Friday, December 07, 2007

New technology bad, old technology good

Lessee; excuses, non-blogging for the use of. 

Tuesday: PJ, small but aggressive Senegal parrot celebrates his tenth hatchday. Thus quality parrot - owner - bleeding finger time required. Actually he hasn't bitten me for a while, which is in some ways worrying...

Wednesday: Take a technological leap into the unknown and purchase a "set-top box" in order to receive digital television. Amazingly it works - except I still can't get Channel 5 which is the one with the cricket highlights. Bum. It's somehow ironic that this future of television allows me to catch up with television from the '60s (e.g. The Champions), '70s & '80s (The Two Ronnies), '90s (pretty much everything it seems, but helpful to brush up on one's Canadian with Due South eh?) plus whatever was on Channel 4 only an hour ago. Truly mankind has invented an amazing thing - boredom.

Thursday: I'll get back to you with a plausible excuse when I think of one. It might have been Doctor Who... 

Today: And here I am. Rejoice. Or not, as the mood takes you. Seeing as there was a power cut half way through composing this blog entry you're lucky I'm here at all.

And what do I see? Possibly the most interesting thing to come from Lie-Nielsen in some time - and a rather more reason to invest in Larry Williams' DVD. I mean not wanting to make moulding planes is one thing, but resisting making them when there are ready-tapered blanks for the irons on the market is another matter. If things go on like this it's going to be so much like the good old days we'll be able to buy wooden plough plane depth stops off the shelf... Mind you a three year lead time would possibly better suit my rate of conversion from "would like to do" to "start" on projects, never mind completion.

Also, thanks to a blog reader, and just for once being the first to respond to a Free To A Good Home post, I've also been renewing my acquaintance with Fine Woodworking. The reader's gallery stuff is of amazing standard and just the sort of unattainable (for me) inspiration that  used to subscribe to FWW for. Alas, if only the rest of the content would take its lead from that. There are a few flashes of joy, but I don't find I'm kicking myself for no longer having a sub which is partially comforting and partially ruddy depressing. Anyone else think the fine furniture grade tool cabinet in the Tools & Shops issue was horribly let down by the presence of so many power tools and accessories? Perhaps that's just me... ;-)


  1. Alf, I'm usually hesitant to humbug someone else's stuff, but that cabinet has me shaking my head. Quite an opulent shrine to the cordless drill and pad sander! (not to mention finishing up all of that work with lashings of polyurethane...)

  2. I did think it odd that he had chosen to fill it with so much power tool paraphernalia. Perhaps he just didn't have enough hand tools to fill a chest that size?

  3. Um, er, yes. Bit of a conflict between the "heirloom" concept of the chest and the transient nature of the stuff inside. Or maybe that's just the irrational Neanderthal in me talking...



  4. I think such an opulent piece of furniture is silly to house any tools.

    I too, am fed up with FWW. Can't we all relate to a $40,000 woodshop (building only)?!? Thanks so much Mr. Teague! Gag.

    I was just looking through the first year issues and the contrast is quite startling. I keep coming back to issue 37 which has my favorite article of all time - A Chinese Woodworker.

    My problem is that I own every issue. How do I just stop?!? It is well overdue.

    So what has replaced FWW? Woodwork is too "Furniture Society" for my tastes. Too many Arteests who take themselves too seriously. Art for Art's sake.

    The rest are too busy selling tools.

    Where is the magazine that focuses on the craft like FWW did in the early years?

    Anything on that side of the pond? Where are metaphorical grandchildren of Gimson and Barsley, in terms of publishing?

  5. Jeff, have you tried "Furniture & Cabinet Making"? By far the best magazine currently available over here, in my view.


    Paul Chapman

  6. Thanks for the recommendation, Paul. I will give it a try!

  7. Ouch!! I just checked and Furniture and Cabinetmaking is $75 per annum here in the colonies. On the other hand, that is not too much more than FWW per issue (7 per year for $35). Hmmm.

  8. One should remember Teague spent a lot of years in a small, old "almost" one-car garage. I think he deserves a bit of endulgence on his new shop size.

    Take care, Mike

  9. I remember Teague's one-car garage shop and recall that it was plenty large and well equipped, even for a vocational woodworker. I find this shop simply over-the-top.

    I could say more but I imagine John Brown has already covered that territory for me.

  10. Good thing I don't have any pictures of my 60' x 80' shop then.

    I guess what bugs me about value-based judgments of other peoples' stuff, be it tools, wood or shop space is just that: it is a value judgment.

    I work now out of a shop I enlarged by 50%. It's now 12' x 18'. There's three of us in it. Everything is relative.

    Take care, Mike

  11. There is always Woodworking magazine: no ads, no subscriptions, headed by Chris Schwarz. If that doesn't suffice, we live in free countries; start your own.

  12. Mike,

    Everyone makes value judgments every day. It is called discernment. In fact, you yourself made one, though in classical postmodern fashion. You made a value judgment against value judgments.


    Unfortunately, the local book Borg does not carry Chris’s magazine. I understand it can be purchased in electronic format but being the Luddite that I am, I prefer a physical copy. I do understand that certain back issues can be purchased and I have heard very good things about it.

    I fully understand that magazine publishing these days is a very iffy business and Chris Schwarz is to be highly commended for trying different approaches from the business side of things as well as furthering the cause of the hand tool craft. Oops, sorry Mike....another one of those pesky value judgments. :-)


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