Mindset while woodworking
#21
  Re: RE: Mindset while woodworking by carpenter wisdom (Thank you all for be...)
(10-01-2021, 01:38 PM)carpenter wisdom Wrote: Thank you all for being here and joining in the conversation.

For me this is a huge topic spanning decades of transitions from one skillset to the next.  I spent my first ten years of experience, the 1970's, as a furniture builder. I spent a few years with different types of cabinetry. From there I followed the money into highly custom fine finish carpentry. Then to get off my knees into management of the process.

Some of what I am curious about:

  • People who work angry make mistakes.  How much of what we are feeling gets translated into our work?
  • As a career carpenter/woodworker I am astounded by the fact a simple thought of piece of trim actually finds itself into the world. How does that work?  I have been trying to track the path of thought-to-thing for a long time. 
  • If we understand what we are thinking and feeling while we are measuring and cutting, can we assemble better structures? My answer to this is yes, it makes a difference.  

So, when advising someone in the art/craft of woodworking, how much of the conversation is about self-evaluation, patience, and acceptance of where one is at in the process, the stuff that comes along with the years of experience, the subtle advanced techniques?

I am a hobbyist woodworker and a hand tool enthusiast. While my main goal is to make things I will enjoy making, and will like to look at afterwards -- or that I think the recipient will like, if it is a gift. I also like to challenge myself technically. I think choosing projects that push me involves a mindset of its own. But that part is easy, or maybe I should say, is my nature. For me, the main mindset came years ago when I told myself that this is supposed to be fun (except for the "have to" projects that come up now and then). Funny how giving yourself a lecture can improve your life. It worked. I don't go in the shop if i'm pressed for time. I usually have music on. I get absorbed. I guess it takes patience, but if it ever feels that way, I go in the house and do something else.
Best,
Aram, always learning

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Web: My woodworking photo site
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#22
  Re: Mindset while woodworking by carpenter wisdom (Hi all, New to Wood...)
(10-01-2021, 01:38 PM)carpenter wisdom Wrote: So, when advising someone in the art/craft of woodworking, how much of the conversation is about self-evaluation, patience, and acceptance of where one is at in the process, the stuff that comes along with the years of experience, the subtle advanced techniques?

None. I do this as a hobby, and while I may be lamblasted for this, what you are asking is about deep philosophical thoughts. Something I tend to not delve into. As i said above, I'm a woodworker; probably not an advanced woodworker, but a very experienced one.....to me it's that simple.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#23
  Re: Mindset while woodworking by carpenter wisdom (Hi all, New to Wood...)
Perfect is the enemy of progress in carpentry. In woodworking it is the goal.
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#24
  Re: RE: Mindset while woodworking by fredhargis ([quote="carpenter wi...)
(10-02-2021, 05:32 AM)fredhargis Wrote: None. I do this as a hobby, and while I may be lamblasted for this, what you are asking is about deep philosophical thoughts. Something I tend to not delve into. As i said above, I'm a woodworker; probably not an advanced woodworker, but a very experienced one.....to me it's that simple.
Every piece of woodworking has a story behind it, a trail of decisions made along the way. 

I enjoy immersing myself in the process without the distraction of thinking about whether or not anyone else approves of the way I am doing it. Simple is usually best.  I am just shooting the breeze here, and appreciate the time you have taken to think about what I asked. Thank you.

Simply marking the measurement and splitting the mark.
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#25
  Re: Mindset while woodworking by carpenter wisdom (Hi all, New to Wood...)
I started as a carpenter's assistant in high school, working for my step father.  He built additions, garages, etc.  He was anal about his finished products, and things fit.  The inspectors rarely had to reinspect on his jobs.  That's how he taught me.  I worked a couple years, then went into the Corps.  I took those skills along.

I don't call myself a carpenter, I never reached his level.  I have built things, drawn blueprints, designed small barns and small basic buildings... But I don't have near the knowledge he took with him when he passed.  I appreciated what he taught me.

I took his reach for perfection into my woodworking.  When I build boxes, cradles, cutting boards... I don't strive for good enough.  I do it right, I make it right, or I do it over.  But, my mindset?  I don't let my hobby get me angry, it's my stress relief.  I look at errors as a learning opportunity, and move on.  If a problem becomes frustrating, time to take a break, or stop for the day.  The solution usually appears.


   


   


My mindset is to remember that woodworking, or carpentry around the farm is supposed to be fun.
Jim in Okie
You can tell a lot about the character of a man -
By the way he treats those who can do nothing for him.
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#26
  Re: RE: Mindset while woodworking by BrokenOlMarine (I started as a carpe...)
For fun:

"9619 | Jul 18, 2006 05:30pm |#3
Hilton,

Norm Abrams used to be a carpenter. Then he became a woodworker. Then he became a celebrity.
In my way of thinking, "Woodworkers" can be divided into seven distinct classes or ranks:

GODS - woodworkers who have changed the world of woodworking. Not many of these hang around on KNOTS. Think of Krenov, Maloof, Frid, Thonet, etc..

