I have this book I’m writing. the working title is “how to make very nearly everything”.
I’m not a very good writer. I’m rather poor at it actually, but I’ve been working on it for decades, just to get my ideas all put down somewhere. Thus I have decided to use some of it on this dumpster fire I call my Blog! And This is my introduction of several of the basic precepts that I include in it.
First and foremost: Anyone can learn how to do anything that they put their minds to. While some people pick up new ideas or skills faster than others, even people that are very slow can, slowly, learn if given a chance. (I really get lathered when someone compliments me on my woodworking then says that they could never learn to do something like that).
Secondly: skills are often not what you think they are. Metal working is not a skill (it’s a skill set). Draw-filing is a basic metal working skill. When broken down into skills all crafts become accessible to every one. Yet even a skill like Draw-filing depends upon other skills, like, it is a skill to place your feet properly to get the best effect from your file.
3rd: Skills are both transferable and cumulative. Skills (like filing properly for metal work) are transferable to proper tool holding for other tool use, including proper tool holding for Woodworking or Jewelry making. The more skills you learn/adsorb, the easier it is to learn new skills. After you get going you even reach a point where the skills you have show you how to perform a skill you have only seen or heard of.
4th: Creativity is in our genes. You are born with it. You may have had people tell you otherwise during your life but they are 1) wrong and 2) impatient. it’s not that you couldn’t learn. They couldn’t teach. They had no patience for breaking it down so that you could understand it.
5fth: You do not have to choose one skill set! Many people get caught up in a skill set and refuse to even look at other ones. EG. The wood worker who will not touch on metal work because it’s not “their thing”. and visa versa etc. Do not get stuck there! A good knife maker has to make their handles out of something (usually wood), a good box maker needs metal hinges. Why not learn how to make your own?
“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one” Viktor Vicsek.
I want everyone to get busy making something, it’s good for you.
During this year I will be making some things that can be described as “craft making equipment”. I really enjoy making things that make things. So I pulled of the back burner a couple of projects I had shoved to the back of beyond years ago, to start the ball rolling. First I pulled out my half built universal thread cutting machine, which can make threaded rods, and spirals or flutes on legs. And then realized I had no really good way of cutting the gears. And I had planned out a foot powered fretsaw also years and years ago. So the gears are ready to cut, and the frame of the fretsaw is done. Now I just have to make the fiddly bits to have a running saw, then I can cut the gears, then I can make the bookbinding equipment, and the barley twist table.
And once you have your crafting equipment, you can in fact make anything.
Later on I have a spinning wheel I started 20 or more years ago and a rocking horse. I would also like to make a printing press, a rope making machine, a sash saw, a broom tying station, a loom, another spinning wheel, another pottery wheel, etc.
As I make these things I will try to post progress here and also try to describe the skills and reasoning behind some of my decisions. Such as: I don’t believe that Spinning Wheels need ball bearings. They work just fine without them. And so then I ask “What else doesn’t really need ball bearings to work well?” lets find out 😉