I thank each and every one of you for all your emails you have sent me, for your comments you left, for all your support. You guys are the true lovers of this craft, you’ve remained silent for the last two years, but you’ve stood up and made yourselves be heard when it mattered. You stood in defence of your craft, what a noble act that was. In all my years of standing defiant against injustice, have never seen more courageous people like yourselves, and I commend you all. I have read all your emails, your concerns and passions you all have for this craft, and I have given it much thought to all your thoughts and advice on this issue and the majority wins.
You’re absolutely correct, the political bollocks of it all isn’t worth my sanity. It is evidently clear with the mass response I received that such a magazine is much needed, and I can’t help but wonder if Ed Francis Young, the visionary creator of WORK faced the same opposition as I have, and if that was the reason of it’s demise., for it only lived a short three years. For the ones I did not reply too please forgive me as there were far too many. Despite of it all, I must commend Christopher Schwarz for his effort in making available to us books from the ancients, for if he didn’t make this effort to reprint word for word tirelessly resulting in many sleepless nights, these most valuable books would be lost to us forever. I know he loves the craft and admittedly I was hasty in my previous assumptions, I can’t help but wonder if he too, once upon a time faced the same opposition as I have. Chris did get in contact with me this morning via email, he believes this to be a worthwhile venture and has explained what he can and cannot do, his hands are tied due to valid reasons and has given me good suggestions, not much more needs to be added here.
So I shall continue writing this blog as I always have, but not as often as I have, for I will devote more time behind my bench. After having said all of that, I am still torn between two worlds, reality and fantasy. The reality is, time consumption with no monetary compensation. As a husband and father of five I need to work to pay the bills. To invest the time needed to produce this magazine to a reasonable standard, I need to invest a considerable amount of time and energy into it, another words it would be a full time job, and with my current fourteen hour daily shifts makes it very difficult. On the other hand the fantasy of forcing myself to make it happen doesn’t coincide with the reality. So how about a compromise, I can tone it down. Rather than treat it professionally, I can treat it on an amateur level. I can spend one or two hours a day or weekly on it, working with materials I have on hand and materials you contribute if you so wish. I will also without question include excerpts of ancient text, articles and so forth. I will leave texts in its original words without putting them into my own words, because I would rather you hear it from the source rather than read my own interpretation and understanding of it, this is to protect you from any errors I may make. I will include my own projects as well.
I also want to keep it free, I think that’s fair after all this isn’t a business nor a professional magazine with any monetary outlay other than my time. The contents I receive will be given freely with no monetary exchange so why should I charge any my readers. It doesn’t feel right to do so. I do this with good intentions and with sincerity towards my readers and our craft. If at any point in the future this magazine or newsletter call it what you will out grows itself, which the possibilities are always there, then I will have to consider the option of going professional. Only at that time will I have to consider charging a subscription fee and or purchase price for each individual copy. I may even consider having two copies available to you as downloadable PDF and hard copy, price adjustments for each will be made. I will then consider paying contributing authors a set fee for publication of their work, provided they haven’t published their article prior with any other magazine and or made publicly available for viewing or downloading on the net. Obviously then there will be advertising as advertising is crucial to any magazine but at no time will they influence the magazine, no favouritism, no influenced biased reviews will be made to anyone if a review of their product is being made for publication. If they can live that then so be it, if not they need not advertise with us. But I’m getting way ahead of myself but I needed to mention that if the day ever comes.
So the title of this magazine, newspaper or newsletter again call it what you will, will be HANDWORK. The layout will contain my new logo or crest you see on my blog, the layout or design is influenced by WORK but with minor differences not that it matters legally anyway, I think it’s a good spread and in honour of Ed Francis Young I want to remain within the spirit of the magazine. So I will include articles written in WORK, that’s pertaining to woodworking and possibly articles in metal work if it pertains to woodworking and if I find any subjects on tool making as well but not all necessarily WORK being the source.
