Extremely Average #15: I have just two questions

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Blog entry by Ecocandle posted 01-17-2010 12:57 AM 1837 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Gnashing Teeth Part 15 of Extremely Average series Part 16: I Will Continue To Practice »

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment” -Jim Rohn

I thought I would spend the day continuing to work on my Krenov saw horses, since I didn’t have any new DVDs or books on woodworking. For those that stopped by hoping to see a rant about John Lively’s company The Taunton Press, you will be disappointed to know that I am too happy today to gripe about their inefficiency. Because Monday is a holiday, I won’t get them before Tuesday, but that is ok, and I am not going to let it ruin my weekend. There is just too much woodworking to do, to be cranky. Of course, I may be really full of rancor on Tuesday, so today’s question of the day is:

Have you ordered from The Taunton Press and how did they do in shipping the products to you?

You may post your answers in the comments, or if you prefer, you may send them to me directly. [email protected]

The first step today, was to cut the tenons in the stretcher for the second saw horse. I move at a glacial pace with my projects. With each micro step I try my best to do better than the step before. To date, I have cut 3 practice tenons and 8 real tenons, the last 2 were better than any of the ones before. Today’s two tenons are better still. The journey is one of exploration and discovery. Today I discovered that in order to cut a straight kerf with my Japanese hand saw, I needed to watch the reflection in the blade. Once I started to focus on the reflection I improved markedly over my previous attempts.

Not only were the tenons better than before, they took less time. With each cut I become more comfortable with my saw. It is clear to me that the $100.00 Dozuki saw is worth every penny. The blade is sharp, cuts easily and if it is started on the right path, once it gets into the cut, it will continue to cut straight. It also cuts very quickly. I am completely sold on Japanese hand saws.

The day did not only yield a triumph in tenons, but an additional measure of success in photography. I never imagined that I would spend so much time photographing the minutia of my progress or that this constant work would make me better at lighting my subjects, but this seems to be the reality of it all. I would estimate I spent close to an hour shooting my tenons today. To be honest, I find joy in nearly everything around me, including, the ability to ask TWO questions of the day. Yes, I have that sort of power. It is intoxicating.

So here is my second question: Would anyone be interested in a blog piece about how I shoot, light, and process my blog shots? Feel free to answer with a Yes or No, or a Oui ou Non, or even a Si o No. I will actually accept any language, as I can always look it up online. I do love Babel Fish. Of course, if you prefer to give a lengthy answer, please limit it to English or French, and include a picture of your incredibly attractive, single, and female cousin with a middle aged balding men fetish.

I would also like to take a moment to thank those of you who have been reading my blog. The support and feedback has been wonderful. Today’s piece represents the first day in my second fortnight and I am truly loving the ride. I hope you aren’t too disappointed at the lack of a rant today. Enjoy your day practicing the discipline of woodworking.

-- Brian Meeks,

11 comments so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3439 days

#1 posted 01-17-2010 01:47 AM

In regards to question number one…. I usually go to for Taunton press books. Amazon has most of them in stock, they are usually a little cheaper than dealing directly with the press, and most of them will ship free if I make a purchase over 25 bucks. Plus, I usually get my shipments from Amazon pretty quickly.

In regards to question number two, I believe that most people here think not only in terms of woodworking, but in community. The blogs are used as a way of sharing our lives completely with each other. So I would day, go ahead, show the process. Members here are engaged in other hobbies as well. And, it is always nice to know how our work might be displayed in a method that is higher quality.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View ChuckV's profile


3197 posts in 3857 days

#2 posted 01-17-2010 02:28 AM

Thanks for another enjoyable read. It looks like you are learning some good hand tool skills.

Now to the test questions:
(1) I am with with David. I have only every ordered from Taunton press via Amazon.
(2) You mentioned that your father was a mathematician, so the answer is (e^(i*pi) + 2). Believe it or not, you can type this into Google and will get the right answer.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Fireball's profile


71 posts in 4397 days

#3 posted 01-17-2010 03:16 AM

I too have ordered Taunton stuff through Amazon. Quick shipping to ATL. Incidentally, you should check out the wood whisperer for any future DVD orders. He’s a cool guys and his videos and DVDs are great.

I’m not much into photography, so that wouldn’t tickle my fancy.

Incidentally, very nice job on the tenon! You have seemed to learn quickly the pleasure that comes from using a fine tool.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4003 days

#4 posted 01-17-2010 03:23 AM

Nice read.

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 4116 days

#5 posted 01-17-2010 03:44 AM

Hey why not?
I know my photos could use a little help and any help would be appreciated in that area. So I say heck yeah fire away.
Oh and very good luck on the balding fetish thing….lol

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Don's profile


517 posts in 3403 days

#6 posted 01-17-2010 04:12 AM

Wonderful Blog as always. I would be very interested in a blog on how you take your photos. I’ve been having a very difficult time getting good shots of my own work.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View Kacy's profile


101 posts in 3415 days

#7 posted 01-17-2010 04:25 AM

I’d be very interested in your lighting setup. My wife is the photographer in the family, but she won’t let me touch any of her neat stuff because she’s afraid that it will end up looking like some of my tools. Her clients would wonder about that, I think.

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View stefang's profile


16665 posts in 3664 days

#8 posted 01-17-2010 12:53 PM

A lighting blog is most welcome Brian. I haven’t given much thought before as to why we enjoy reading about others woodworking work and progress, but I just realized that it must be that it allows us to relive our own small triumphs and despair as we progressed. Besides we often get a different perspective by seeing how others do things. So the newbies are the past and the masters are the future (who am I kidding?) I also really liked that quotation from Jim Rohn. It looks like you are doing quite well with those tenons. It won’t be long before you are doing tutorial blogs to show others how to do it. I liked your comment on watching the blade reflection. I would never have thought of that. Thanks much for the post

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4491 days

#9 posted 01-17-2010 01:44 PM

1: haven’t made such a purchase so I don’t know.
2. Yes.
We’ve had photo-related blogs in the past (that isn’t to say that you don’t need to do one – it means that photo tips are welcomed!
As an amateur photographer I always enjoy reading tips and tricks by fellow flashers (ha – I just thought of that and had to say it).

Also, it makes my heart feel good to feel the joy you are experiencing through your woodworking journey. Your positive energy is rippling outwards, around the world! Pretty cool. Pretty powerful stuff.

:) Thanks!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4043 days

#10 posted 01-17-2010 10:42 PM

Debbie….and we never knew ! Brian, put it out there people who are not intrested won’t read it and those of us that are..will. and if we still have questions Kacy can always ask his wife.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View sras's profile


5036 posts in 3459 days

#11 posted 01-18-2010 04:02 PM

1. I ordered the back issue DVD. It arrived in a timely manner. At least I think so. I never count days and usually don’t get curious until a few weeks have gone by.

2. Yes

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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