At least 90 percent of my winter heating fuel comes from wood. Therefore you could sign me up as a true testament to the fact that, " If you can't carve it, then burn it". I love everything about wood because wood is the real deal. I can find it growing naturally all around me unlike heating oil, kerosene, or electric heat which requires unbelievable manpower to mine/generate, process, and transport. You could say that I'm just a "wood" person and there's nothing "plastic" about me. So like I said, If I can't carve it then just please let me burn it!
Just this afternoon I brought in another bag of the woodshop scraps for starting a fire that would get me through another frigid Carolina mountain night. This particular bag held scraps from more than a year ago and I paused before offering it's sacrifice to my warmth. In the bag I broke a smile when I found a myriad of familiar objects that rekindled a lot of fond woodshop memories.
As the picture to the right shows I found a canoe, a piece of a nameplate, a couple of mini-basketball goals, a motor boat, an African mask, and a flag that was intended for a small boat. I could easily write a book on these unfinished woodshop projects but these were projects that for one reason or another never got finished. While some of them just never met the quality standard that we have, others might not have been finished because a board got ripped beyond repair as young hands were learning about the limits of stress upon the grain of wood.
For whatever reason they didn't get finished into useful objects but now these scraps reminded me of the education themes we had during a particular session of study. Once our theme was African History so we did a lot of research and learned about how young African children used masks to imitate and to test their transition into adulthood. I therefore had the kids make their own masks based upon this beautiful art. During another session our theme was about pirates and piracy so I had the kids design their own pirates ship. A theme on extreme sports led to the small basketball goals where a small wooden ball could be shot by the spring produced by a plastic spoon positioned just right on the base. Dug-out Indian canoes are always a popular carving project when the kids are meeting the carving in-the-round requirement for their woodcarving merit badge The nameplate you see is the first woodshop project that I have every new student make as it gets them familiar with some basic power tools and provides a good introductory orientation to the shop as they begin to imagine the possibilities and gain confidence for greater projects later on.
Those scrap pieces of wood represent a lot of hours spent learning something about wood AND something about ourselves in the woodshop. And now I hesitated to put them in the stove but finally my cold fingers convinced me that I was gonna have to do it. My fire is now pumping out heat and I am warm but just seeing those scrap pieces from a shop class long ago warmed up a part of my soul from a time now gone and I know that I'll sleep good tonight... even when the temperatures outside might be in the teens.
Whittling TIP - One of the great joys of whittling is its portability. Carrying a piece of wood in your pocket with your pocket knife lets you whittle anywhere. However, ...
1 day ago