One Tree Woodwork

Custom woodworking and art

Have gun will travel…

Everyday I go to work and put my nail bag on much like a gunfighter puts his six-shooter on. I am a hired gun, hired out not for his opinion but for his gun. Executing the plan to the ( T ) set forth by architects,engineers,clients,designers and the like.  This I have become accustomed to, although its been hard  being a passionate/creative person who often looks at things from a different perspective. In my 15 + years of being a carpenter I have seen what a profession such as a carpentry can do to ones body and soul. It’s a hard job and if one is forced or chooses to be in the labor end of it and not the management end there comes a time in which your experience is less needed/wanted and your back or lack of it becomes a liability. Stay in school “your too smart for this” rings in my head.  “want to bet I respond.”

Though when I first started, this profession seemed to have endless opportunities or so it seemed. Not sure if I’ve changed or just my perspective I’m willing to wager on both. A lot of the problems in the last 4 years could mainly be linked to the economy but some of it must be attributed to the growing lack of interest in products that are handmade or at least interest in paying for it. Sure there are some sub-specialties that are highly sought after but for the most part down here in Texas I don’t see it. The hipster yuppies can spend the money but usually only if it looks like it came off the pages of Dwell magazine. Which the bulk of modern design leaves me feeling sick its sterile hospital look disgust me (sorry for being so blunt.) But we are all here to make money right?
So it would seem as if I am as  guilty as  the gunfighter as long as the check clears it makes no difference what the target is you pick em’ I stick em’.

I have re read this post and it seems as if there is some anger. Some self-righteous bullshit and for that I apologize because I know I am blessed to even have a job so many are without and would give much to be in my shoes. This fact however does not change the way I feel and I suppose that most don’t read my post to listen to bitching for I know my hardworking brothers and sisters have many problems and many most likely make mine seem petty.

Probably this is just me blowing of some steam. Because at the end of the day learning how to (build) has made me who I am and for that I am grateful. In life some days you’re the hammer and some days you’re the nail but one has to recognize when your to often the latter.

For all your days be prepared, and meet them ever alike.When you are the anvil, bear – when you are the hammer, strike.

-Edwin Markham-


One comment on “Have gun will travel…

  1. Tim Joe Comstock
    June 21, 2012

    Thanks for a VERY good post, Tohner.

    It was the hired-gun factor that led to my eventual life-long career slingin’ nails. It morphed into a piratical practice later; but the ability to pull up on a site anywhere in the country and have three or four new drinkin’ buddies and a paycheck (usually cash) was enticing as hell to a guy who always wanted to be somewhere else. Plus my Dad was a union carpenter, as was his dad, and myself from time to time.

    But there is a lot more to say about your post. Or not. I know where you are coming from and if your post might be considered angry, my thoughts on the subject would be the deranged ravings of a dangerous maniac.

    I think I will finish my lunch, go put the first coat of mud on the twenty boards I just finished hanging and come back and get ‘faced and write a long comment. Save my place.


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This entry was posted on June 20, 2012 by in General woodworking, Homebuilding and tagged , , .


Saturday. Samuel Adams Octoberfest. Maple Burl friction folder by Onetree. My newly planted Texas purple sage. Which interesting enough the native americans used to brew herbal teas that treated fever and chills. Mesquite grilled hamburgers accompanied by a mesquite friction folder. Made in Texas by me. Date night. #Reposting @artisanbuilt with @instagrab_pic -- We spent most of the morning back at the Seward Plantation working on project scope and pricing. You can't help but be transported back in time when you walk on the property. Not in the way a museum full of antiquities makes you feel. But in a real life honest representation of a home,outbuildings and contents that have somehow managed to survive in gritty glory since before the civil war. The beginning of my fall garden requires a matching beer. But of course. Coffee first. Saturday evening creek therapy. How many carpenters does it take to start an old land cruiser? Apparently it's more then four...... Date night. T-bones,beets,asparagus,mac and cheese and naan bread. And of course yet another gratuitous shot of one my homemade knifes.
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