The first session was by Graham Blackburn, who talked about the use, care, and feeding of traditional wooden planes in joinery. One of the best quotes came before the session had officially begun. He talked about his background before woodworking, and how nowadays HIS hobby is the Argentine tango. (He started as a musician who, after studying at Julliard, just happened to join the band behind Van Morrison, he later played with others, including Janis Joplin, and actually played at Woodstock! He lives in Woodstock, NY, now, which is where the tale started.)
A running theme of the talk was the fact that; as technology becomes more and more complex, the lifespan of the items becomes shorter and shorter. Our grandchildren will not be using the computers that we are using today. It is near impossible to service today’s high tech engines without expensive computer diagnostics. Older cars are relatively simple and can be worked on at home, with just a modest amount of tools and a little knowledge. Likewise, traditional wooden planes have just three parts, the body, the wedge, and the blade. As woodworkers we should be able to make, adjust, or modify the wooden bits; and the metal bit is also relatively easy to care for. Also, we can use these tools that, ofttimes, are over one hundred years old, and can be expected to last another century or more.

He said that no matter what creative activity one endeavors, it all comes down to “balance and rhythm.”

Managed to make it down to the Marketplace to drop my Disston No.16 off to Mark at Badaxe for a little straightening and sharpening. Then back upstairs for the next session.

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