Gang, So, what do you see?
I just cut up a
stick. It was just another stick, like so many others. It is a
handle now. Its not perfect. Its not anywhere near "perfect". But it is actually,
a very exquisitely perfect representative, if you can see it.
So, did you ever
wonder, how does a standard get to be a standard? Sometimes it was
there all along and you just didn't see.
I heard about this
once. Old guys who would cut a tiny pattern and take it out into the
woods and hold it up, squinting against the skyline. Hunting among
the trees for the part they need.
Here is part of the
maple tree just outside my front door. Its an ordinary tree. What
do you see there?
Here is the other
side of the trunk
Normal tree like any
These are big limbs.
One a foot wide and the other about 9". But the geometry relates to
even tiny twigs in many cases. Finding the size and proportion is
the challenge. Here is another
stick I grabbed from under my bench where I pile such things.
This one is dinky, but it has at least most of the classic shape.
I didn't get a
picture of the stick in question beforehand. It was very standard
ordinary though. Looked like the last picture except a little
fatter (about 3" diameter at the butt) and more of the swell end
was still left on it where it had once joined the trunk, or the
stump left of a trunk it had re-sprouted from. I don't remember
which, but they are similar in shape anyway.
It is a
kind of oak we grow here. I call it pin oak, since I
don't have a proper name for it. Its an odd tree and not
too common. Definitely in the oak family, but much
finer grained. It is tough and springy wood.
I like it because it
is one wood that does not want to crack easily, drying out in the
woodpile. [You can almost get a fabled "commander" head from it. In
case you weren't sure, trying to cut a section of log to make a
giant mallet from, without cracking, is not an easy ask!! Try it
In a few minutes
with drawknife and a couple spoke shaves, it now looks like this.