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Dumbing down of Woodworking

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  • #16

    Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking



    Marty, although I share your sentiments about most live edge slabs, not all wood working is "fine" wood working.

    None of the furniture in my house is "fine" furniture, I have a lot of Arts and Crafts furniture such as Morris chairs, tables, etc. I don't think that any A&C furniture would be "fine" furniture, however it's useful and comfortable.

    I had similar experiences with wood turning and belonged to the WGO for a few years. Many members made works of art which were spectacular, often for show and tell I brought tool handles, machine parts, and furniture components, none of which were works of art. I guess I consider myself a craftsman rather than an artist.

    Art has it's place, and it pushes the craft forward, however most wood working is meant to be functional. Occasionally a piece is both great art and functional, however I'm not in that class of fabricator.

    A few years ago I was at the home show with my daughter. One wall in the model home had the wane from lumber attached to the wall so that it projected into the space like deep bricks.

    My daughter went crazy over it and asked where you could buy the wane from, I replied "well, a few weeks ago I gave away a couple truckloads of that for firewood". Apparently I was an idiot for not recognizing the true artistic potential of the firewood I gave away

    Regards, Rod.
    Brian @ Muir likes this.
    Work is the curse of the riding class.

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    • #17

      Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

      Originally posted by Mark in Burlington View Post
      I have only ever made one live edge table below.. The trick and what ANY well designed and thought out piece of furniture is not to be a slave to the material. I am sure we have all fallen in love with a piece of exotic or highly figured wood.
      And then in the shop on to treat it so preciously you can’t cut into it, and make it into a designed piece and NOT just sand a chunk of wood.
      Well said, and nice piece.
      VIDEOS: www.youtube.com/AWoodworkersLife

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      • #18

        Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

        Originally posted by Randy in Calgary View Post
        Talk about dumbing down. Try making 7 drinking games in a row!
        Maybe you shouldn't test them all before starting the next one?

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        • #19

          Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

          Originally posted by jaywood1207 View Post
          What is the true definition of "fine woodworking"? Correct me if I'm wrong but there is no definition and it is all opinion based. Times change and just because the newest resin fad or live edge fad or the cutting board which is now called a charcuterie board isn't a preference of yours does not mean it isn't fine woodworking. If a piece is built using a domino or dowel for the joint vs a mortise and tenon joint does that disqualify the piece as fine woodworking? What is the requirement to advertise something as "fine woodworking"?
          For about 20 years I worked making wooden windows and doors mostly using Wadkin mortice machines and sometimes tenoning machines, yes its a skill, a lot of the skill is in the managing of the inaccuracy of the wood and the machining, those big chain mortices cut a rough hole, pine and cedar are too soft and tear out rather than cut out (yes we did use sharp tooling) thick glues were the best for gap filling the use of PVA would see a pool left on the floor where it had run out of the joint, however a lot of these pieces were a work of art.
          For home I have made what I guess would be fine furniture, as I have no room for big machines my main go to method of jointing is a biscuit machine I often use 2 biscuits side by side and construct in such a way that it is strong, biscuit machines are a finely tuned machine for precise work that I find are very accurate and need very little glue that stays in the joint.
          The pieces I have shown here are a fraction of what I have made and the skill learnt in one carries over into the next, I too have done live edge work and epoxy pours they are all a learning curve, the skill is often in the overcoming of the mistakes we make and so a learning happens that is all valuable to those doing it.
          I think to put down one kind of work in favor of another is wrong when someone is gaining some skill, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so every one is entitled to there opinion, long may we all continue to make what we like.

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          • #20

            Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

            Like so many pieces is it depends what it is. I have made a couple of live edge walnut pieces for myself and I really enjoyed the process and the end result. The hours and materials made it a coffee and end table that could not be sold due to the hours involved. Working with something that by design is not square is a challenge. The epoxy work to do well is not easy

            When something is popular, low cost alternatives invade the market from slabs at the big box stores, to companies that say they know what they are doing. The same could be said of the many companies offering furniture held together with pocket hole screws. Certainly its an easier and lower cost method than traditional jointery but it does work

            We sell alot of epoxy and hard wax oil into this market. I see some artists making some beautiful pieces, some people making alot of money and everything in between. I look forward to buying up some nice pieces in a year when the fad ends much like country pine, arched kitchen doors....
            Mark
            www.masterfinishing.ca

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            • #21

              Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

              My goodness, look what you have started here. A couple of years ago when I was 22, I spent the summer in our local Redwoods where roadside Redwood burl shops did a great business with the tourists. I took a 36" long slab home when we lived in Tucson and made it into a living room table precisely as you have described. Some say I still do that. How did you know? I made it for my late mother and she literally cherished it to the day she died. What more matters?
              Bob just past Ayr, WoodBob and 3 others like this.
              Start slowly, wind down gracefully
              woodbilder@mac.com

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              • #22

                Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Amen.
                All the best,

                Marty

                Secretary of Kingston Wood Artisans Inc. https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

                Master Mistake Fixer (because I've made them all... at least once)

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                • #23

                  Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                  Well now you've gone an done it. I must agree since the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Indeed, the emperor has no clothes!

