Fair Woodworking

January 4, 2015

A long road by design

I have a confession to make.

Sometimes when I’m board, I go to the Handworks web page and pretend to pick the nose of the guy in the logo with my mouse pointer…

Give it a try, it’s fun.


So last night it re-occurred to me how soon Handworks is going to be a reality.

This happened while I was plotting the 24 hour, 2500km long road trip, plus finding the most likely 24 hour gas station, and pee-pee stops that we will no doubt need to take advantage of.

Ya that’s right. For all you American sissys out there that are whimpering about how it’s too far away, #RealWoodworkers just get it done.

Unless you live in Hawaii, Alaska, Key West Florida, California, and some parts of Washington, or Oregon, you probably have a shorter drive than I do. Shoot, Mexico City is only 6 hours further.

Or you could fly…

Anyways, while checking to see what time we had to arrive in town in order to attend Roy Underhills opening presentation, it finally really hit me how many awesome vendors will be there. What a great chance to meet so many interesting people, and what’s more, perhaps fondle a few tools in the process! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few of the vendors already, and really look forward to watching them squirm as I enthusiastically prod them into “pretend” remembering me from many years back.

Then there are others that I have never met, but for years have cyber stalked, cyber harassed , cyber bullied, or cyber mocked. If you see a guy dressed in plaid sporting a fresh black eye, you will know that one of them has figured out who I am.

Finally there are the vendors that would fit into category three. These are ones that I may, or may not have heard of, but certainly have not collected enough information from blog pictures to make a shoe box diorama of their work shop. No, these ones I have yet to add to my woodworking shrine, and at this point, I am not yet at risk of violating restraining orders during the show. In fact, I don’t even know what these people look like.

So I start clicking on the vendor links in hopes of becoming more familiar with them and their work. One of the vendors was some dude named George Walker. As soon as I clicked on the link I knew he was one of those “design types”. You know the ones… Pictures of greek buildings, and sketches of horses and anatomically incorrect, yet athletic men?

I know, right?!!! “Bla, bla, bla, proportion. Bla, bla, bla, golden bla, bla, bla. Causes the eye to be drawn to the bla, bla, bla…”

Anyways, one of this years Christmas gifts, “By Hand & Eye” by Jim Tolpin & some other guy, was the inspiration for my 2015 New Year’s Resolution. Learn something, ANYTHING about design. So since I still have a few other books in the hopper to read before this one, I thought I would see if this guy could prime the pump so to speak for future reference.


So as I’m scrolling through the blog, I stopped at one post called Build-in portable, waterproof, hairy handy ruler. As I scanned through the post, I noticed George mentioning meeting Jim Tolpin in person. Well I’ve always been a sucker for a good name dropper (Neil Cronk) so I dive in for a more thorough read.

He talks about how he learned from Jim about using/knowing the measurements of the segments of your hand rather than having to rely on a ruler so much. That was super cool, and a real eye opener for me, but it just made me wish that Jim Tolpin was going to be at Amana.

I wonder if the other guy will be there….
So I told you that story so I could tell you this.

Have you ever heard someone say that they knew something like the back of their hand? How well do you really know the back of your hand? I’ve always wondered about that saying, and have even tried googling it. Today I even looked it up in The Cassell Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by Nigel Rees. It’s a good reference most times, but not today.

However, in light of the previous story, I wonder if it refers to an ancient time when the every measure of the back of your hand was common knowledge?



  1. This will probably add me to your “Avoid this creepy guy” list, but I’m looking forward to meeting you at HandWorks.
    Here’s the question I have regarding HandWorks protocols, how do we recognize anyone? Almost everyone uses an avatar and/or isn’t in the #selfie crowd, so while I feel like I know a lot of folks that will be there, I wouldn’t know many social wood workers by sight, even if I know what their tool cabinets and dogs & kids look like (even creepier now, right?)
    So what do we do? It seems a bit pretentious to put my logo on a shirt (plus I don’t want to disappear in the JMAW fanboy crowd)

    Comment by Jeremy — January 4, 2015 @ 11:39 pm

    • I’ll be the guy that gets thrown out for urinating on the door prizes in hopes that no one else will want them. I’ve never been to one of these things before so I’m not sure how it works. I guess once Konrad pretends to remember me he can point me out…

      Comment by fairwoodworking — January 4, 2015 @ 11:59 pm

  2. I tried picking his nose and it is fun. I’ll be trying this on other pics now.

    Comment by accidentalwoodworker — January 5, 2015 @ 6:05 am

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