Category Archives: Musings

What’s in a Name?

Since middle school, most of us have hesitated to let other people give us names. Name-calling is a basic tool in the toolbox of bullies and leaders of cliques. And even though our parents mostly gave us nice, socially-acceptable names, … Continue reading

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Literary Workshop is 10 Years Old Today!

Ten years ago today, I launched this blog with this single-paragraph post: Another Woodworking Blog? Really? Yes, another woodworking blog.  Why?  I started working wood only a few years ago, and I quickly began to chronicle my progress on WoodNet, … Continue reading

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The Gift of Time: 8 Ways to Use Extra Time in the Shop

Time is the greatest of gifts.  None of us knows how much of it we will have over our lifetime, and once it’s gone we can never get it back.  That’s why I’m not much bothered by the prospect of … Continue reading

Posted in Kids, Musings, sharpening, skills, storage, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Want to Carve Spoons? Use a Template

On a spoon-carving forum I read, the question of templates comes up frequently.  A lot of spoon carvers say they “just wing it,” or as others put it, “just see what the wood wants to be.” Now, there’s no question … Continue reading

Posted in Carving, handicraft, Musings, skills, Wood and Woodwork, Woodenware | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The One Essential Hand Tool

I have a favorite hand tool, one which has been with me (in one form or another) for most of my life.   It’s my most-used hand tool, and the one I would be most reluctant to part with.  It’s … Continue reading

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Crafting (in) the Home: Passing on Your Skills to your Children

I just returned from a conference on community building called The Urban Village: From Cloud-Castles to Blueprints, sponsored by The Servi Institute in Oklahoma City, OK, where I gave a presentation on passing on manual skills to children by letting … Continue reading

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The Parable of the Homemade Wine

Once there was a man who had a garden and an orchard.  He grew many kinds of fruits–plums, figs, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes.  His fruits grew so well that he needed something to do with them, so he began to … Continue reading

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Spoon Carving Templates

I don’t remember exactly when I began to use templates to lay out my wooden spoons and spatulas, but after I had made my first dozen or so wooden spoons, I hit upon a couple of spoon shapes that just … Continue reading

Posted in Carving, Musings, Wood and Woodwork, Woodenware | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Folly of “Prepping”

What is the best way to preserve a seed?  I first came across this question in a gardening book, and it’s a trick question.  The answer, of course, is to plant it. I have thought about that question a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Kids, Musings, Wood and Woodwork | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

This Isn’t Me Anymore

Like a lot of guys, I used to collect weapons.  Well, “collect” is probably too strong a word, but I’ve had various blades hanging on the wall for a long time.  But the time has come to take them down. … Continue reading

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