Category Archives: Musings

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

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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

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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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It Doesn’t Matter What Route You Take, As Long As You Get There, Right?

“It doesn’t matter what route you take, as long as you reach your destination.” I see different versions of this sentiment pop up frequently on various forums.  It’s usually offered as a reasonable middle ground when two people are hotly … Continue reading

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Countdown to Simplicity

I like simple tools, and the simpler the better.  One measure of simplicity is the number of discrete parts the tool is made of.  Some relatively simple tools, such as a hand plane or an eggbeater drill, have a lot … Continue reading

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This Is Why We Need Art

I was making dinner the other day, and I happened to glance out the window and see three boys walking home from the neighborhood swimming pool.  They were fooling around, as boys are wont to do, and I paid them … Continue reading

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Getting It Done: 4 Tips for Marathon Woodworkers

Most woodworkers I know fall into one of two categories: the Piddler-Putterer, and the Marathoner.  The Piddler-Putterer starts a lot of projects and tinkers with them from time to time, but he’s in no hurry.  He seldom finishes a project, … Continue reading

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