COGNOSCENTI - Greatly skilled, with vast experience. Just as great musicians congregate, the woodworking COGNOSCENTI know who the other COGNOSCENTI are. These folks have really paid their dues. They have the wisdom that comes with experience. Many, if not most, are in the business, but some are hobbyists. The COGNOSCENTI on KNOTS can be recognized after a while. Some of them are quite taken with themselves. Others are humble as well as helpful. Some of them like to argue about what lesser mortals would think of as "fine points". There is a lot to be learned from the COGNOSCENTI. When they talk, others should listen.

COMERS - Younger woodworkers who are very talented and creative and are moving out fast. They will become the COGNOSCENTI, and possibly the GODS of the future. You have to be a member of the COGNOSCENTI to recognize a COMER.

WARRIORS - The woodworkers who spend evenings and weekends in the workshop. They read voraciously about woodworking, and are very conscious about being as good as possible. These folks are not in the woodworking business, but woodworking is in their blood, and excellence is their byword. There are more of these in KNOTS than any other group. These folks have a lot they can teach others as well as a lot to learn.

SOPHOMORES - They have been bitten by the woodworking bug. Not enough experience to be a WARRIOR yet. Great enthuriasm. But they are past the initial questions of: "how can I get started in woodworking?" These folks are fun to help. They tend to be very appreciative. They still ask questions like: should I buy the General or the Delta?

NEWBIES - can be recognized by questions like: How do I get started in woodworking? What are the first tools I should buy? They really want to become good woodworkers, not carpenters who just build practical stuff. Best advice for a NEWBIE is to find a WARRIOR or a COGNOSCENTI who can give them some hands-on lessons in the shop.

CARPENTERS - this covers the whole realm of folks who build houses or make an occassional shelf. These are good and practical people. They do not aspire to build cathedrals or to have one of their pieces put into a museum. The world needs carpenters. These folks are not insulted if you accuse them of not aspiring to be another Maloof or Krenov. They probably have never heard of Sam or James. Carpenters rarely think about setting their tools to tolerances of thousandths or have rulers maked down to a 64th.

Following is a small but interesting subculture of woodworkers who constitute a category which does not neatly fall in the set of categories listed above.

WRITERS - There is a relatively small group of people who have decided to become writers for woodworking magazines and authors of woodworking books. Some are quite talented. Often they are biased by who is paying them. (This is not a revelation.) The magazine WRITERS have to produce often so they come up with lots of Jigs and things. Some of the WRITERS are (or were) GODS. A good example of that was Tage Frid. Some are COGNOSCENTI, and others are ....

Hope this got you thinking, but not too much.

Woodworkers are not given their ranks by others. They choose their own. As Boss Crunk has indicated, many denizens of Knots might choose higher ranks than their experience and wisdom would support. But then again, reality is very confining!

So much for words, let's go out and make some great furniture.

Mel"
Source: FW

Simon
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#27
  Re: Mindset while woodworking by carpenter wisdom (Hi all, New to Wood...)
I am a professional Luthier, specializing in the large violin-family instruments. My mindset when I work is to concentrate deeply and avoid distractions. I actually find that tuning into a radio program or podcast keeps the self-aware part of my brain occupied. I strive to get into a state of "Flow" whereby time flies by and my work is as good as I am capable of. That happens about 10% of the time. Usually, distractions like a rumbling, hungry tummy, a playful doggie, or fears that I've done something wrong keep the Flow state from occurring. But when it happens it's truly remarkable.
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#28
  Re: Mindset while woodworking by carpenter wisdom (Hi all, New to Wood...)
My woodworking mindset:

Ohm, Ohm, Ohm,


Oh  %E*&)W), #)%*)#)$m, #)%*)#$
A carpenter's house is never done.
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#29
  Re: Mindset while woodworking by carpenter wisdom (Hi all, New to Wood...)
Took me a while but I think I’m tracking now. Is this an, either you get it or you don’t thing?

I’m converting a barn. Thought my 2 sons would love to learn building skills.  I bought them chisels for Christmas thinking they were going to love carpentry, see it as a valuable life skill. But they really just want me to tell them what to do so they can go home. Their brains aren’t engaged in the whole project problem solving mode. At 18 and 21, what can one expect?


Sometimes, like yesterday, I’m just in do mode. Brain is switched off. Cutting Boral. Other times I’m completely consumed by finding a way to solve some problem. My boys are always the former.

Trying to explain to a woodworker where their head should be could be tricky. Underhill might have the answer. Maybe ask a question: How would you do this? Start with the problem statement. If you start with the mindset, I think that will be too philosophical. You end with that. Just a suggestion.
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#30
  Re: Mindset while woodworking by carpenter wisdom (Hi all, New to Wood...)
To the OP since you've taught have you ever thought about this, " I can show you how to (fill in the blank) but you're going to have to teach yourself how too (fill in the blank)"
I've also found out maybe 10 out of hundred will take the time and effort to really teach them self.
With that said for us 10% I bet our "mind set" is task at hand & very focused on the next step & final outcome of whatever it is were working on regardless if it's a fine piece of furniture or baking a loaf of bread. The focus or "mind set" from Carpentry to fine wood working takes a different "mind set" and sometimes a split personality when done professionally, some can't handle it others thrive.
Just my $.02 not sure if I missed your point or not.
And to those mentoring or volunteering my hat's off to you guys, someone like you had a tremendous impact on life's success.
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