This is written by a fine woodworking comrade, Bill Sands of Lubeck, West Virginia, who has taught us much in the patients and fortitude of woodworking. In his spare time Bill is also a master woodworker in his own right, and contributor to Woodcraft Magazine. He has done much for his surrounding communities, charities, and for many area woodworkers. He opens his doors, knowledge, heart and soul to all, along with a great sense of humor. Above, Bill holds a Bubinga board from Woodcraft, that he helped this blogger through his guidance of teaching safety in using power and hand tools, turn into this beautiful recipe box for my daughter.
We bring this preface to you followed by a weekly continuance article complete with photos from The Taradiddle Tribune written by Bill Sands. The articles will contain jovial fellow woodworkers and camaraderie from the events that take place on Turning Tuesdays’ at Bill’s workshop, more commonly known as Codger Lodge.
by Author, Bill Sands:
Welcome to Codger Lodge. If you are inclined to associate with old folks who have a propensity for woodworking; this is a good place to spend some time. We codgers gather at a shop in Lubeck, WV each Tuesday to pursue our woodworking interests and related activities. Codger Lodge sports a renowned doughnut disposal team and we are diligent in maintaining our proficiency. Prevarication without malice is another common activity. Routinely, the codgers indulge in many forms of woodworking, with turning being the most prevalent discipline.
We codgers thrive on camaraderie and our group is bound by a bond of friendship. Our meetings are informal and governed by the Golden Rule rather than Robert’s Rules of Order. Everyone at Codger Lodge has a key to the executive restroom. Each of us is a CFO. Our treasury consists of two recycled plastic CD containers where voluntary contributions are made to the kitchen fund and the shop-supplies fund. We maintain a coffee pot and a refrigerator that is stocked with pop, water, and beer. When Turning Tuesday winds down and the power tools are unplugged, some of us enjoy a glass of beer while reflecting on the simple pleasures of the day shared with good friends at Codger Lodge.It all began with Mikey, who suffered a fall that left him paralyzed from his chest down and drastically altered his active lifestyle. He is an electrician who enjoyed many outdoor activities before the accident. Mikey sees the glass as half-full and never half-empty. He dwells on things that he can accomplish and not his diminished physical abilities. After Mike recovered and adjusted his lifestyle to fit his circumstances, he disclosed a desire to learn basic woodworking skills.
He and I began meeting in my workshop once or twice a week to ground him in the basic milling and wood joining techniques. He developed the skills quickly and we were progressing to more complex projects when, during one fateful session, Mikey asked about the mini-lathe in the shop. He expressed a desire to try woodturning. We mounted the lathe at his comfortable working level and I taught him everything that I know about turning.
It became apparent that Mikey was destined to be a wood turner and needed more advanced instruction and advice than I could provide. We invited two accomplished turners, Jimmy and Tom, to join our Tuesday sessions in the shop.
From that early beginning, the program rapidly expanded. Mikey’s turning skills increased and he acquired a more powerful lathe with a larger capacity to facilitate his progression toward larger bowls and segmented pieces. More woodworkers began showing up to share their knowledge and demonstrate their skills. Over a period of two years Turning Tuesday evolved into a social gathering as well as a woodworking skill share.
Currently, twelve to fifteen friends, on average, visit the shop on Tuesday. Realizing that most of us are fortunate to be retired and may be considered codgers, we began referring to the shop as Codger Lodge and our gathering as Turning Tuesday.
Mikey is an inspiration to us all. He accepts his paralysis without complaints and he is relentless in perusing his goals. He has surmounted all obstacles and become an accomplished turner in his own right. Mikey’s lathe is his passion and “Flat work” woodworking has gone by the wayside. The pattern routed hand-mirror project that we were working on before he was attracted to the mini-lathe is still stored in the shop, waiting to be completed.
The poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, never met Mikey; however, she must have known someone like him to inspire this work.
The Winds of Fate
One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
That tell them the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life.
Tis the set of the soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
Feel free to drop in anytime for a visit. We’ll keep you updated on the proceedings at Codger Lodge (http://www.codgerlodge.com/), and you may make new friends of your own.Look for a new chapter from the Taradiddle Tribune every Wednesday, here on Woodshop Demos.