Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I seem to recall I caught some stick from our brethren in the Great White North last year in marking the Fourth of July but failing to wishing Canada a happy birthday on the First. So how I managed to fail again, I cannot explain. Sorry, sorry. It's only 'cos I feel that Canada, at a sprightly 100-and-something year old, should have got over its rebellious teenage years by now and be ready to come back home to the Empire... But can you imagine it? "Canada, tidy your room!" "Don't wanna. Going to the hockey game"

And yes, my tongue's so firmly in my cheek I have to eek ike is.

Oh, and I had a woodworking thought. I know, steady on. Worry not, it won't last. I had cause to look at the FWW blog page and spotted an entry by Garrett Hack about the class he recently took over here in Blighty. Now such is my non-woodworking attuned brain these days, I actually skipped 95% of it, but one thing caught my eye. 

"Since the humidity in England is consistently high, the wood we were working had a moisture content of I would guess 12 percent or so. Interestingly, it took the glue far longer to grab, which made for some revisions in how we worked."

Now I know we have a lot of differences twixt British woodworking and that in 'Murrica (mainly that it's more expensive over here) but I'd never given much thought to how it might effect some techniques that wouldn't obviously be an issue at first consideration. It madeth me to think; primarily that I now have a new excuse - I live on the wrong continent. No, please, don't disabuse me of this lovely thought with reasoned argument. I like the idea I can blame my failures on geography. Never did like the stuff.

It also keeps up a pretty remarkable record; I've yet to read an article by Mr Hack that hasn't taught me something. 


  1. Yes, Garrett Hack is one of those blokes you can't help but learn from. It was great meeting him at the West Dean Hand Tool Event recently. Several people who were there have already made versions of his scratch stock - must get around to making one myself.......


    Paul Chapman

  2. Alf

    There is always a good excuse for a failure - in Oz it is often that the heat made the glue set too fast (for a misfit) or had caused the glue to weaken in storage (for a joint failure). Alternatively, there is no timber available to use in place of (insert unobtainable timber from UK, EU, USA, etc). When all else fails, you just have to say that Stanley and the rest of them just don't make tools designed to cope with the high silica content and gnarly grain of Aussie hardwoods...

    Couldn't be the bloke who put the glue on the joint, chose the timber to use or was on the end of the tool, could it? Never.....



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