Infill Planes



  Instead of Therapy by Mark Singer  

This morning I responded to a post in the Turners Forum...  I have a small lathe collects enough dust that no one ever considers me a Turner. 

The thread started by Doug Jones was interesting and although I usually post on how to do something... not why we do it... or how we feel about buying stuff to support it, it is a reasonable question.

As I worked on my Wenge table today the question lingered in my mind...  We are all very fortunate to have a passion!  If you want to buy a tool... do it!  It is much cheaper then seeing a shrink or roaming aimlessly through shopping malls searching for that perfect thing you really don't need...  Make something!

We are all fortunate and revel in our good fortune!  Buy a tool this week!  But use it!  For those that didn't see my response I included it below...  a bit sentimental, not like me you might say... never the less straight from the heart!

I really never intended to sell anything or build furniture on commission... it just seems to happen.  The Wenge dining table I just sold, I thought would be my personal last one... a client wanted it and as they say, everything has a price...  The love hate relationship I had building the Teak sofa with the mitered dovetails was for an architect friend, I couldn't say no!  I worked for about half of what I should have because he was a good friend. 

I have been asked to participate in the local Laguna Art Festivals...  I don't want to give up my summers... I like having fun and I don't have the time.  Yesterday my wife said to me "It will be nice when you finish Jeyong's (My client) furniture... it will free up your weekends".  My response was they are free and I am having a great time .  I probably could design and build furniture full time and do ok... my dilemma is I love Architecture also! 

I have worked hard all my life at things I Love....and as I say with every post "All Great Work begins with Love.....then it is no longer Work".  This has been very true.  I have tried to do my best... and it has turned into more work.  If I didn't like what I am doing , I would be miserable, because I have a lot of it.  Instead I feel I am reaping the rewards of working at things I love.  The rewards are more work, yes, and while there are things that really seem like work on these really large pieces like a 750 pound 12' long Wenge table... I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I wake up each morning excited... details fill my head solving yesterdays little problems, trying something new...  A lot of my friends my age are bored and envious... they never acquired the skills and now in retirement they are lost with no passion...

Almost forgot... tools!  When you use them as much as I do there is no guilt... they brought me to where I am.  I love them ... but not polishing my planes and putting them in a glass case... they are on my bench, or in the cabinet waiting for their turn.  The most expensive machine I own is The MM Elite S Jointer / Planer / mortiser and after the first project I used it on it was paid for!  I try to get things that will improve my woodworking and I avoid gadgets.  Hand tools are a joy and every time I pick up a saw or rasp... I think of my Father... he built my first workbench when I was 5 years old.  I guess he is to blame for the mess I am in...

"Thanks Dad ! I am loving every minute... wish you could help me again"

Mark Singer
Laguna Beach, CA
October 2006

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Norris Planes


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