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Location: Northern New Jersey, USA

I am a recent addict to sawdust and plane shavings as I damage wood. I am handy with my hands, but never developed good woodworking skills in my youth, so I have launched into a multi-year commitment to acquire those skills. Hopefully I will succeed in making some things that are beautiful to me and satisfying.

I am fascinated by three things:

First, I am fascinated by how a person develops the disciplines needed to do good woodworking. As an inherently undisciplined person, I have found it very humbling to learn I must actually pay attention to what I am doing, actually prioritize sharpening of my tools, actually keep my work area reasonably clean, and continue to be patient with my (many, many) mistakes.

Second, I am fascinated by the effect of time consciousness on the quality of work. Absolutely everything changes when I decide I will take as much time as a job requires in order to do it right. Peace descends on my workshop. I look up from my work hours later, and feel more refreshed than when I started work. I even lose sleep, working too late into the night because I am having so much fun. And my work improves.

Third, I am amazed at the way insight works through actually doing something that a teacher tries to describe to me. The lightbulb in my head usually does not light up until I actually touch and shape the wood. And despite the many videos available to show me how, I find that I must practice and practice using a tool before I use it correctly.

-- JoeMB "Using Sharp Things to Damage Wood ..."

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