Tag Archives: craftsmanship

Barter

4 Jun

I put a troublesome poplar down for a friend the other day and the conversation went something like this:
Friend “Henk, what’s the going rate for felling a tall Poplar at the end of my garden?”
H “Depends, but if I can do it as a straight fell, cross cut and stack it easily I will do it for one of your outstanding fret saws”
Friend “… ok, but only if you are sure”
My friend Wes Hedge is an accomplished wood turner and bowl carver and I always like to use hand crafted tools. Something made with dedication has an inner life all of it’s own. It may just be the knowledge and association with the maker, but for me it is a living essence.
So the morning came around for me to fell the tree and Wes asked me:
“Will we need to put a rope on it?”
To be honest there was only a 5% error margin in the direction the tree had to fall. A little too much to the left and the rabbit hutch was toast, a bit too much to the right and a lovely crab apple would catch the full force
“…Just move the gnome mate” I said
Three cuts later and a 25 meter tree dropped onto the lawn with no collateral damage.
The motivation of getting my hands on this baby was more powerful than money.
So now I am the proud owner of this fret saw.
Wes made it with a longer handle for my big mit’, so now I can make a birthday present for my younger brother Nathan and his new wife Anna’ sprog when it is born.
There is an old English expression which says that a fair exchange is no robbery. I would like to suggest that a fair exchange is the corner stone of good will and friendship.

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