Here in central New England, willow trees are plentiful. Many were planted because they grow quickly and can dry up excess water on your property. The trouble is after 30 years or so, the roots start to chew up driveways and cause all kinds of trouble. They also seem to have a difficult time with tough storms. The happy result is that if you've got a chainsaw, there's plenty of willow available for nothing except the sweat of bucking the logs sawing the billets.

Of the attention getters in my home, I'd have to put my critters in glass houses near the top of the list. These cute little fellows spend all their time perched on the inside of a glass or cup watching all that goes on around them, well, at least in front of them anyway.

Solly Schoultz, from Cape Town, South Africa, asks a question on sharpening. Solly says he's having trouble keeping his tools sharp. He would like general sharpening information and advice about the various angles that need to be considered. Solly adds, “I am currently sharpening on an oilstone and polishing on 1200-grit water paper followed by honing on leather.”

Welcome to the second part of my article. In the last article in Carving Magazine I covered mallets, drawknives, bench knives, detail knives, chip carving knives, chisels, firmers, background stamps, and thumb guards. In this issue I will cover lap boards, a chest protector, holding devices, a carver’s arm, strops, handles, and one of my spare time activities — “junkin’."

In Boston during the first half of the last century, there was a vibrant Lebanese community near the area which is now known as Chinatown. The community was rich with talent and counted among its members the poet Kahlil Gibran.

In this community there was a boarding house where one day a boy was watching a man carving something out of wood. When the boy asked what the man was making, the man said simply, "A spoon...". So the inquisitive child asked, "Why?" and the man responded, "Because i need one".