As it’s apparent to us all you can choose to download all 200 scanned issues of WORK from tools for working wood. Not all of them have turned out ok but most are still readable. I won’t be using using scans of text of any materials other than images from ancient sources, everything will be retyped by me and printed for you in the highest quality. As for submissions of articles by contributing authors, I would prefer them to be submitted in Microsoft office file format with accompanied pictures in high resolution in a separate folder, if you don’t have access to Office then provide me a link to your article in your website and I will extract the materials from there. I will then email you a layout proof for your approval and only with your approval will I include it in the magazine. If you do provide me your article in the file format specified above, then please note down what picture goes where as pertaining to your article. At my own discretion I may also post article projects from other existing websites without obtaining prior permission to do so first, I will include the source of where I sourced the material from and the authors name if it’s available, but a link will always be provided to the sourced material. At no time will I ever attribute someone else’s work as my own, this is not the purpose of this magazine. This will also provide substantial exposure to the craftsman which I’m sure he or she will appreciate. I will publish HANDWORK at my discretion, there is no set time at present how often I will do so. It’ll get done when it gets done, and finally it’s obvious my experience in magazine layouts are limited, so don’t be too judgemental on its appearance, it’ll get better as time goes by and my experience grows. I sincerely hope that HANDWORK will be beneficial to you as a craftsman and be an asset for the craft. I hope you enjoy reading it and look forward to each new issue.
If I can offer any wisdom it’s this, support one another, promote one another, create, learn and pass on what you know, try and teach the young and keep the craft alive.
I think that pretty much covers it all for now, and I’ll take leave by saying thank you all once more for your support, and I will also leave you with an excerpt from the chief editor Ed Francis Young 1889, may he rest in peace.
TO OUR READERS.
“Read you, and let us to our WORK”
2 King Henry VI., i. 4.
ALTHOUGH no apology may be needed for the appearance of WORK, an explanation of its Why and its Wherefore-its rasion d’etre, as our friends across the Channel would put it- is certainly desirable, and a little space in this, its first Number, may be usefully taken up in showing the causes that have led up to its introduction; the persons to whom it chiefly appeals; the objects at which it aims; the special features by which it will be marked; and the field of operation that it seeks to cover.
First, then, let it be shown why and wherefore WORK has been called, and has come, into existence. What, let us inquire, is the great demand of the time; for what are most men chiefly asking and seeking in the present day? To this question the right reply is by no means difficult to find. It is, and must be- “Better and fuller means of Technical and Practical Education.”
Never, indeed, it may be said, was the demand for technical education greater than it is at the present time! Never was it heard more that it is now among workmen of British nationality! And why? Simply and solely because of late years it has become painfully apparent that by means of increased facilities for obtaining technical knowledge the foreign workmen have been stealing a march upon them.
Never, forsooth, at any time has the necessity for sound technical education for the workman been so thoroughly impressed upon the minds of men as now; and never has it been so eagerly desired and demanded by all grades and classes of the people.
At the present moment, there lies in the pigeon-holes of the British Government a Bill for the Promotion, Extension, and Elaboration of Technical Education in the United Kingdom, which will be discussed and moulded into law at the earliest opportunity. Our Universities and great Public Schools are awakening to the necessity of teaching the hands to work as well as the brain to think. In every large town, and in London itself – the head as well as heart of the Empire – a craving is springing up for the establishment of technical institutes and workshops, in which any and every man, whatever may be his social station in life, may obtain improved knowledge of the leading handicrafts that are practised by men, or even to learn their very rudiments, if he so requires.
In these amateur workmen are already assembling, that they may better know through practice under trained teachers how to carry out the work they may have adopted as a hobby; and professional workmen that they may become better conversant with the theory that underlies the work they do; and by this, and a quickening of their taste and perception of the beautiful in form and perfection in execution, gain greatly in skill, and capacity for carrying out the work by which they have to live.
And all grades of workmen are alike led to seek self-improvement, because they have realised the truth of the grand old saying – Knowledge is Power.
