Short Shavings

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Blog series by Div updated 09-02-2010 08:27 PM 6 parts 19854 reads 78 comments total

Part 1: Rhykenology - The plane truth

07-11-2010 08:31 PM by Div | 8 comments »

It is my experience that not too many woodworkers are familiar with this strange word. As far as I can determine, the word Rhykenology was first coined by a certain Elliot Sayward, back in the mid seventies. He recognized that there was no general term for plane technology, use and history. The term is based on the Greek word for plane or scraper, rhykane, hence rhykenology. The word can loosely be defined as the study of planes.

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Part 2: A tiny tool tote tale

07-15-2010 10:07 PM by Div | 22 comments »

It was maybe 15 years ago that I started work for a small boatbuilding company in Cape Town. The boss was a German man with a handlebar moustache and a little fluffy dog that followed him everywhere. He loved his beer and he loved his cooking; there was always a pot of something on the go in the tiny workshop kitchen. He made the best pea soup I ever had, thick and green with bits of bacon. He was also a master shipwright of the old school. This man taught me most of what I know about woodwor...

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Part 3: Finishing the finish.

07-30-2010 09:20 PM by Div | 6 comments »

I once heard a wonderful little story about someone visiting a brass foundry. After observing the sand moulds and the casting process, the visitor walked over to an old man polishing a brass casting. The piece was already very shiny and quite beautiful, yet the man was patiently buffing and polishing. “It looks beautiful, when will it be finished?” the visitor asked. “Oh, it never gets finished.” the man replied. “They just come and take it away.” Many times, that is exactly how it goes wh...

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Part 4: A bird's eye spray job

08-03-2010 11:11 PM by Div | 9 comments »

Finishing is an essential part of building cabinets, but I view it as a necessary evil. Maybe I must change my outlook; they say if something can go wrong it will and that describes my relationship with finishing. I once had a large number of cabinet doors to spray. A spray booth is still a distant dream so sunny windless days and the lawn next to my shop is my version. It went well, I would spray a few doors, carry the ones in the beginning of the line back into the shop, spray some more,...

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Part 5: Wanted: Phychoanalysis.

08-07-2010 10:38 PM by Div | 24 comments »

I work the wood for a living and that isn’t half bad. Lately though, strange things are happening in my shop and I find myself working with weird materials. Some self analysis revealed a few key questions that need immediate answers from people with more expertise than me. In my short time here, I have seen that we have LJ’s from all walks of life, of all ages, of different backgrounds and countries. So, I want to tap this vast resource for intelligent answers on the following life altering q...

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Part 6: The most important tool

09-02-2010 08:27 PM by Div | 9 comments »

I have some meaningful words posted on a large sign above my workbench. It describes the only tool one really needs to accomplish any project. I want to share it: “Nothing in the world can take theplace of persistence… Talent will not; nothing is more commonthan unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius isalmost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full ofeducated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge

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