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Woodworking blog entries tagged with 'gary rogowski'

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A Strategy for Woodworking #13: A Neatness and Precision

07-28-2014 04:31 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

In Pete Dexter’s book Deadwood, Wild Bill Hickok’s partner, Charley Utter, is thinking to himself, “He liked having a drawer, it was a neatness you could see just sliding it open.” Making drawers requires a precision and calm missing from some other jobs around the shop. Cleaning out the dust collector comes to mind. Or hand planing some misbegotten wood like a rowed grain khaya. Drawer building on the other hand needs careful measuring, straight parts, and clear thinking to do a good job....

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A Strategy for Woodworking #47: Worth Doing Well

04-20-2015 04:51 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

I heard a poet speak last night about doing good work. I was immediately intrigued by the parallels to our work at the bench. He said that doing it was worth it because it was hard. It was hard to do good work. Nothing good comes easy. If you’ve ever tried to write you know how hard good can be. The same thing is true for our work at the bench. It’s easy to drop your standards. Here’s a note from a maker struggling with this issue: Recently I watched the video featuring you and your bel...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #4: Forgiveness

06-26-2014 08:06 PM by Gary Rogowski | 3 comments »

Human all too human to quote Fred N. Yes we makers are too human. We’re too ready to find error in our work. The voice in our head keeps repeating: Not good enough, not perfect enough. We are always so ready to point out our mistakes, to find the tiniest of errors. When our client never sees them. When another maker doesn’t see them nor care. They see the whole, the entire piece and they’re delighted. So I say, keep your standards high but learn to forgive yourself for your errors that no ...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #31: Slow Furniture Movement

10-20-2014 02:38 PM by Gary Rogowski | 4 comments »

Why not a slow furniture movement? An early aphorism I placed in our literature was a quote from John Ruskin: “When we build, let us think that we build forever.” This is a sentiment I am fully in support of particularly these days when you see a “modern” building go up and 5 years later, they’re replacing the siding on it. There’s quality today for you. But one of my Mastery students quoted Ruskin in a different way that I think is equally valid. Perhaps you’ll agree: When we bui...

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Trestle Table #25: Leg Assemblies

10-29-2016 02:05 AM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

Today was an enjoyable day in my shop using my bench planes and spokeshaves. For the flat surfaces I used my Wood River #4 smoothing plane to flatten and prepare them for assembly and glue up. I used my newly made adjustable bench dogs built from a Woodsmith plan to pinch down the parts so I could plane their surfaces. With my leg parts pinched between my Veritas panel clamp and the newly made Woodsmith adjustable bench dogs I smooth planed all the flat surfaces. The adjustable bench ...

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Trestle Table #39: Dowels and Buttons

11-12-2016 04:17 AM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

I did not get this table completed today. I took my Annie to see Arrival this morning. Aliens came to Earth to ask humans for help. I’m not sure what they needed from us. I will need to watch it again with closed captions, or download the written script… You cannot understand what aliens are saying… These aliens look like octopuses. They also write like octopuses would by spraying ink in a pool of water.. Somehow ink spots are suppose to more intelligent than letter...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #29: Gathering

10-09-2014 01:41 PM by Gary Rogowski | 1 comment »

It is autumn, once our gathering time. For collecting ideas, it is always time. There is a designed world all around us. Ideas hanging from the rooftops and tree branches and scattered on the ground below our feet. A designed universe whether created by your particular deity or Ma nature or random atoms smashing together: the design of the world is astonishing. The key to it is opening your eyes. Look for forms, find patterns, see the symmetry around us. In the flock of birds, the march of...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #36: Discontent

11-24-2014 04:09 PM by Gary Rogowski | 5 comments »

Discontent is the key to success, not satisfaction. To do more than you did before is what creation is about. To do the job better than the last time, to create something more special, or to walk new ground. This is what comes from our seasons of discontent. If we say to ourselves, I have learned enough. I am now the master of my craft, you have lost touch with that spark that keeps us creating. Satisfaction doesn’t spur us to do more. It leads us only to the couch. Keep trying to do be...

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Trestle Table #36: I'm Not Sure How to Fix This Top

11-08-2016 03:22 AM by HappyHowie | 0 comments »

I have used my #6 and then my #4 smoother to get this point. I am not certain if I continue it will get better. Can you see the valleys? Tomorrow I will resharpen my blades and continue with planing this top’s surface, but I am wondering if I should use my card scraper or go to sanding. Any suggestions?

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A Strategy for Woodworking #57: The Battleship

08-03-2015 02:55 PM by Gary Rogowski | 12 comments »

Projects come, projects stay. I walked around the shop one day to count the projects I had started only to put down for one reason or another. I got depressed by the number 20. Unfinished for any number of reasons. I cut a panel too short on one. I wasn’t sure of the curve of another. Not hard to make a new panel, 0r try to mock up the curve. That logic does not fly in the face of a simple defeat. I just let the projects linger, go to your corner. What is it that stumps me? Probably this ...

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