To meet, then, at a most critical period of our national existence, the needs of workmen belonging to each and both of the two great classes into which workmen are naturally divided – professionals on the one hand, and amateurs on the other – WORK has been brought into being. That WORK will prove the most useful and most complete serial of its class that has yet been given to the world, there is every reason to believe; and, without doubt, it will be eagerly sought after, read, and followed by those for whose benefit it has been produced, as the first, the best, the most helpful, and the most reliable practical instructor of the times in which we live. Nay, more than this, it may be regarded as being verily unique in itself through the comprehensiveness of its scope, for although efforts may have been made, prior to this, to help and instruct the amateur, never yet has any attempt been made to regard all workmen, whether workers for gain and daily bread or workers for amusement and recreation, as one great family possessed of common aims ad actuated by common interests, who enter the lists of competition in friendly rivalry alone, to provoke one another to the execution of work of greater excellence than either the one or the other has yet produced. Each class has much to learn of the other; each class can teach the other much. Time, it is to be up and doing, and, with regard to those who write in the pages of WORK, it is to lead and help their fellow-men to better things that they are banded together. They, verily, are first afield to guide where assistance and lend a helping hand wherever aid may be sought.
And this they will ever do in the spirit of Solomon’s mingled counsel and command – “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
Mention has been made, well-nigh in the same breath, of the amateur and the professional workman; but are they not more closely akin than superficial thinkers are disposed to allow? Are not all men amateurs alike? Are not all professionals? Verily, yes; each and every man in his own order. What, indeed, is the difference between workmen, amateur and professional, save that the latter practices his craft or calling for gain, and the former loves and cultivates an art for his amusement. The distinction is very much like that which has been drawn from time immemorial between those who live to eat and those who eat to love; and the comparison runs far more closely in parallel lines than may appear at first sight, for if the professional works to live, does not the amateur in an equal degree live to work? Even a professional workman is an amateur in everything else except the one particular handicraft by which he lives; so that, speaking fractionally, every man, if he be one-fourth professional, is very likely three-fourths amateur and so may be regarded as being in point of fact more of an amateur after all than he is of the professional.
Said a working man to a writer one day, “I look upon myself as an amateur in every man’s trade except my own, and as I like to know something about all trades besides my own, I hail with pleasure every source from which I can derive some knowledge of them.”
Every man, indeed, has, or ought to have his hobby whether he be professional or not, and therefore, in seeking to administer to the improvement of one class and to build up and augment the knowledge of its members, precisely the same thing is done in the interests of the other.
This has been said to show that the pages of WORK are intended for both groups of workmen alike, and to point out, on the good old principle that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, that that which is desirable and useful and desirable for the other. If there be any difference at all, it will be found to consist chiefly in this – that the professional workmen require and desires to gain in comprehension of theory, and the amateur conversely, in practice, and thus each will be brought on pari passu to the same goal – perfection in execution.
We must now pass on to consider briefly the objects of WORK, and the subjects that are to receive treatments in its pages. On this it is only necessary to say that in the papers which will appear from week to week will be found a clear and practical exposition of the modus operandi to be followed in every art, craft, or science that bears directly or indirectly, on handiwork of a constructive or decorative character, the directions being supplied and comments made, either in short single papers, or in series of articles tersely and comprehensively written.
If the reader presses for a more accurate definition of the nature of the articles that will be treated in WORK, let him attempt to sum up in his mind for a moment the handicraft trades that are most familiar to himself, and endeavour to realise that instruction will be given on, or notice taken of, every one of them sooner or later. To catalogue them would be simply to make a list of every kind of constructive and decorative work that is practised by man. Let us take this as done, and so avoid the waste of time, space, and power that would be involved in its preparation. Number 1 and Part 1 will sufficiently serve as samples of the whole. It is impossible, manifestly, to touch on everything at once, but everything nevertheless, will be touched on in time.
In general character, WORK will be purely technical and instructive. Nothing that comes within the region of polemics will be touched on in its pages, and discussion will be permitted on such subjects only as are processed of common interest for all readers.
Wit reference to the special features by which WORK will be marked, it may be said that every paper that requires it will be fully illustrated with sketches, diagrams, or working drawings to scale as may be described. This alone will tend to render WORK invaluable both to the workman himself and those at whose bidding and for whose benefit he may work.
New machinery, new tools, new appliances, new arts, new processes, new modes of treatments will always find exposition in its pages, and a special feature will be made of
OUR GUIDE TO GOOD THINGS,
In which notice will be taken of tools, machinery, technical works, etc., and all things useful and novel that manufacturers and inventors may produce in the interest of those who labour with the hands. Manufacturers and others are requested to send the Editor timely notice of any new tool, machine, or appliance that they are about to introduce as a new claimant for public favour.