Farewell, old friend
In every life there comes a time to cast off most of the material things that we labor to gain and maintain, those possessions that, ultimately, possess us.
Pretty philosophical, right? Well, the truth of the matter is that I need space. Anyone who has walked into my little shop in recent months has found it more cramped than ever. I’ve just got too much stuff in there. So I decided to take an inventory and get rid of things that I hadn’t used in the last year or items that I possessed in multiples. It didn’t take long for me to realize that gaining some much needed space would not, necessarily, be that difficult. If reality could talk, it would have said something like, “Hey! Dumb Ass, you’ve got three full size lathes here! Why? Who needs three lathes in a one man, 400 square foot shop? What are you thinking? You’re not thinking! One of them has to go!” There it was. Cold. Hard. Reality. Ugh….
The main lathe is a Nova 16-24-44 that I bought several years ago. Couldn’t get rid of that. Then there’s a Powermatic 45 that’s next on the list for restoration. It’s the lathe I’ve always lusted after. That one’s staying put. So. There it was. It had to be the Treadle Lathe. What? The Treadle Lathe? The heavy duty, double spring, spring pole lathe that could swing 20″ and center 48″? That lathe? The one I built with my own two hands? That lathe? Yep.
I’m a great believer in the notion that a true craftsman finds his joy in the process, not the product. But still, this was my baby. I was more than a little attached. But after thinking about it awhile, I decided to call a friend of mine. This particular friend is a hand tool aficionado, collector, student of woodworking history and a guy who, along with his family and friends, is building a log cabin with hand tools (non-powered). So I called him, explained the situation and, to my relief, he agreed to “adopt” the lathe. There it was, the lathe would have a new home. It would be well cared for, appreciated and I could visit occasionally. Several days ago we loaded it up into his truck. I suppose the feeling that I had, as the truck pulled out of the drive, was like the guy just gave his dog away (right after the dog had chewed up his new $500.00 Italian loafers). It was a mixture of emotions.
So now I have desperately needed space that I can use for assembly and finishing. But it is an unusual feeling. The shop seems to have lost some of its intimacy. Hmm? I wonder… Could there be some other unique project out there? I mean, hey, now I’ve got some room…