It happens every time…every single time. There’s a young person standing there at the bench, and you show her the beautiful bronze block plane made by one of the best tool companies in the world. We call her “Goldie”. After you demonstrate how “Goldie” works, you tell her to take as many strokes as she needs to get down to the line. “Always leave the line…don’t plane it off or you'll be lost”. Then the magic happens…shavings start to curl like spaghetti out of pasta machine. They won’t stop…they can't stop. Using a beautiful well sharpened tool is addictive and rewarding. You not only make these beautiful wood shavings, but you can watch as you get closer and closer to the line. "Uh Oh"....“Can you draw another line?”
Hand tools are magic for kids of all ages, and Hands On Deck just sets the stage.
If you look a our society, you will see that there is no room for process. Everything is beginning and end with no middle. CNC machines process your ideas so you can enjoy a final product, or Amazon sends you what you want today or tomorrow so you can get bored with your new widget even faster! We consume veraciously thinking we are saving time, but what are we saving time for? If I could do anything right this minute, I would be in a circle with a group of 12 year olds...showing them how to make chopsticks or butter spreaders out of Birch with a sharp carving knife. Carving chopsticks and butter spreaders out of fresh cut White Birch forces you to slow down and enjoy the minutiae of the process. You don't want to rush it...its enjoyable...and you want to do a good job. Its just you, the knife, and the wood...a pretty fantastic combination.
All woodworking is essentially the same concept...you, a knife of some sort, and the wood. Anything that removes wood has a edge, that should be sharp, to do the cutting and removing. Sometime you use blunt wedge to split wood, but its the same idea. Human, steel, and wood. Working with hand tools that do not require electricity is an organic process to any human, we just have to rediscover it...and for a 12 year old...it comes naturally.