What are The Turning Points Along Your Woodworking Path?
Last week I got an email from Tim DeKorte, an author I worked with last year. He was just dropping a line to catch up, but he brought up a topic that got me thinking. Tim writes:
“As we all grow in our skill level, I think there might be some “Tipping Point” skills or conditions that give us the ability to make what are seemingly quantum leaps.
Perhaps these are common to the superstars that do make a living or at least create wonderful works of art I could only hope to get close to. I realize that sadly Krenov and Maloof are gone, but there are others who might have some insights on this.
Let me explain by sharing what my leaps have been…
1. Having a dedicated, well lit work area.
2. Mounting a Jorgensen front vise to my old solid core door bench.
3. Up grading from a contractor saw to a combination machine.
4. Using a grinder with aftermarket tool rest and a proper aluminum oxide wheel
5. Learning to sharpen tools (I’m a big fan of glass and W/D sandpaper )
6. Finally having a proper Bench
7. Learning to cut dovetails efficiently
8. Learning how to plane a transparent shaving (from reading Garrett Hack’s book on planes).”
Tim made me think about what my Tipping Points are. What inspired me to get into woodworking? What skill developments lead to my “quantum leaps”? Here are the top Tipping Points along my woodworking path.
1. My high school woodworking teacher, Mr. Kachel, helped me overcome fear of the tablesaw and bandsaw.
2. I took a hand-tool class with Phil Lowe at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. It was there that I realized the full potential of my chisels and handplanes
3. I became an editor at FWW. There’s no better school out there. I get to visit the best woodworkers in the world and watch them build stuff.
4. I learned to sharpen.
5. I bought a tablesaw and 14-in. bandsaw.
6. I made a dovetailed drawer that actually fit nicely.
7. I learned to use a router.
Those are my top seven. I’m curious. What are the Tipping Points on your woodworking journey?