Preference?

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In his reply to my last post, Ron asked if I preferred "rough" or "finish" carpentry. That's a tough one to answer.

The most accurate answer would be "No." I really enjoy doing what we refer to as "rough" work. Getting out in the sun (or the ice, depending on the season), slinging large planks around, swinging that 28-oz framing hammer, trying to "sink and set" a 16-penny sinker with two swings (or one if you were really "macho"), that's "real work." Then we would sit around at lunch with our saws in our laps and file them sharp while we ate.

The end game is a whole different experience. Precise layouts, fine cuts and careful fitting, as thin a shaving as you are capable of with a finely tuned plane, a perfect cut with a razor sharp paring chisel, a joint that slides together with a whisper, that is just as real. This is the part that "gets seen" so it has to be perfect. But the underpinnings might well determine how long this fine work will be around to be seen.

I guess what I like most is the process. Rough or finish, it really doesn't matter which. The ultimate end result is an amalgam of effort, knowledge and skill and neither is more or less important.

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