I’m happy with the results even if they are a little crude.

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Weekend Sawbench

Pretty cool little bench. Gives me some inspiration for building myself one.

Preindustrial Craftsmanship

A Saw horse or a full-size workbench, for Hobbits?

Baumeister_-_Holzschnitt_von_Jost_Amman_-_1536.svgLiving where I do, without a proper workshop, I have moved to a more portable setup.  Along with this, I have pared down by letting go a number of cumbersome tools.  However, a flat, solid surface is sorely missed.

shaving-horse A less messy version of my current shop.

I find myself working on the seat of the shave-horse or on top of saw horses quite a bit with my small table-saw serving as a layout table (when the project is small enough).  And yes, I do miss the full-size table saw for ripping long boards.

75-Amb-2-317-21-r.tif Here’s a recent photo of me in my make-shift workshop.

A little over a year ago I began scheming for a small, pre-industrial-style setup.  Something an itinerant carpenter or bodger would be likely to use.  It needed to be easy to move and store but provide a…

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