Thank Hew!

Other People's Videos

I realize I just put up an O.P.V. post.  Normally I try to space them out, but in this instance I don't care. This is another video from John Neeman toolworks, however, this one doesn't revolve around making tools as much as it focuses on those using the tools.

Hand hewing logs is an ancient skill with roots in everything from homebuilding to barn raising.  In fact, water powered sawmills date back to the 6th century AD and have been improved upon consistently in the ages since.  By the 16th century sawmills were strewn about Europe and were a fairly common among developing communities.  The need for hand hewn logs has been slowly dwindling since the advent of the efficient sawmill.  That is not at all to say that people haven't continued hewing logs by hand since the first axe was forged.  People in rural areas or without the means to purchase milled lumber, would often resort to hewing their logs by hand.  Thanks to many strong bodied craftsmen, this art form has been kept alive.  This video is from Latvia, but there are several outfits in the US that still shape lumber by hand.  In fact, if you are interested, Mr. Peter Follansbee has some specific instruction on the matter in his blog.

As an additional note, in this video at 3:16 there is an ingenious idea for holding work on a job site that I'd recommend everyone check out.  There is further demonstration of the technique at 4:19.  I'll be giving this a try in the very near future.

I enjoyed this video, not enough to go out and hew beams by hand, but enough to motivate me to go build something...maybe my wife won't miss me for a few weekends...


Dying For Another Project

Other People's Videos

I stumbled across this video the other day, and have found myself occasionally thinking about it since.  It has become more inspirational the more I have thought about what Mr. Daly is actually doing in the video. Beyond doing a beautiful job hand building wooden coffins, he is creating something with his hands in his workshop that will be the last resting place for a human being.  I have made a lot of things in my life, but none seemingly as important as an eternal resting place.  The care and attention he appears to give to his work (which will eventually be buried in the ground) is motivational to me and I hope to others.  I encourage you to watch this video and give its contents some real thought.  When we make something with our hands I feel that we leave a part of ourselves with that object.  I try hard not to loose sight of the fact that many of the things I make will far outlive me (hopefully), but sometimes it helps to watch someone give great care to something that they know will be destroyed.  I have read about other woodworkers building their own coffins, and there are even classes on the subject.  Perhaps this would be a good project...someday.