Everyone is on a “journey” these days, and now I am too – my journey into woodworking has begun.
I remember very little about the craft lessons I took at school, although I vaguely recall doing a term of wood working and a term of metalworking – I suppose about 30 hours of training in total. Not much, and certainly I was not left with a single technique or skill because of it.
I read that a good woodworking apprenticeship takes between 4 and 6 years. Let’s call it a minimum of 7000 hours of practice. It was this fact that left me with the depressing realization that – short of a pools win (and early retirement) or living to be around 150 years old – I will almost certainly never catch up. So I am going to need to focus on a few things and try and learn to do them well and the thing I have decided to focus on is basic techniques using hand tools.
Like many others my initial inspiration is for this approach is an English woodworker called Paul Sellers. He’s had a long and prestigious career and is a prolific source of information on the web, youtube and print. He is very keen to encourage people to take up traditional woodworking skills and – as part of a small but influential group of woodworkers still working primarily with hand tools – makes a convincing case that expensive machinery is not needed to make useful and beautiful things out of wood. And with that encouraging thought, we’re off!