End Grain: Too Delicate A Touch


The hands are the tools that mean the most.
By Brad Graham
Page: 72

From the December 2010 issue # 187
Buy this issue now

When I was a professional woodworker, I experienced a satisfying fascination looking at my hands at the end of the day. As a full-time cabinetmaker, I thought about them as I made specialty cuts on the saw, my fingers gliding within a hairsbreadth of the hungry blade. At the end of each shift, I was, of course, relieved that they were still there, that some stupid oversight of fund amental safety on my part hadn’t compromised them.

Though I was always glad they were intact, it was the appearance of my hands that appealed to me. They looked worn and used, like a good woodworker’s hands should. Skin-like strips of dried glue leprously peeled from the tips of my fingers. Dark crusty islands of wood putty decorated my digits. Cracked, dry and calloused, these were the hands of someone who knew how to get the job done, who knew that a meticulous eye and talented hands could produce something truly exciting from a rough-hewn length of wood. I felt my hands were more impressive than other tools found in the shop.

In Our Store: James Krenov’s “The Impractical Cabinetmaker.”


From the December 2010 issue # 187
Buy this issue now