On Woodworking and Cold Beers

On Woodworking and Cold Beers

When I started making furniture i could not believe my luck. All my favourite things rolled into one. Instead of thinking it was rather strange the way I compulsively played with the patterns of the cutlery and cruet at the dining table, or walked through a woodland watching the way the trees align with each other and separate as you pass, I found that I was supposed to spend my time obsessed with shapes and patterns and the way edges move and flow round a table or a chair.

Then there was all the wonderful physicality of working with the body and the hands…. the glide of the plane starting from the feet; the movement spreading up the legs and back until emerges through the hands and into the wood. It’s like playing tennis or dancing…. it only really works if the whole body is involved. Oh and the miracle of ideas… where do they come from? Where does the inspiration for a design emerge from? How can you wake up at 4 in the morning suddenly knowing the best way to make a joint or that there is a much easier way to profile a leg? Creativity, physicality, design and making…… and you get to ogle tool catalogues and justify spending absurd amounts of money that you do not yet have on the basis that it’s an investment in the business and you can not make fine furniture without fine tools.

Surely it did not come any better then this….. but then there was the icing on the cake, the final coat of shellac, the last shaving off a piston fit drawer… cold beer. After a long day in the workshop, and a weary walk home, coated from head to foot in wood shavings, who could begrudge you an ice cold beer to cut through the dust of the day? Sure, an office worker can fancy a beer, but a woodworker deserves one…. or two…. It’s as vital as a honed blade. A necessary delight. A finishing touch to a working day. And a sound business investment – totally, totally justifiable. Well that’s my story…… Still haven’t managed to convince my accountant that it’s tax deductible though. Cheers.

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