Tuesday, July 26, 2016

a box of good tools...

I am back in Arkansas from L.A. and reflecting on the things we did there other than drive in freeway traffic. It is pleasant indeed to be away from all those cars.

Among other things we visited the Gamble House and the Getty Museum. As a woodworker, both were of interest.

I also visited the LA Museum of Craft and Folk Art. A few years back a group of members came to Eureka Springs to visit me, and I never knew why. It remains a mystery to me, as the L.A. Museum of Folk Art is a rather small place in the vast L.A. scheme of things.

The image above is a "display" cabinet (Kabinettschrank) in the Getty. At the time it was made in the 1600's it was proposed to contain what was known of the universe. It opens on all four sides to drawers and doors, each compartment holding some aspect of what was known of science and culture.
On the other hand, the following is from the Course of Study, Manual Arts Training Department, Chicago Public Schools, 1899-1900
Give your boys a box of good tools, and if possible a room or place for a workshop. Employed in it, they will not only be kept out of mischief, but they will be strengthening their muscles, exercising their mental powers, and fitting themselves for greater usefulness, when they shall be called upon to take their places in the ranks of men.
The cabinet shown above, might be called a curio cabinet, as it contained objects of curiosity. But to make children even more curious, give them real tools instead.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the joy of learning and living likewise.


  1. Hi Doug, I found this blog via Labor Limae, and will catch up this winter, by the stove. I sharpen Japanese Handsaws, and occasionally make something out of wood. I admire your blog, and teaching.

  2. I tried sharpening a dozuki saw one time after reading that a good Japanese carpenter could file one flat and cut new teeth. My teeth ended up pretty irregular, to say the least. Sharpening Japanese handsaws is an admirable skill. Carefully dulling them is also an admirable occupation.