And so the journey began...hold it! When did the journey begin?
Actually, it's been evolving for a longer time than I can remember. A lot of us may have memories of building some thing or another whether out of wood, or rocks, or cardboard boxes, or whatever crept into our imaginations and seemed to make sense at the time.
I can remember making these crazy tree forts with friends at 6 or 7 years old that were nothing more than rotten scraps of wood nailed willy-nilly between tree branches, probably dead ones too, about 40 ft or so off the ground...just high enough to get you killed or critically wounded if you fell...with an access ladder that was comprised of more scraps of rotten wood nailed to the tree with whatever size nail we found in our houses, usually bent over at about the half way point so that not much got into the tree let alone past the bark, and when you stepped or grabbed onto them, they would pivot and start to pull out. Getting up was never a guarantee of safely getting down, although getting down was assured one way or another!!
Then there were the safer projects; the carts that the wheels came off of half way down the hill, or the rafts that came undone just off shore or that you found out couldn't be paddled anyway. And saner things like stools, benches, boxes, birdhouses, bows and arrows and other things that you never really knew what they were.
But the one thing all those things had in common was imagination. Anything seemed possible on the right day, whether you had a plan or not. Plans were just details to be figured out along the way. Kid's stuff!
Of course as I got older, those plans became more mission critical. Somewhere along the way it became apparent that if you wanted something to turn out like it was in your imagination, you should draw it out first, which in turn brings up questions such as how it should be built, and what properties are needed for it to successfully perform the task you intend it to.
Wood is amazing stuff.
I learned a lot about it when I bought this old wooden sloop from Harlan Billings at Billings Diesel Marine in Blue Hill ME. It was originally built at the Stevens Boatyard in Lunenburg N.S in 1946 and was constructed with pine planking on oak frames fastened with iron clench nails! The name was Curlew, after the piper-like shorebird. More on that next post, thanks for reading.