I love wood. Everything about it. The smell, the texture, the way a freshly handplaned board shimmers in the light. However, you can’t let your obsession with that new pile of air-dried cherry paralyze you–staring wistfully at it instead of sacrificing a small percentage of it to the floor as sawdust. That’s the problem we novices face every time we head to the shop. The crude drawings are complete; the cut list has been done and redone, scribbled out and done again; now I actually have to cut something. Boy, is this the perfect board for this rail. I hope I don’t screw this up . . .
The “Bronze Oak Leaf” is the symbol of an apprentice in a great series of books called “The Ranger’s Apprentice” by John Flanagan. The series is geared more towards teenagers, and nowadays an eleven-year-old (my son) seems to qualify. Anyway, my fondness for white oak notwithstanding, I thought it an apt title for a novice woodworker’s adventures in learning the craft.
Hopefully this can wind up a place where we can share ideas and maybe a chuckle or two over the stupid things we do while we learn how to do things once and do them right.