The author shares his journey of learning woodworking through a relentless push to fail, and his objective was to tie a knot in a piece of wood. His first attempt was in 2016 when he selected straight-grained, air-dried ash, cut into square strips, and steamed them before bending them into a loop. Despite some failures, he managed to form a knot about 2 inches in diameter. In 2018, he attempted again, this time using a compression bending jig to help bend the wood. He managed to form knots down to 1-1/2 inches and 1-1/4 inches in diameter. In 2022, he used air-dried black locust, modified his compression bending jig, and pre-soaked the wood before steaming. He steamed the blanks in two steps and bent each in the compression bending jig in all four directions. The author has made significant progress in his woodworking journey.
- The author describes his journey in woodworking, specifically his goal to tie a knot in a piece of wood, a task that took him many years and multiple attempts to achieve.
- His initial attempts, made by steaming and bending the wood by hand, resulted in some success but also many failures due to the wood fibers breaking before forming a knot.
- Over time, he refined his technique by using a compression bending jig and pre-soaking the wood, which finally led to the successful creation of a knot in a piece of wood.
“Much of my education in woodworking has been from what I describe as the relentless push to fail. That is, coming up with an objective that pushes the limits of what I can do, what I feel is possible, or what is possible. I came up with the objective to tie a knot in a piece of wood about ten years ago and I now feel that I have succeeded.”
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