At a certain scale, production woodwork requires a lot of time spent physically sorting and grading material, then processing it through a sequence of noisy machinery. It can be dull, monotonous work, but I still get a thrill watching grain patterns emerge and generally enjoy the physical labor as a kind of meditation. I find it helps to begin a day of milling wood with an exercise I call balancing the brain. In the past, this has taken the form of a commute by bicycle to my shop, or practicing Tai Chi. Lately, I’ve been spending a few minutes each morning juggling and relearning to ride a unicycle, both familiar activities from my youth. The activity reminds me to be present and aware of my stance, which protects me from injuries associated with repetitive motion, and helps keep me safe and sound when working with dangerous tools.
I love my salvaged, battered unicycle and antique wooden juggling pins