I Am Carpenter

Without a proper work bench, vice grip nor an adult helper, my nephew, Third, was all the help I needed.  He proudly calls this the table "WE" made.

I've always been thankful for all the woodworking skills we learned at Philex Mines.  We were  asked to memorize and draw all the kinds of tools in school.  The company provided working shops and all the hand and machine tools needed.  We were forced to learn "Work Education" or "Industrial Arts" from Grade 4 to 6 and first year high school.

 It has been a skill I can pull out at a time like this when I have to make our computer shop's  tables.   Not only is it good for bonding with my nephew but it's also a great money-saver.

Thanks to Pa who left at least a working jigsaw and an electric planer, all I needed was two days and we have tables for 8 computers.

All my classmates while growing up were so much better than me at wood-working.  I didn't feel obliged to compete with them.  All that was important then was knowing how to do something.  I didn't feel the need for external validation.

I remember how funny and ugly my works were.  I even finished a dust pan project in less than an hour by simply grabbing a very rough 2x2 piece of wood, sawed it to length, cut a pan-shaped tin out of a rusty rectangular can using a "Tinner Snip",  then without creating a backing for the handle's base, I simply nailed the two pieces together.  Brushing silver paint over the pan finished the job.  The dust pan leaned forward, of course, and was as nimble as a soft broom.

It was never used.  Classmates had a great time laughing at it.

That was how I approached wood-working then -- Learn a skill, build something by myself out of "found" materials like it was an installation art and treat it like it was a mere "proof of concept".  I had a grade and was content knowing I can do a better one in the future if my life depended on it.

My wife and some people are amazed at some of the things I can do.  They haven't seen how good my contemporaries were.  I was the worst, probably trailing my classmates by hundreds of miles.

Yes, I tend to exaggerate, but this time I'm pretty close to being accurate.


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