I'm Ok, house by you?

Ouch, bad pun.

This week I’ve been looking at housing.  Eeep!  Average rents around the Newport area hover in the 800+ range for a studio.  Craigslist looks to be the best place so far to hook up with people looking to share housing.  As always, networking, going person to person is better than using the papers.  The problem is that it’s somewhat time intensive and involves dealing with people who want such hair-raising and vague things as “a renter of strong moral character.”   The other thing is that here it is still January and I’m scoping out a place for September.  Lots of folks aren’t thinking that far ahead.  Still, I think it’s better to cast a wide net, get out there so someone will be sitting in a coffee shop with their friend and say, “hey there was this guy who seemed like a decent fellow that you should contact now that your renter has run off and joined the circus.”  At least, that’s how I’d like to think that karma works in practical terms.

I’m Ok, house by you?

Ouch, bad pun.

This week I’ve been looking at housing.  Eeep!  Average rents around the Newport area hover in the 800+ range for a studio.  Craigslist looks to be the best place so far to hook up with people looking to share housing.  As always, networking, going person to person is better than using the papers.  The problem is that it’s somewhat time intensive and involves dealing with people who want such hair-raising and vague things as “a renter of strong moral character.”   The other thing is that here it is still January and I’m scoping out a place for September.  Lots of folks aren’t thinking that far ahead.  Still, I think it’s better to cast a wide net, get out there so someone will be sitting in a coffee shop with their friend and say, “hey there was this guy who seemed like a decent fellow that you should contact now that your renter has run off and joined the circus.”  At least, that’s how I’d like to think that karma works in practical terms.

Tools tools tools

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Every woodworker knows that buying tools is half the fun. Finding tools for cheap is better. Getting them for free is best! However, we’re wary when our friends and sweethearts buy us tools because they often don’t know just what we like. Maybe they’ll buy a chisel at a yard sale that looks old and think “oh, he’ll love this antique” and we’re nice on the outside, but on the inside we’re saying “oh no, how am I going to unload this cheap thing?”

However, Jan completely blew that out of the water a few months back. She read all the literature from IYRS, including the tool list. She watched me look at japanese chisels online and did her own research about different makers. She understood why these are typically more expensive and of better quality than other chisels. She talked to the people at IYRS before buying the complete set of chisels that IYRS recommended. On my birthday, she presented these to me in a nice canvas tool roll, hidden in a wine bag at my party. Everyone else in the room knew what was coming because they all chipped in for them. I thought it was just a bottle of wine.

And she did all this before I was even accepted! That gal’s got faith.

It was the most jaw-droppingly sweet thing I’ve ever seen. Since then, I’ve sharpened them to a razor edge using a 6000 grit King water stone, and finishing with green honing compound on a leather strop. They shine like mirrors and cut like a dream.

Then, mom bought me a kit for making your own spokeshave over Christmas.

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I’ll put a  photo of that up soon.  It came out really well and makes very nice thin shavings.  Mmmm… tools.

The Story

 

 

 

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Here’s the story.

I’ve been thinking of switching careers from psychologist to woodworker for a while. I’ve travelled around looking at how successful woodworkers pull it off, and I’ve looked at schools such as the North Bennet Street School in Boston and RIT in Albany. Both were amazing in their own way, and got me more excited about the possibility of making a living in this business. At the same time, I also came to accept that I’m a craftsman, not an artist intent on pushing the limits of the material or exploring the possibilities of design. So that brought me back to: how to do woodworking that feels exciting and can become a career? My friend asked me, “what about boats?”

Continue reading “The Story”