THIS YEAR FATHER'S DAY IS JUNE 21
Father's Day is coming up soon and in the spirit of the season, Highland Woodworking is here for your woodworking gift selections. All you sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters of woodworkers out there need to get on the stick (so to speak) and pick out something for the ole "Pater Familias", (that's "Father of the Family" in Latin for you non-woodworkers), preferably in the woodworking genre. Enough with the ties, the underwear, and the aftershave, let's get down to some real woodworking stuff that he really wants and will always remember that you gave to him.
We can make some good choices here by seeing what kind of kid or grandkid you turned out to be. There are three standard non-gender specific categories of offspring (hereafter called "kidegories") and each kidegory has some suggested woodworking gifts associated with it. We publish those kidegories and the gifts that go with them here for the first time as a guide for the uninitiated, similar to those guides to the proper gifts for each wedding anniversary for husbands who don't know any better. (You know the jewelry stores made those up don't you? Could be the same thing here.)
Kidegory I ($20 to $50) -- This is the Base Kid group. You are between birth and high school. Tiger Cubs, Pre-K, Band Camp, no car, still living at home, video games, Miley Cyrus, that sort of thing. Only money you will have is money from your Mom to buy your Dad something. Normally wait until the last minute and rush out to get something on Saturday night. If you are this age, you cost a lot of money and time and because of you, Dad doesn't have a lot of tools (guilt trip!!) and is just getting started in making sawdust. You owe him already, so buy good stuff that is timeless and will last a lifetime. Here are a few suggestions:
Eight Oz. Trim Hammer
"The Woodwright's Guide" by Roy Underhill. This is the latest in Roy's series of seven books and it is just marvelous. Roy writes so well and the book is a doorway to woodworking with very few tools. Since Roy is working 200 years ago, his information is timeless. This is the book your Dad will spend Father's Day afternoon reading between naps on the sofa after he has run you out of the house. Why don't you offer your absence for the afternoon on a note to him stuck in the front of the book as part of the gift. I mean you made Mom breakfast in bed, didn't you? And oh yes, sign (your name, not Roy Underhill's - (unless you are Roy)) and date it on the inside front cover. Add some appropriate sentiment, something that includes words like world and best and Dad. He will keep it forever.
-- This is not one of those cheap forged framing hammers they sell at the corner hardware store. This is a beautiful polished head hardwood hammer that you would use to put the last nail in a piece of work you spent months making. The face is polished and the handle is curved and it is a joy to just pick it up, much less using it for driving a nail or a dowel or a wedge. These hammers have been used on appreciation plaques presented to major corporations in Atlanta - they are that pretty. You should know this information because he appreciates hammers like you appreciate Hannah Montana. Sign the handle with a Sharpie and he will think of you every time he uses it. Plus all his woodworker friends will be so envious that he may have a hard time holding on to it. Do not try to borrow it and do not do it the indignity of using it to hang a picture - that would be like hitching a race horse to a plow. This is a keeper.
Silky Bigboy Folding Saw - This is a lovely Japanese style saw which cuts on the pull stroke, opposite the way most American saws cut. It folds up so you can stick it in your hip pocket and take it to the lumber yard, or you can walk around in the garden and prune a limb off that tree hanging over the fence and shading the tomatoes. It cuts very aggressively and pull type saws are very easy to use. This is one of those things he doesn't know he needs until you get it for him, but once he uses it, you can bet he will use it and keep it a long, long time. And he will think of you every time he sees it.
And if none of these works for you, you can always get the famous Highland Gift Certificate, which actually comes printed on a piece of wood. How can you beat that? Plus all the clerks at the store are woodworkers of long experience and will be happy to help you if you get stuck. Most of them were kids at one time and some of them are Dads by now.
Next time, we will move up to Kidegory II and Kidegory III. Save this information for future reference. You may want to print it out and leave it in conspicuous places around the house with big red circles on the things you like.