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Builder/Remodeler
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3,811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How often we lament the lack of commitment in our younger generations to mastering a given trade.

Is it culture? Technology and distraction? The ubiquitous participation trophy?

I believe it's a multi-variate challenge... but at the end of the day, we need more craftsmen. More people entering the trades and staying long enough to build things well.

I open this thread to crowd source inspiration, and ask that you add any story or tidbit from your journey that got you started or kept you going. What gets you out of bed in the morning... what sustains you through the hard projects, difficult clients, and sometimes lonely path of a craftsman or business owner?

No need for long tomes. We know our times and attentions are short. TL;DR Just the meat. No fluff.

I'll begin with a few words that have touched me over the years...

“The Builders” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.

Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest.

For the structure that we raise,
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build.

Truly shape and fashion these;
Leave no yawning gaps between;
Think not, because no man sees,
Such things will remain unseen.

In the elder days of Art,
Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part;
For the Gods see everywhere.


Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen;
Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean.

Else our lives are incomplete,
Standing in these walls of Time,
Broken stairways, where the feet
Stumble as they seek to climb.

Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base;
And ascending and secure
Shall to-morrow find its place.

Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye
Sees the world as one vast plain,
And one boundless reach of sky.
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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3,811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
John Ruskin... look him up if you do not know him:

“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When
you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
have enough to pay for something better.”

“Therefore, when we build, let us think that we build for ever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! this our fathers did for us." For, indeed, the greatest glory of a building is not in its stones, or in its gold. Its glory is in its Age.”

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort. There must be the will to produce a superior thing.”

“To study one good master till you understand him will teach you more than a superficial acquaintance with a thousand: power of criticism does not consist in knowing the names or the manner of many painters, but in discerning the excellence of a few.”
 

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I’m the 60’s when I was a kid there was the soap box derby ,was a national contest sponsored by Chevrolet. Gravity race cars for middle/ junior high school. No kit cars at that time, all built from the ground up using supplied wheels , axles and steering wheel. Kids had to do all the work with a parent/ adult advisor. Lots of designs to get a human into the smallest heaviest (potential energy) most aerodynamic package. Also had to have a slick paint job for reduced drag.
Have loved building just about anything since then. Thanks Dad.


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Kowboy
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2,465 Posts
"What gets you out of bed in the morning... what sustains you through the hard projects, difficult clients, and sometimes lonely path of a craftsman or business owner?"

I like being a bad ass:
Tap Bathroom sink Plumbing fixture Sink Kitchen sink

Tap Sink Plumbing fixture Rectangle Countertop


That's an Elkay Quartz Luxe apron sink in Caviar (black). Had to use her cutting board to build the LG HiMacs solid surface edges down. Offered to fill the faucet hole and center it, but she preferred asymmetry.
 

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8,240 Posts
Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

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Artist and not a curator
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14,331 Posts
"What gets you out of bed in the morning... what sustains you through the hard projects, difficult clients, and sometimes lonely path of a craftsman or business owner?"

I like being a bad ass:
View attachment 516218
View attachment 516219

That's an Elkay Quartz Luxe apron sink in Caviar (black). Had to use her cutting board to build the LG HiMacs solid surface edges down. Offered to fill the faucet hole and center it, but she preferred asymmetry.
What about that would you say makes you a bad ass?
 
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