Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Intermediate Technology in the Shop” – Harry Bryan


 This is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Eight. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come. 

Please note that the subscription window which includes Issue Eight is open now through March 25th.

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“Intermediate Technology in the Shop” – Harry Bryan

The classic Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher has been an inspiring read for generations who have sought a human-scale approach to economics. The concepts of wise, sustainable consumption of resources and an appropriate use of technology for the benefit of everyone hold broad appeal – but how might we apply these ideals in the workshop?

Author and boatbuilder Harry Bryan weighs in, having been inspired by Schumacher’s book over 40 years ago to make drastic changes to the way he pursued his vocation. He writes about the challenges and benefits of running an off-the-grid boatshop and homestead, his move towards human-powered tools (such as his innovative treadle-driven bandsaw and foot-pedaled grinder), and the thought process he employs to decide if a power tool is worth using for certain operations.

Above all, Bryan winsomely keeps in mind the goal of his efforts: building beautiful, useful objects in a way that leaves plenty of resources for future generations – being the change he wants to see. As he quotes Schumacher:

 “There are poor societies which have too little; but where is the rich society that says ‘Halt! We have enough’? There is none.”

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