Sawdust in the Wind

My Dad passed away a week ago.  I credit him with teaching me about creative work, a bit of woodworking and especially hand tool woodworking. In preparing for his memorial service I came across a few photos that answered some  of the mystery for me about this hobby that has become a bit of an infatuation / way of life for me.

The first was photos from a trip to Old Sturbridge Village when I was about 4yrs old.  

This is a photo of my older brother on that trip watching a woodworker riving shiggles with a froe.  I also see the inactive pit saw in the background.  I was probably standing next to my dad, the photographer.

Same visit observing a cooper or chairmaker on the shaving horse.

A few year later there is a photo of me at Ray Perry’s lumber mill in Branchport NY.  I notice I am barefoot at an old lumber mill.  Clearly Dad  (on my left) must have had a lapse of safety precaution that never would have happened if mom were there.  … Oh wait… mom is there on my right.  

Ray Perry (second from left) owned and operated the mill  outside Branchport NY back in the 70’s.  I think we were picking up a load of wood to build a dock and were having a little after hours party.  

Our old International Harvester pickup in the background ready to be loaded with white oak.

Mid 1970s  finds me cutting a fence bard to length with the same Disston crosscut saw that I use in my shop today.  My father didn’t own an electric saw, yet we did a significant amount  of woodworking..

Here is a boathouse / guest room that  my father designed and built.  While this was not timber framed with proper joints, it was a good approximation and I am sure it started my appreciation for timber frame designs.

My Dad was a creative spirit and an incredibly hard worker.  I miss him, and share time with him spiritually in my shop.





Reader's Comments »

  1. By Dan A. on September 18, 2020 at 4:27 am

    Those are some awesome photos and more awesome memories I am sure. May the God of all comfort soothe you in your time of loss.

  2. By swirt on September 30, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks Dan A., I appreciate that.