Recent Shop Talk

“You could just buy a window like that in a store. But maybe not in oak, or not unless you went to a joiner. What kind of wood did you use for the bottom part there?”

“At school we had real benches, you know made of beech.”

“That’s made of two boards? Ah, OK, but you don’t have that kind of machine that you use to make the edges flat… Yes, a jointer.”

“Papa, when are you going to finish my bow?”

“Where are all your real tools?… You know the electric ones, um with tables or something?”

“You made that with that? I see those kinds of planes all the time at the flea markets. You don’t have a router?”

“Hey Coppette, I saw something like this in that book you translated. Take it. No, it’s your’s. I have a couple of them, and I never use them.”

I can’t imagine the comments I will get if I get pretty good working wood with my hands.

— Brian Anderson, the translator of “Grandpa’s Workshop.

About Chris Schwarz

Publisher of woodworking books and DVDs specializing in hand tool techniques.
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15 Responses to Recent Shop Talk

  1. “Your bow is finished sweetheart.”

  2. tsstahl says:

    I usually get asked to fix something when people find out about my woodworking interest.

    Often times it is a musical instrument; about which I know pretty much nothing.

  3. Eric R says:

    I have people ask me to build them a specific (highly complex) project on the spur of the moment
    and then ask me why it’s not done a week later…”well, I thought you just ran it through a bunch of machines, or something”…..

  4. Dave from IN says:

    Brian, I’m not sure what kinds of comments you will get either, but I can tell you this: My son (5 years old) absolutely LOVES the book and asked me, “Daddy, why don’t you have all of these tools?” My wife unfortunately overheard that question, much to my chagrin.

    Thanks for helping to put out such a wonderful book!
    David

    • bawrytr says:

      Thank you David, I also think it is a wonderful book. My girls loved it too. An absolute pleasure from the moment I found the book.

  5. “You carved that sign?” ,,, “Yes I did” ,,,, “Is it hard to do that with a router? How do you make your templates?” ….. ” UMM , I carved the sign, Like with a hammer and chisel.” ….. “Oh , why don’t you just use a router?”

    Thus ends another pointless conversation with people who walk into my shop.

  6. Jonas Jensen says:

    Fabulous comments.
    I especially liked “Where are all your real tools”?

  7. Clark Schoonover says:

    So you’re like that guy on TV? He always cuts himself and stuff. Hey, that’s pretty neat! Whats his name? Norm? Tommy?

  8. Paul says:

    That boow needs more work!

    • bawrytr says:

      Yeah, what it needs is a couple of coats of varnish. I got it tillered out nice the other day. Maia was really happy. But she left it out in the carport all night, it was really humid and by morning it had absorbed so much water that it was like a noodle, amazing. I needed a really light bow and the limbs are only about 1/8th of an inch thick so it doesn’t take long.

  9. Brett says:

    I’ll bet some of the questions I ask of people who have hobbies or occupations I am unfamiliar with sound pretty corny, too. Just sayin’.

    • Joe Woodworker says:

      :( get over it , put your big girl panties on.

    • bawrytr says:

      I see your point. The thing is though, that these were mostly not folks I had invited into my shop to admire my handiwork. My shop is a garage, close to the street and the door is open when I am working. These were mostly folks from the village who just felt compelled to add their two cents. Hand work, especially with antique tools, just seems to bug some people for some reason. I get positive feedback too, but it would sound kind of puffed up to blog about it.

  10. Paul B says:

    I somehow imagined that of all the world’s people, French villagers would be the most excited to see an traditional knowhow kept alive.

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