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Craftsmanship, yesterday and today

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 11-30-2021 10:25 PM 310 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

6256 posts in 4576 days


11-30-2021 10:25 PM

I thought about choosing “woodworking skill share” as the place to post this but thought not because there are people with various levels of skill and this may not apply to them. I am addressing the “craftsman” or wannabe craftsman who makes his living from woodworking and strives for perfection or near perfection. I differentiate between the “old world” craftsmen of many years ago and the ZEN style craftsmen of Japan. The many examples of “old world” workmanship that has survived through the ages puts to shame anything coming out of today’s craft shops. Even today, Japanese craftsmen, though few, show the world what true craftsmanship is. They appear to be the only ones still creating works of art. The rest of the world has adopted the “good enough” philosophy that is driven by money and expediency. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but it does show a change in the way we think and feel. Many years ago, expecting the best was the norm, but now-a-days, we accept whatever without complaint.


4 replies so far

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JCamp

1533 posts in 1883 days


#1 posted 12-01-2021 01:09 AM

I’m not sure that’s right. I’ve lived in many old houses and while the material of the new ones isn’t as good almost all the walls are square. There have always been unskilled or slackers that held jobs. Also the quality has always been a option it has always just cost. After all great quality is pretty much a art form. I dare anyone to look at a set of quality cabinets or a house where a true finish carpenter did the work and not see that they put not just skill but heart and soul into it. Likely the failure of today is that most things are assembled without human hands and when someone does touch anything it’s in the form of assembly line where the goal is to do as much and fast as possible. That said quality can still be had it just cost. A older gentleman I know still uses a old lawn mower from the 70s. He said it’ll turn on a dime and runs like a top. It did cost him over $3000 back then though. In comparison you’d be able to buy a nice tractor for the equivalent money now.

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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CWWoodworking

2311 posts in 1512 days


#2 posted 12-01-2021 03:39 AM

Expect what the world is giving.

You want perfect miter saw? Guess what, it doesn’t exist.

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Gene Howe

12472 posts in 4761 days


#3 posted 12-01-2021 12:54 PM

At my age of 80, everything I do is done slowly! As a result, I get to appreciate the process a good bit more. That, in turn, results in a much better project. Albeit, fewer get done. After 50 years of practice, I still don’t consider myself a craftsman. But, a part of me leaves the shop with each piece I make.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Dark_Lightning

5008 posts in 4442 days


#4 posted 12-01-2021 01:26 PM



At my age of 80, everything I do is done slowly! As a result, I get to appreciate the process a good bit more. That, in turn, results in a much better project. Albeit, fewer get done. After 50 years of practice, I still don t consider myself a craftsman. But, a part of me leaves the shop with each piece I make.

- Gene Howe

Do blood and skin count? 8^D

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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