Declining Digits

"Where have all the fingers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the fingers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the fingers gone, gone to table saws everyone
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?"


I have a new hobby. Finger cutting. Okay, given the squeamish nature of some folks, and the opening lines of this post let me pause. I would like to say that I have never in my life cut myself with a power saw. I have all my fingers and no gruesome tales to spin here. Honestly.

That being said, my new hobby has my certain hazards that never existed with my other pastimes. Computing is a rather safe use of your free time. I have never, for instance, worried about safe mouse handling, or what horrible things I could do to myself if I left my attention drift.

August for me, was the month that I acquired a table saw. Life will never be the same. I now can demolish an unsuspecting piece of wood in a spectacular display of flying sawdust, whirling blades of carbide tipped steel and the added potential of severe bodily harm. All in the name of 'fun'.

Is it dangerous? Absolutely, but so are many hobbies. Motorcycling, and then there's...birdwatching? Okay I'm drawing a blank, but I know there are others like, shark petting or something. Sure it might not be as interesting as being a gongoozler, but it sure ranks at least second best.

What I find most rewarding is the potential. Potentially I could be building stuff. Currently I've spending most of time getting my shop setup. It's very self serving at this point. I've only build a couple of items, but I've spend hours in the garage. I always feel busy, but I'm not sure how productive I've been. For instance I spent an entire afternoon pretending electricity was never invented, as I used a hand saw and chisels to make dovetails. After two hours I had chopped through an unreal amount of wood yet still unable to get a really clean fit. All the while an expensive dovetail jig sat weeping under my workbench. There is a whole branch of these fanatics in woodworking. They call themselves hand tool users. It's like a freaking Neanderthal cult.

It's that sort of total time sucking ability that really draws me to woodworking. It takes time to plan, design and then build jigs to help you build the real stuff you intend to build. Honest, this is a normal woodworking practice. I've spent my last two weekends building jigs for my table saw. These are setups that help me do things like, cut clean 45 degree angles, crosscuts, splines and other exciting ways to cut away at your expensive planks of wood. It's like hanging out with your doddering grandpa for the whole day. I'm totally loving it. Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go and wax my table saw.

9 comments:

Missy said...

Gongoozler! love that..

Sounds like you are having fun, did you ever sell your table you make?

Careful with that tablesaw, Joe could tell you about almost cutting his thumb off on one..but you probably will hear lots of gruesome stories. Happy Cutting!

Ando said...

Your explanation of jigs and jig making made me realize why I could never be a wood worker. Too impatient. I'd put a plank on the table saw and expect it to be a dinette set when I took it off. I'll have to come see some of your handiwork one of these days.

kludge said...

Missy-

No, but it was good practice. I've already learned a ton since then. It has since been dismantled.

I doubt I will try that experiment again. The stories pour in on a regular basis...

kludge said...

Ando-

There is a large learning curve.

Wood species, joints, finishes, tools, jigs, etc...

But it is a very rewarding hobby, thus far.

Becca Sports said...

Sure woodworking is a hobby, I think it is an excuse to escape a house full of estrogen. :) I'm glad you are having fun learning all about wood.

Boston Love said...

Happy to see you posting again brother!! You are such a great story teller. I was delighted to see your e-mail about using the pocket hole jig "exclusively." I'm thankful I got the right one!!

-Kathleen

Jason said...

So. . .we've entered the Wood Age, and to think the Age of Aquarius was just a dream.

Sarah said...

Chris wants to get into woodworking. He really enjoys it. The tools are hard to come by since they are pretty expensive. Maybe someday you can pass on your knowledge about jigs and such. Have fun and keep all your fingers intact.

kludge said...

Becca Sports-

Someone just hit the nail on the head! Shhh--- don't tell anyone. :)