Magic Tools


All tools seem to be magical when used by skilled craftsmen and craftswomen. I recently purchased a powerful laser engraver. That tool allows me to produce almost magical items, but it is just a tool exactly like my table saw, band saw, scroll saw and radial arm saw. They do what I tell them to when I tell them to and as many times as I tell them to. They cannot think for themselves, or pick what they will be making. I do all of that.

A lathe chisel in the hands of David Ellsworth will produce a far different bowl or hollow form than the exact same bowl gouge in my hands. John Jordan’s hollowing tools in my hands will never make as thin a hollow vessel as when they are in John’s hands. Richard Raffan’s turned lidded boxes will always be smoother and better shaped than mine even though I use the same scrapers and gouges he uses. Kirk Deheer’s tiny threaded boxes will always screw on better than mine, even though he took lots of time teaching me how he does such a masterful job.

Accomplished craftsmen and craftswomen have taken the time to develop the “Master’s Touch”. Most of the time, their tools are set up just the way they are comfortable with so they are easier to use to accomplish a given task. The magic is in their considerable expertise gained through many years of practice and refinement. That same “Master’s Touch” is within your grasp with practice and patience.

If perfection is 10 points on a scale of 1-10, most of the time a 4, 5, or 6 is pretty darned impressive to our friends and relatives. That is where most of us live and I for one am good with that. Yes I always strive for that 10, but no one ever makes 10 all the time. Remember that the craft of woodturning along with many other things in life is an experience and a journey. So, enjoy it. We never actually arrive at the end of our destination as long as we remain on this side of the dirt.

I have seen lots of T-shirts with the phrase “One Tool Away From Greatness!” I am as guilty as the next guy thinking the magic was in exactly the right tool and if I just bought the right tool, everything would be wonderful. And it will be if you get the right tool and learn to use it through patience and practice. Because, wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this message:

Prov 18:16 A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.


Happy Thanksgiving to All

In the spirit of giving, Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas isn’t far behind. I have instructed my web master to activate a coupon code “thankful” (must be lower case) which will save you 15% off everything on the entire website. If you have been waiting for the more expensive items to go on sale, this is your chance. Or, if you want to stock up on lots of little things I don’t normally put on sale, now is the time.



In case you didn't already know, I have posted tons of "Free Download" stuff on my web site.

"Free Downloads HERE"

Including Bottle Stopper Designs - 50 Plus classic designs. Free PDF