Thursday, February 24, 2011

mind food...

This morning I have three small planes on my desk which must be packed up and returned to Fine Woodworking for photographs. I send them back with a sense of reluctance. I would keep them on my desk as food for thought if I could. They are beautifully crafted, a delight to hold, and they perform well the tasks for which they were designed. One must know that the designers and makers of these planes have taken great satisfaction in them.

I have little doubt that more of these will be bought than will be put to use. That seems to be the way with tools in the US. People collect them, while having too little opportunity to put them to use. But there could be worse things. I think that a person can get the same satisfaction and sense of physical power and control from handling a well crafted and finely tuned plane as from a finely made gun, but with some difference. The power of it is creative rather than destructive. And you can keep it on your desk instead of locked up. Meth addicts seldom break into homes to steal planes, and they won't be used by a family member to commit suicide.

This morning I'll have my first, second and third grade students back in the wood shop to work on dinosaurs. Some finished their long necks last week and want to make more. Wish me luck. They are a great bit of fun, but the process can be demanding. In the meantime, my daughter Lucy's EWB group project has been selected for broadcast on the PBS program Planet Forward. The program will be broadcast on April 8.

Some longnecks from this morning's class are shown in the photo above. Sherry Turkle, tomorrow's guest on Science Friday will discuss whether we have become too fond of technology at the cost of too little care for each other. It should be an interesting program as this link attests.
The photos below are testing the Veritas Detail Rabbet plane.

Make, fix and create

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