I am driven to learn new methods and create. The media and methods vary but creation is the goal. I started this blog as a way to record my journey and to share it with all who may find it of interest. Please enjoy your visit.
I grew up in an environment where everyone worked with their hands. My father, uncles and grandfathers could work on everything around the house. Hell, they built the houses that I grew up in. My mother, aunts and grandmothers could all sew, crochet, cook can and keep the household running. We never called on a repair service or contractor for anything. If something broke we fixed it. If we didn’t know how to fix it, we figured it out. Consequently, I learned how to do a lot of things. Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, appliance repair, there is nothing in or around my home that I cannot repair or maintain. I can even sew if the need be. As a child I assumed that this is how it is for everyone. As I grew older I began to realize that this was just not the case. It was actually a shock when I started to understand that quite a few people didn’t have what I had always considered basic skills. Now that I’m even (much) older, I see fewer and fewer people with even a very basic understanding of tools and how to work with their hands.
Because I grew up working with my hands my interests naturally tended toward craft. More pointedly, how was the craft done and what tools are involved? Drafting, woodworking, rope work and knots and leather working have always been where my interests lay. Its the process that fascinates me. To be able to create something of functional beauty from basic raw materials, what could be more rewarding? Note that I said functional beauty. Its very important to me that the things that I create serve a function and are actually put to use. There are people who are driven to create art for art’s sake. There is nothing wrong with that and has a place in this world. It’s just not for me. I get the most satisfaction, not from the making, but in the seeing of my creations being used. The more use an item I created shows the more beautiful it becomes. To my eyes at least.
So it saddens me to come into contact with so many people that have not learned to work with their hands. They are missing out on the satisfying and rewarding feeling that comes from creating and doing for yourself. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. Hopefully, through the internet, people will stumble onto my blog and find something that will inspire them to work with their hands and create something for themselves. I also hope that this blog will be useful to those who already work with their hands and help to expand their skills or introduce them to new ones. If my blog does none of these, then it is a failure. If it helps just one, then its a success.
Greetings, I am a complete novice in the realm of woodworking and want to take an introductory course. I live in Berlin, Germany and have not found any opportunities here. Can you recommend how to get started? I am willing to travel for a short course. I’d appreciate insights from someone as experienced as yourself on the matter of where to begin. Sincere thanks.
Thank you for the kind words.
Please have a look at Paul Sellers’ Woodworking Masterclasses. The instructional videos are very well done. There is some free content to you started. There is also a forum where everyone is very helpful.
Hi Greg, I really like your site. I was wondering how you developed your drafting skills? Did you take a course or are you self taught?
Thanks Greg, I’m glad you are enjoying my blog.
I had several mechanical drawing classes in school and I’m old enough that board drafting was required for my college degree. Additionally, the first engineering firm I worked for had several clients that still relied on old original hand drawings and these needed to be revised from time to time. What I post on here is sort of a my own style which is a mix of drafting and sketching. I enjoy doing these by hand and they satisfy my need to be artistic.
Hi Greg, I wanted to thank you for running this blog. It’s been a huge inspiration to me. I’ve only been woodworking for a few months now and one of the things that I’ve had problems with has been laying out joints. I really like the way you do this, would it be possible for you to do a post on this with a few basic joints laid out? If not could you point me in the right direction to learn more?
Wow! Thank you for the kind words Ken.
I have several posts on joinery layout as well as marking out the waste. Click on the Joinery category in the sidebar. In the “Project Illustrations..” tab above there are some drawings on the tansu joinery that I use. If those don’t answer your question just let me know.
Thank sir! I had missed those. Very helpful, I’ll be trying out some of the concepts tonight.
Any suggestions for more basic joints to practice?
Thank you again,
I just found you, by way of your review of THE ANARCHIST DESIGN Book.
My growing up years, parallel yours, in many ways. On the small dairy farm in the hill country of central KY, we did it all ourselves. Along with the crops, we logged, built our barn, repaired the harness, did a little black smithing, raised our own food, and the list is long. From the time I was 8, I began to build my own “toys”, wagons, sleds, etc, from scrap materials, found around the place, using used nails that I straightened. I worked in construction and many other skilled jobs over the years, but never honed my wood skills. But now in retirement, I am getting back to it, and my wife, just bought for me, the Anarchist design book, for our 50th wedding anniversary (ok it’s early, May 7). OK, and I actually placed the order.
I look forward to pursuing your sight. Book marked.
Thank you for the kind words Steve. I hope that you find something of use here on my blog.
50 years! That is fantastic and congratulations!
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Wow. Some real inspiration amongst your work. I stumbled across you site looking for Kanna guideline dimensions. Excellent reference.
your blog is fantastic! i’m from Brazil. I was looking for kumiko instructions and found this amazing site. Congrtas and thank you for sharing
just found this site, would like to second the comment about layout and dimensions
I amy making small joints in the japanese style and dimensions are critical
TNX for your site
Hope you still around Hillbilly Daikukuro.
I hope Hillbilly Daikukuro, that you are doing OK. This site is amazing and I really appreciate your modulo plan and approach. Awesome!