The Journey Begins

OK, so this is actually WordPress’s default first post title, but I thought I’d keep it because, well, the journey begins for me.

Well, it begins again, anyway.

Let me start at the beginning. My name is Tom and I’m a writer by trade. I write political stuff, which I don’t want to get into here by and large, but I’m also a novelist and blogger.

While working on a fantasy novel with a Conan influence, I pictured a character who is a teacher of heroes telling a student that he must learn a trade, that doing so will teach humility and patience. Since I know something about hand tool woodworking, I figured that’s what he’d do.

You see, I’d screwed around a bit with hand tools and woodworking in general years ago. For various reasons, I’d stepped away, though. Because of the book, I figured I needed to refresh my memory a bit so I went to YouTube and started watching some stuff.

It was there that I saw a channel called Wood by Wright. The guy there was constantly talking about how this process or that process was enjoyable. It was clear that everything was fun to this guy.

In the process, though, I recognized something. A couple of them, actually.

One was that I still had a fascination with building things. I still like the idea of having items in our home that I can point to and say, “I made that.”

The other was that my focus might have been wrong before. I wanted to build quality stuff right freaking now! That’s probably not a good thing.

Watching Mr. Wright go to down, I was struck by his careful, methodical approach was balanced by his joy in working the wood. He was patient with it, and that’s something that more than my character needs to learn.

It’s something I need to learn.

So, with that in mind, I’m coming back to woodworking.

Goals for this site

At this time, at least, there are zero reasons to believe that I have much of anything to teach anyone. I know jack squat about most things, after all.

But, I’m a writer by nature. I enjoy sharing things with people, including my many failures. Plus, since this site is as much about personal development as it is about working wood, I need to keep myself accountable.

Over time, I hope it becomes a glimpse into the journey one takes to become a competent woodworker.

I’ll probably use both power tools and hand tools, though power tools will be more for when I need something done quickly. Hand tools will, I hope, but what I do when I want to enjoy building something.

We’ll have to see on that one.

What you probably won’t see much of

One thing you’re probably not going to see very much are tool reviews. They’ll probably happen, but it won’t be a huge thing.

There are reasons for that. One is that I have a pretty good selection of tools already. I’ll need to pull them out and take a look at them later (pictures coming) and see how they’re doing after years of neglect, but they exist and I’ve restored several of them already, so what’s a few more restorations.

That’s another thing. Due to the cost, I bought a lot of vintage tools. There’s not really any point in reviewing a Stanley #4 from 1927, now is there? They were great tools when new. Today, they’re dependant on their condition and how well they were restored, but a review would be useless.

Now, I’m better off financially than I was, but I don’t envision me going on a tool-buying spree any time soon. There are definitely a few items I want to get, but most of them aren’t essentials by any means. I’m quite certain I can build multiple projects with just what I currently own.

Provided they haven’t gotten so jacked up.

Additionally, there won’t be a whole pile of tutorials or anything. I mean, I don’t know anything. Why in the hell would I think I could teach anyone? Luckily, I don’t.

OK, so what will be here?

A fair question.

Alright, so first, there will be a handful of tool reviews at some point. If I buy a tool and use it, I’ll let you know what I think of it. There just won’t be much of that as a general thing.

Additionally, I’ll probably document my projects as I do them. I have a short list of things to build for myself. They’re just minor things like a workbench, a tool chest, stuff like that. You know, just the stuff every woodworker builds and uses and basically needs.

Little stuff.

I also know I’ll have a few other projects pop up here and there, and I’d really like to find some people who understand the difficulties I’m going to run into, such as the fact that the only place to get wood around here, so far as I know, are big-box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot. That’s going to present some…challenges.

But you live and you learn.

For me, it’s a case of living, learning, and documenting it for the whole world to laugh at. 😉

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