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Duration: 15 min., 23 sec.
Freedom. Free to design something as “simple” as a footstool, or as complicated as a desk, without a computer program, a tape measure, or even a rule. That is what Jim Tolpin’s presentation was all about.
Jim’s presentation took the audience from the workmanship of certainty using machines, to workmanship of risk using hand tools. He showed how, in working the wood by hand, the approach to the work also changes. To minimize the risk takes “care, dexterity, and judgment”. In the process, mastery is achieved. This typically takes at least 10 years and 10,000 hours, and is the norm in the trades. For all woodworkers, the artisan approach encourages innovation and experimentation in the design process; and, if a mock-up can be made, the piece very likely can be built!
Using his hands and one his shoes, Jim showed how to design a nice step stool for a client. The design turned out pretty nice!
I am not quite ready to throw away my tape measure, rules, squares, and the FMT, D4 dovetail jig, the table saw or the jointer, band saw, etc. But in the future, and for some of the “special” pieces, I will try to apply some of what I learned in Jim Tolpin’s approach to using hand tools. Who knows, maybe I will become an artist in wood; he mentioned during this presentation that wood artists make the most money in the woodworking world. That is food for thought.
Acknowledgment: I received Camtasia Studio version 6, by TechSmith. I produced the final video of Jim Tolpin’s presentation using this program, for it allows terrific control of zooming (SmartFocus) in and out on the presentation slides. However, I noticed voice sync problems. Troubleshooting revealed the problem developed when I edited the video using an ancient video editor; it was not a problem related to the new Camtasia. If time permits, I will work on fixing the audio sync issue.