The Zen of whittling spindles (or how to drive a 12p nail in 3 strokes)

Becoming a master means doing it yourself, of course.

A Woodworker's Musings

I’m whittling spindles for several Windsor chairs.  A friend of mine says to me, “why don’t you just buy those spindles?  Why waste your time making them?”  I thought about his question for a moment.  It was reasonable.  It made sense.  I mean, at my age, I shouldn’t be wasting time on unimportant things.  Right?  Ah…not wrong, but definitely, not right.

Show me a carpenter who has not challenged his mates to a nail driving contest and I’ll show you a guy who probably has a lot of “pulls and re-starts.”  Some people think of repetitious tasks as being boring, perhaps to the point of deadening the creative spirit.  Well, I’m here to tell you that is a bunch of baloney.  Watch a master craftsman at his trade.  Certainly, intelligence, talent and desire help to make him a master.  But it is the act of doing something time after time, learning…

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