Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 4
March 2009
Patricia's Bridal Cabinet

On another occasion, I talked with a young woodworker who had been my college student a long time ago and who had become a good friend. Sitting at the dinner table in my house, he said that tradition is what people practice at any time, so tradition will evolve. Therefore, since today's woodworkers use plywood veneer, biscuits, and Gorilla Glue™, that will be our new tradition. I felt that although he had a point, I could not agree with this thought. I felt that tradition had more elements, but I just listened to him at the time. That conversation, and the other, stayed in my head for quite a while after that evening.

I know through my experience that most woodworkers have stashed away some place in their woodshop a small quantity of special wood. Meanwhile, they dream and wait for a chance to use it and make a special project, filled with beauty and intricate details, which he or she desires. Why is that? Why do people climb mountains and risk their lives? Why do Olympians spend almost all their youth to better a record by 1/100 of a second or less? Why do people talk about or exchange stories of how they broke through or handled some very difficult situation or task?

One day I picked up all these thoughts and more, one by one, and concluded that as long as human beings don't lose their intellectual curiosity and passion to challenge themselves, even if sometimes a challenge seems impossible, then beautiful materials, proper techniques, and intricate, traditional wood joinery will never totally be replaced by plywood, biscuits, and Gorilla glue.

The top of the bridal cabinet, made from special wood for a special person.
The top of the bridal cabinet, made from special wood for a special person.
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