Woodworking is an amazing thing filled with lessons, achievements and memories. I remember watching my father create a mortise for a door hinge, first he scratched out his pattern then with chisel in hand he removed the unwanted material then a test fit of the hinge and like a glove, it fit. I can remember thinking to myself how badly I wanted to be able to do that and after a lot of mistakes, corrections and my fathers patience I did it. To this day this is a memory that I hold close both for that moment with my father and for him giving me a skill that would be the starting point for my future abilities with a chisel. Since then there have been several of these moments and always eager to learn something new he has my full attention. Now a days I find my grandchildren knocking on the door of my shop " Hi Papa what are you doing ?" and before I know it they are in the scrap pile building what ever creation their minds can come up with that day " Papa look what I made " and always eager to encourage I let them know that it is amazing and ask them all about their project of that day with a genuine interest, just as my father had always done with me. Woodworking is an amazing gift that needs to be passed down through the generations and all it takes is a few minutes out of your own project, a little encouragement and something amazing is started. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying this will create the next great furniture builder or even master craftsman, but the next time that smiling little face asks you what your doing in the middle of your next big project give them a hammer, because if they do nothing more then bang on a couple of scraps of wood in the middle of the floor all day in their mind that just created a master piece and they did this with you, that memory will stay with them for a life time and that encouragement and genuine interest in it will give them the belief with in them selves that they can do it, and that will take help bring woodworking to the next generation.
- Tommy P
Recently I was put in a situation that forced me to step back from my woodworking and rebuild, while both enjoying and being frustrated with this chain of events it gave me a lot of time to focus on the direction I have been taking with my woodworking, what really matters to me and what message I want to relay to my viewers. When I think of the guys that I enjoyed to watch and still watch names like Norm Abrams, Roy Underhill, David Marks, Tommy Macdonald and Marc Spagnuolo are just a few that come to mind and it's not because of fancy camera angles, good music or the less than ten minute video it's because I know that when I get done watching their show I will walk away with an education of how to do it, why to do it and the best way to do it, it being that weeks project. I feel it's really a matter of entertainer or woodworker. To be an entertainer is to entertain the masses, interesting camera angles, fancy video editing, catchy music, easy project then screw it and glue it together and edit the video down to as short a time frame as possible as to not loose your viewer. To be a woodworker the focus is education of the project, the wood, the joinery, the technique, the attention to detail, the finish then editing the video not for time but for content, because if your like me I will watch someone like Frank Klausz explain how he creates a dovetailed cabinet forever but I loose interest very quickly watching a ten minute video of how to build a screwed together cabinet buried in fancy editing and catchy music, entertainment versus woodworking. I am not an entertainer nor is this something I wish to be, I am a woodworker and that is all I wish to be. I'm not out to capture a viewing audience of hundreds of people with my video editing skills and fancy camera shots, but if I can show one person how to create a mortis and tenon joint I'm pretty happy with that.
Woodworking with Tommy P