Friday, July 01, 2016

working through things...

I spent nearly the whole day yesterday at my desk, organizing photos for my book on box guitars, writing the first two chapters, and sending them off for my editors to review. It felt good to have this first work go out in time to meet my deadlines, but felt damaging to have spent that much of my time at my desk.

We are not really intended for such. Even starting the day with a workout at the gym is not enough to overcome the hazards of a sedentary life.

Last Saturday at Marc Adams School as Marc was making introductory remarks to my class, I sat down in a chair among my students and realized that was the first time I had sat down during my whole time at school, when I was not either at lunch or in my hotel room at night. That, my friends, is what life should be like, even at my age. And while there are those who would prefer to live in a vegetative state, with only the mind at work, I would suggest the healthful effects of an active life.

I again, heartily recommend Lars Mytting's book, Norwegian Wood. Today I plan to haul three white oak logs to the mill so that I can have planking for a boat I plan to build. Mytting wrote,
If you have access to an oak forest then you are very lucky indeed. In many cultures the oak forest has an almost mystical position, and oak is beyond question the tree that has played the most significant role in the development of Western civilization... by splitting up a rough, crooked oak in the right way, carpenters were able to obtain a wide variety of different shapes and building materials of great strength.
The ship's knee in the photo above shows a traditional use of oak, and it's reuse in constructing the old town of Bergen, Norway.  Bergen was a trading port in the Hanseatic League. The oak shown may have come from anyplace in the world and was probably recycled from a ship or from excess inventory of materials used for ship repair. In my own case, I have three white oak logs that are perfectly straight that I intend for planking which must be straight. So today, being lucky indeed,  I will use the tractor and load the logs and transport them to the mill with instructions that they be milled just so. The centers of the logs will be cut through and through at 8/4 and the rest of the remaining wood will be cut at 3/4 so 5/8 in. thick planking will result.

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


  1. Doug,
    This reminds me of one of my very favorite books, Oak: The Frame of Civilization, by Wm Bryant Logan. Do you know it?

  2. I do not know that book. White oak has a great resistance to decay, and to termites and the like. The specific kind of white oak I'm hauling to the mill is post oak, known for serving untreated as fence posts.