Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I have been honored to have met great men in my life. I guess it is true that your life is shaped by those who you meet, and tempered by those who meet you. No man is an island, they say.

I am lucky that I live 6 blocks from work. I have often thought about how many times I have walked or ridden my bike those 6 blocks in the past 40 years. It is a perfect break and gives me time to reflect on my life.

One day this thought came to me as I walked home from a very fulfilling day at the bench:

A strong man knows when to quit.
A great man goes beyond what is possible.
A wise man knows his limits, paces himself, and realizes his full potential in the time he has been given.

It is curious how the mind works. I am not a poet, but I often reflect on how words can create ideas. I enjoy writing, and part of the meaning of the above thought for me is that I need to start working on my book. This blog has given me purpose, and I hope others see in it something of value.

For years I watched Roy Underhill perform on his famous show, The Woodwright's Shop on PBS. I was impressed with his style and his knowledge of the trades, as well as his passion for life. When he asked me to participate in his show in 2008, I was honored. Working with Roy reinforced my opinion as to what a great man he was. We became close friends, and when he announced the opening of his school earlier this year, I sent him a "woodworker's toast."

May Your Chisel Rest Sharp.
May Your Saw Stay Straight.
May Your Plane Prove True.
May Your Feet Rest On Shavings
All The Days Of Your Work.

I ask all woodworkers who have been enthused by watching Roy over the years to contact him and tell him how important his work has been. He deserves it.


Eric S said...

Agreed, I'm a huge fan of Roy. What was the name of the episode you were on?

W. Patrick Edwards said...

Roy and I worked together in season 2008. The episode was named "Marquetry Master Patrick Edwards." It was not my idea; Roy named it.

Working with Roy was amazing. We taped the show 6 times, and each time either Roy or I would suggest little improvements. It took 2 days. We finally got it right, and even though we cracked the same jokes 7 times it still sounds spontaneous when you watch it.

Check out Roy's new hand tool school.

Thanks for commenting.

Mid-Hudson Woodworkers said...

I have a copy of the VHS that was purchased from PBS. Unfortunately it is no longer available. The episode is Season 20, Episode 8 and was aired in 2000. I used this video several times in presentations on marquetry for the Northeastern Woodworkers Association as a lecturer at our "Woodworkers Showcase" woodworking show in Saratoga Springs. The video was far better than any of the photos and arm waving I could muster. I will get it transferred to DVD one of these days.

Roy was a presenter at Showcase a few years ago. He is capable, affable, and draws a great crowd!

Chuck Walker

W. Patrick Edwards said...

I have DVD's available of this episode for sale. Roy donated them to the school years ago, and the proceeds go to support the American School of French Marquetry. I will ship a copy post paid anywhere in the US for $25, payable to "ASFM."

It is a fantastic episode. Roy and I play "good cop, bad cop" really well. The question is who is which?