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                  • #24

                    Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                    Marty I'm back. Your OP does not speak well for you or what some others have quietly commented, would have been best left unstated. As I commented, there are times when many of us in this venue have done that because they liked it, or because it was what they were proud of - and perhaps their early efforts. Your comments are a disappointment.
                    Start slowly, wind down gracefully
                    woodbilder@mac.com

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                    • #25

                      Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                      Originally posted by Woodwreck View Post
                      Marty I'm back. Your OP does not speak well for you or what some others have quietly commented, would have been best left unstated. As I commented, there are times when many of us in this venue have done that because they liked it, or because it was what they were proud of - and perhaps their early efforts. Your comments are a disappointment.
                      Well, we are all entitled to our opinions. I'm sure many are just as disappointed in your's as stated above as you are in his.

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                      • #26

                        Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                        Marty, I could not agree more on wish the whole live edge thing would disappear, along with barn doors and pallet lumber. However my daughter started woodworking by making a live edge coffee table which does look nice in her apartment, and the gave her the confidence to go on and make shelves and a counter.
                        I started my woodworking career bang nails in my dad's garage, if this is what it takes to get a young person interested in the hobby/career so be it, I guess.
                        Jerome
                        Canada's South Coast

                        Port Colborne On.
                        Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become beer.......but didn't....

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                        • #27

                          Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                          Thanks for your thought on this, Steve. I respect your perspective and appreciate that you took the time to share your opinion.

                          Originally posted by Woodwreck View Post
                          Marty I'm back. Your OP does not speak well for you or what some others have quietly commented, would have been best left unstated. As I commented, there are times when many of us in this venue have done that because they liked it, or because it was what they were proud of - and perhaps their early efforts. Your comments are a disappointment.
                          All the best,

                          Marty

                          Secretary of Kingston Wood Artisans Inc. https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

                          Master Mistake Fixer (because I've made them all... at least once)

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                          • #28

                            Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                            This reminds me of some threads I've seen on astronomy forums, where various "old timers" and purists will speak out against the use of computerized "go to" scopes that automatically find and track objects in the sky. Real astronomy - apparently - means finding each object manually using time, skill, and patience.

                            The counterargument is that people should enjoy the stars however they get enjoyment, and that the hobby is healthier for it.

                            We need a coffee table in our new home theatre area, and my wife really likes some of the rivertop pictures I've showed her. I do appreciate some of the warnings in this thread about resin not aging gracefully, and would love to see some before/after pictures if anyone's got 'em.

                            Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk

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                            • #29

                              Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                              It reminds me of faux paint finishes.

                              I remember during the '90's and early oughts Debbie Travis was a big star with her tv show where she did all these different faux paint finishes - stamping walls with sponges, crumpled rags, etc. It became a big thing for a while, and everyone I knew was into it. There were books and tutorials, the local paint store here in town still has mounted up on the wall a certificate showing that one of the owners was a "certified faux finisher" . Do others remember all this?

                              The first time I saw faux finishes, I remember clearly I was really impressed. It was creative, it was totally different than anything I'd ever seen before, it was a refreshing change, and it looked totally cool.

                              Lots of people I know got caught up in painting and working on their home who otherwise wouldn't have because of that trend. I know even I got into a bit, doing a sponge finish in our bathroom (and I HATE painting!).

                              Eventually the excitement calmed down, and the fad - as all fads do - died away. I don't think I even noticed it's end: just one day people weren't doing sponge finishes any more. About a year ago I walked into a house that a friend had just bought, and when I walked in I saw the living room had a Debbie Travis faux finish all over it - it was like a blast from the past! I remarked about it, and my friend said they had to sand and repaint before they moved in, and then joked that it was a good match for all the avocado fixtures in the bathroom! Of course, that trend of green toilets and tubs was the big fad in the 70's, and looked so cool to people then because it was a fresh new change from the boring white they were used to.

                              My point is, this is what fads do: they come and they go. The become popular for a time because people genuinely like the look of them - for a period. Once the novelty wears off, then their appreciation fades.

                              There's always been timeless styles which outlast mere trends. Fine woodworking like Marty has in mind will never generate the same buzz as whatever the latest cool fad is, but it will also not die away in a few years either.

                              I appreciate that Marty embraced is inner curmudgeon in the OP - I myself feel more and more like a "get off my lawn" type with every year I'm alive. It's a good rant, and feels good to let it out. I don't think that the timeless skills of real woodworking are under any real danger from the latest fad though.

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                              • #30

                                Re: Dumbing down of Woodworking

                                Art, craftsmanship, fads, trends??
                                Art & Fads are an individual perspective of what is desirable. Matters not what. Craftsmanship involves the skills required to create the former. The coming & going of trends is just natural progression.

                                As for trends My favourite breakfast will include eggs, bacon and potato. It hasn't changed for most of my life.
                                Egon
                                from
                                The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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