I am not generally a prideful
person. At least, I don’t think I am.
When I teach classes I tell the
students right off the bat that I don’t know everything about
saws… far from it. But I do promise to share everything I
That said, with the completion this
past weekend of the first ‘Build a Backsaw’ class at The
Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, I was left with an
overwhelming sense of pride and joy. I cannot describe to
you with any justice the emotions I experienced as I watched my
three students thoughtfully shape their totes, file their teeth
and take the first few strokes with their new saws biting into
I am honored to unveil the fruits
of their labors…
At the end of the second day of
class, I stood next to one of my students and instructed him on
how to use a bench hook and saw for the first time. As he
eased his new saw forward in the kerf, and felt the teeth
dutifully slicing away the transverse fibers of the wood, his
face told a story of profound revelation. In that moment,
colored only by a single utterance, he rediscovered a power and
skill long forgotten and dismissed by our mechanized and virtual
world. His eyes widened… his brow lifted… and the smile on
his face shone clear across the room.
He was seduced in that single
moment by the might of a fine tool crafted painstakingly by ones
own hands. Simply wonderful!
As we cleaned up the shop and said
our good-byes, each student came over to thank me and say how
much they enjoyed the class. There was nothing poetic
about their words, nothing dramatic about the scene.
It was just four guys packing up
their tools, sweeping the floor and wrapping up another day of
work. But what struck me most about it later on, and what
will undeniably stay with me for many years, was the irony of
their words… they each thanked me for my time and for the class.
They thanked me.
Hmmm... No my friends, it is I who must
thank you… for your company, for your attention, for your
efforts and for what we learn together on our quest of
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The Saw Blog