Saturday, July 9, 2011

Put your bike to work

"sawdust is cleaner than snow and not unlike it, and the long curling crinkled shavings, that come off sweetly (as clean as a whistle) are lovelier than any manufactured fabric. Wood is tender stuff, too; you must not bang it about as you must bang iron about, and, handling it gently, carpenters as a race are gentle. They seldom shout; they never leave their tools about." -Frank Kendon

I was thinking about these lines from Kendon's introduction to The Village Carpenter by Walter Rose today in connection to my bicycle trailer.

Carpentry is a gentle art, and as I've been drawn more and more to using hand tools in place of power tools, I've thought about the other dimensions of my work. One of the things that seems out of step with the way I want to work is driving a truck around all of the time. A while back, I bought a used baby trailer from a friend, took all the canvas off of it and built the wooden wagon style frame onto it. Admittedly, there are times when driving is unavoidable. Some things are just too heavy or too big or too far. But for smaller jobs in the neighborhood, it doesn't make sense to drive. Especially on a beautiful summer day like today.

Today I used the trailer to carry my tools over to 34th and Sansom Streets to put up a window box I built in front of the University City Housing office. Once Laura fills it with flowers, I'll post some more pictures.