I Wonder What The Neighbors Think?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 04-04-2016 02:25 PM 1048 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Not that I am one who really cares all that much.

Being a hand tool woodworker sometimes has its moments when the neighbors probably have to do a double take when they see what goes on occasionally in the handsawgeek driveway.

“What is that weirdie in the cowboy hat doing now?”

Once in a while, when the weather is nice outside, and I have some particularly large boards to break down to rough size, or a messy project to work on, I will haul a tote full of hand tools and the saw bench up the stairs from the Basement Annex, and set up a temporary ‘shop’ out on the front driveway.

On several occasions, they have observed me merrily hacking away at planks with rip and cross-cut handsaws, or poking holes in another piece of wood with a brace and bit, or using this humongous hand drill (breast drill) to drive screws. Or cutting up logs with a buck saw. Or knocking the bark and knots off the same logs on a portable stump with a hatchet.

“Why can’t this guy be normal like everyone else and use a REAL saw? Or a Makita Drill/Driver? Or a chain saw?”

Good questions, these…

Occasionally, one of them will wander over to take a closer look and ask a few questions. I usually make it a point to show them the tools and how they work.

The ones who exhibit a little more than passing curiosity might even be lucky enough to get a quick tour of the handsawgeek Basement Annex shop!

One such neighbor was actually on his way to possibly becoming a Neanderthal convert, but he moved from the neighborhood before that could come to fruition. It’s my hope that at least a wee bit of ‘handsaw-geekiness’ might have influenced him during his visits.

I think that once they see the processes of working with hand tools, how efficient they can be, and that I actually seem to be having fun with them, things no longer appear to be quite as mysterious to them.

“That was pretty cool! Maybe this guy isn’t such a weirdie after all!”

Of course, there’s still the matter of the cowboy hat……

The handsawgeek shop – all cleaned up and back in bizniss!

-- Ed

7 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16339 posts in 3224 days

#1 posted 04-04-2016 02:49 PM

Thanks for the morning grin, Ed. I totally get what you’re encountering. I’ve also seen the expressions that tell me they’re asking themselves the ‘real saw, Makita, etc.’ questions about the way I’m working.

Good post!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View a1Jim's profile


117908 posts in 4183 days

#2 posted 04-04-2016 02:54 PM

View CFrye's profile


10823 posts in 2446 days

#3 posted 04-05-2016 02:51 AM

”The handsawgeek shop – all cleaned up and back in bizniss!”
Glad to hear it, Ed. Keep on teaching and sharing!

-- God bless, Candy

View Texcaster's profile


1286 posts in 2280 days

#4 posted 04-05-2016 03:40 AM

I’m reminded of Tom Waits old paranoid ramble

“What’s He Building?”

What’s he building in there?
What the hell is he building
In there?
He has subscriptions to those
Magazines… He never
Waves when he goes by
He’s hiding something from
The rest of us… He’s all
To himself… I think I know
Why… He took down the
Tire swing from the Peppertree
He has no children of his
Own you see… He has no dog
And he has no friends and
His lawn is dying… and
What about all those packages
He sends. What’s he building in there?
With that hook light
On the stairs. What’s he building
In there… I’ll tell you one thing
He’s not building a playhouse for
The children what’s he building
In there?

Now what’s that sound from under the door?
He’s pounding nails into a
Hardwood floor… and I
Swear to god I heard someone
Moaning low… and I keep
Seeing the blue light of a
T.V. show…
He has a router
And a table saw… and you
Won’t believe what Mr. Sticha saw
There’s poison underneath the sink
Of course… But there’s also
Enough formaldehyde to choke
A horse… What’s he building
In there. What the hell is he
Building in there? I heard he
Has an ex-wife in some place
Called Mayors Income, Tennessee
And he used to have a
consulting business in Indonesia…
but what is he building in there?
What the hell is building in there?

He has no friends
But he gets a lot of mail
I’ll bet he spent a little
Time in jail…
I heard he was up on the
Roof last night
Signaling with a flashlight
And what’s that tune he’s
Always whistling…
What’s he building in there?
What’s he building in there?

We have a right to know…

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2002 days

#5 posted 04-05-2016 03:49 PM

Thanks, All,

Tex, cool Tom Waits thing… kinda’ spooky, but cool.

-- Ed

View technoslick's profile


764 posts in 1966 days

#6 posted 04-12-2016 02:15 PM

Great to see your shop layout. and so c-l-e-a-n! :)

Everybody thinks all my notions, ideas, projects and methodologies are crazy. I consider it a hard earned badge of accomplishment. ;)

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2002 days

#7 posted 04-14-2016 04:58 PM

Keeping the workspace relative clean and uncluttered is one of the requirements set forth by Mrs. handsawgeek in allowing me to conduct woodworking operations in the basement. Sometimes it’s not always this tidy, but I have become more adept at the discipline of putting tools and materials away after each session, and sweeping up the shavings and sawdust from the floor. Keeps everybody happy!

-- Ed

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics