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Take a picture out your workshop window!


Marcos Schmitz
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Magnus, I too am not fortunate to have a rustic setting - although when i began this phase of my live I lived in Woodstock (yes that woodstock) NY, my backyard is a nice haven but the view out my window is a city street. My view Monday was that of a neighbor's moving van blocking the street. At least my flowers have bloomed in the yard sure some of them are dandilions but it is still nice to see after a gray winter.

Reese

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WARNING! do not open the shop photo if you have an aversion to messy work areas :)

here we have the interior where all the magic happens :) , with one of my student's, larry, purfling a top plate...

take note of the tape bandage around larry's finger...careful as he is, he still managed to slice his finger...and this is why i never charge money to teach people...i spread the disease for free :) well that way i figure no one can sue me if they melt their face on the bending iron...were just all hanging out carving wood together with me showing people the general ropes...

i don't teach people who do not already have basic tool skills....thats just asking for a bonzo drive to the emergency room...larry like the others already has woodworking skill...they just need to run through the process to understand the concept...and yes we talk about what is typical, what the masters do and how what i will be showing them is very different from that...

the second photo is the marshland...which is the backyard , i have my clothesline for drying and tanning set up just behind this view...i often varnish of the back deck...

tranquil as it looks, with the nice boat slew,and usually filled with ducks and birds...whatever you do....

DON'T GO OUT ONTO THE MOORS AT NIGHT!!!!...the hounds of baskerville are on the loose....really, roving packs of coyote's

don't be the one that say's......A DINGO ATE MY BABY!

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Working hunched over as in the picture above is guaranteed to give you serious back problems in short order. Back problems which can be very painful and debilitating, sometimes resulting in surgery are common in violinmakers who neglect to pay attention to the dangers of back injury when they work.

Oded

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Took these on Saturday, eight days ago. Little fellow awakened from a long winters nap with a powerful hunger for some birdseed. Chased him away after I took a few pics. Life in the wilds of Colorado Springs, Population 600,000. :)

Roger - absolutely stunning photos, wish we had some major wildlife like that in urban Northeastern England. But I do find myself wondering: If you are out on the deck working on a scroll or reading, with some tasty snacks at hand - are you not in danger from Mom and Pop bear calling by for lunch? I can't imagine the little one doing too much damage (though that's a big bearclaw he has there) but the lack of fear of humans would scare me! Teenager Bear must have known you were so near...

This is a brilliant topic, and I find it revealing that so many contributors have trees in close proximity - I wonder if the fascination with wood has a sub-conscious effect when choosing a site to live/work as a luthier?

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Working hunched over as in the picture above is guaranteed to give you serious back problems in short order. Back problems which can be very painful and debilitating, sometimes resulting in surgery are common in violinmakers who neglect to pay attention to the dangers of back injury when they work.

Oded

oded...we are contractors....our backs are already shot...they were shot..years ago.....however, we did raise the bench 6" the other day....larry also has scoliosis, so his back may seem more hunched than normal....hey trust me, compared to working on a hardwood floor, that position is like sitting in a lazy boy......normally we would be hunched over much more whiping around a 50lb edger for 8-10 hours a day....so again, depending on what your definition of "gauranteed" is....

frankly, no offence at all, i really enjoy your knowledge base....but trust me on this....you don't know what back pain is{maybe cause your smart and never became a wood floorman} but the type of pain that would send a violin maker to the hospital, is the type of pain that contractors will be feeling by 9 in the morning, with hours, months weeks and years, left for it to build up...

however what ever the case may be, you are correct, and it was raised...that pic is about a year old...

but trust me most contractor's are tough as nails with a grizzled toughness that the average citizen just does not have...

and with that, i'm off for the day....demo time'

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Roger - absolutely stunning photos, wish we had some major wildlife like that in urban Northeastern England. But I do find myself wondering: If you are out on the deck working on a scroll or reading, with some tasty snacks at hand - are you not in danger from Mom and Pop bear calling by for lunch? I can't imagine the little one doing too much damage (though that's a big bearclaw he has there) but the lack of fear of humans would scare me! Teenager Bear must have known you were so near...

Hi Maestrolover:

Most everyone on the west side of Colorado Springs (near the mountains and National Forest) deals with wildlife, and most people have the sense not to feed them. We did have a bear that had to be destroyed a couple of weeks ago because she had become accustomed to people, naturally one idiot was feeding her. Last year we had the U.S. Senior open at the Broadmoor hotel here. Play was briefly interrupted when momma bear and two cubs crossed the course during play...........a sensation on the TV coverage. My wife Vicki and I have backpacked all over Colorado and the sum total of wildlife we have seen in the wilderness areas is two deer, a porcupine and some marmots. On the other hand, here in our neighborhood we have rabbits, deer by the herd, an occasional elk, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, bears and (rarely) mountain lions, to which we accord a wide berth. Newcomers to the area quickly learn not to put their refuse out the night before pickup. The biggest problem the wildlife cause is expressed by the new sign with a picture that appears on the street lamp posts about every two weeks:

"lost cat.....Fluffy, children heartbroken, big reward"

I usually think to myself, "well folks, it's time to explain to the kids that Fluffy got 'et." Small pets out at night keep the hunting skills of the predators honed to a very dull edge........they really are easy pickings for the predators. Again, most folks here soon accept the notion that there is a certain responsibility we have to our pets to not let them be eaten! I wouldn't change it if I could, and certainly never worry about the wildlife harming anyone. However, my wife has shed many tears at what the deer have done to her gardens............we have learned to buy plants the deer won't eat. So no, we just don't worry about the bears and other wildlife. They spend most of their time in the common areas (which were too steep to be developed into lots) and don't get to see them very often. We simply enjoy them when we do see them.

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This shot was taken last July from the workbench of my summer workshop in the mountains of central Idaho, elevation 8000 feet.

Google maps does not show any roads going to Miner's Peak. How do you get up there?

That is wilderness! And you have Internet access?

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Google maps does not show any roads going to Miner's Peak. How do you get up there?

That is wilderness! And you have Internet access?

They fly me up there in a helicopter in late June and pick me up in October. I work as a lookout for the Forest Service. I'll be carving scrolls and varnishing this summer.

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No internet up there so I will be missing MN dearly. No electricity either, just solar charged marine cells for my radios.

What about telephone? Short wave? You should write a book, like Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey), perhaps. I assume you take your violin.

I would sure like to read your daily journal.

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What about telephone? Short wave? You should write a book, like Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey), perhaps. I assume you take your violin.

I would sure like to read your daily journal.

No cell service up there. However, I can hike about two miles to another peak to get service. I do that about once a month. I do have a satellite phone which I can use for ten minutes a week though! That seems to be plenty. I do write a lot up there and I also torture the wildlife with my fiddle :) . Oh, and yes, I do have a short wave. As Abbey said, "What little thinking I do is my own and I do it on government time".

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