The work continued…

Captura de pantalla 2017-03-19 a las 9.24.01 PM     The work continued into the night. Curly wisps of fragrant shavings arced through the air, pushed forward off the end of my workbench and spiraled down to gather atop the prodigious pile on the floor. The pungent “green” almost herbal scent of poplar sapwood mingled with the thick tannic acid smell of chestnut oak and the slight hint of seasoned cast iron stovetop as the fire cracked and popped.

To my left, rough sawn and sun blackened boards leaned against a purlin. To my right their transformed brethren glistened in tried and true elegance, feint pencil marks for Face side and Reference edge graced the mottled patterns of the swirling wood grain.

Throbbing aches pulsed through sore muscles unaccustomed to this “new” work. This finer work laid for a time to rest at the lonely bench, while the rougher jobs of timber framing and crude joinery devoured my days over the past many months. The heavy lifting and high climbing replaced by the push of the try plane and the swish of the tenon saw. Bold snap lines and fat pencil marks transformed into sharp knife walls and clean bright polished joints.

Stooping to add a handful of wood to the fire, I stopped transfixed by the dancing flickering light as it cast long deep shadows across the timbers. Shock at the memory of the job done last summer, the true enormity of that effort, sweating profusely in the sweltering heat as each joint was meticulously carved. Yes, how grand to be here, warm in winters might, nestled in the womb of my creation, resting worn tendons and sore bones while chasing a line into the night.

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24 Responses to The work continued…

  1. I miss your videos and blog postings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Salko Safic says:

    You are by far the best writer I have come across and with like minded interest I enjoy the read even more.


  3. susan gortva says:

    thank you. I mixed together mineral oil and sweet birch oil and arnica oil for my muscle aches and pains. did you ever hear of the back to eden garden? I tried it last year in the shade of my front yard trees. it worked beautifully. much luck and love susan


  4. Josef Helmer says:

    I do like your poetic musings, thank you.
    (PS: and your woodwork, big or small, of course !!)


  5. Tom Angle says:

    Yes it is a huge undertaking to build a house on your own, let alone with hand tools. My hat goes off to your and your wife on the work you have done. I really cannot wait to see the completed work.

    For achy muscles you might want to try Blue Emu. I know they sell it at Rite Aide and it does work really well.


  6. dave keisler says:

    Initially trees provide oxygen..and later if you are lucky.. talented..and maybe appreciative…a shelter ..a home ..but also with the potential for warmth forever in several forms.. in metaphor and otherwise…


  7. Mary Alice Stevens says:

    Love it! What a lot of work. I felt so relieved when you completed, it brought tears to my eyes. The idea of blogging and video taping as you went along – priceless!


  8. bangflop says:

    A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist. ~Louis Nizer (1902–1994)


  9. Mr Home Maker says:

    Your creations give me hope and your writings open a small window into your wonderful mind. Thank you


  10. Terry Gothrup says:

    Since I’ve began watching your videos a couple of years ago, I’ve been enthralled at your craftsmanship. Very few YouTubers have captivated me as your timber framing series. I appreciate your hard work and efforts to make your house and videos. Truly a work of wonder and pride. Please continue and may God bless your household.


  11. Peter Ross says:

    You have given me all the inspiration that I need to take on my new venture in a foreign land.
    Thank you Mr Chickadee.


  12. scott ingledue says:

    You sir, are a very remarkable man. I pray for you and yours in all that you do. I know that He plans for you. Stay true to your calling. I will patiently wait for your next posting.


  13. Very good information. Lucky me I recently found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve book marked it for later!


  14. at home jobs says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!


  15. Gabe says:

    I have never commented on any blog or video in my life. I started watching your videos about two years ago and just couldn’t help it anymore! Your clips are amazing, and truly worth the effort of filming and editing while still actually working towards a practical goal. Thank you for sharing! My wife, three year old son and myself started the journey of building our straw bail cabin two years ago. I’ve done most everything alone on our 34 acre farm with the occasional helping hand from my wife Brooke. It always makes me smile to see your wife step in to help. It’s all so familiar. When we pass a new milestone, such as front door or roof. I always go back and watch your corresponding videos again. Somehow when I’m to tired to work anymore, watching you calmly glide though another project makes me feel better. My wife has become accustomed to the sound of the bird chirping at the beginning of your videos and will slowly roll over in bed and say ” does he have a new video?”. In short you are a celebrity. Thanks again!!


    • mrchickadee says:


      Your words are very touching to say the least! I shared this comment with my wife and she was moved very much! Sounds like your journey parralls ours in many ways! Where are you guys homesteading?



  16. Ferd says:

    Thank you for sharing this portion of your life with the world. I too romance things forgotten by the majority. I preach and so I am familiar with bearing my love for Someone who has almost been forgotten to the world. In the morning I am up early and often find you on youtube and watch in silence as you form things from the forest. Between you and Paul Sellers I have found plenty of inspiration to keep shaving wood, restoring tools and dreaming. God bless you & your wife and community as you continue your work.


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