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 A Prerequisite to Benchwork

Yesterday my family spent the morning stacking firewood for the coming winter. Having both my seven-year-old and my (almost) two-year-old handling so much split wood I think embeds within them a deep awareness of the nature and properties of wood as a material. Eden (7) has known for years which logs make great splitting stumps and which ones are great for riving. He watches out for crotch wood and knows the implications of knots. Besides serving as a basic introduction for kids, I think all woodworkers should have some of this experience. Straight grain is understandable in theory but seeing how grain runs on a split burns it into your mind in a way you’ll never forget. If you haven’t...

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