I Speak Hayward…Though it’s Difficult


I’m so very close to completing the copy edit on the forthcoming Lost Art Press book, “The Woodworker: The Charles Hayward Years.” I then have to traipse over to Kentucky to update the files, then there’s another edit round from Christopher Schwarz, more changes, a few design tweaks no doubt, another edit?…in other words, while Chris and his business partner, John Hoffman, are fighting to publish before the end of the year, they’ve the luxury (and good sense) of waiting until it’s unquestionably ready for prime time.

And I’ll admit, were Chris not busy teaching in England right now, I’d probably be a disappointment; I’m now two days behind my promised deadline of mid-July (which to me means July 15). In my defense, I’d not seen the volumes of work when I agreed to said deadline. That, however, is not the real problem. I am the problem.

In addition to copy editing the tome, I’m reading it (those may sound like the same things; they are not). Sure, I already know a lot of this stuff, but it’s fascinating to read about it from another point of view, and to see how Hayward did things differently than I’ve been taught. And there is, of course, a lot of stuff I don’t know, so I’m learning (which takes a great deal longer than editing and reading). I didn’t know, for example, that a bullnose plane was so essential to woodworking success (though actually, I’m not wholly convinced about that one). And I have never been told to heat the parts of a joint before applying Scotch glue (a.k.a. hot hide glue).

The above is also indicative of another thing that has me distracted…remaining faithful to the original language, spelling and punctuation (much of which is at odds with my usual lexicon). Although I’ve now read almost 800 pages, my red pen still hovers over every “mortice,” “vice,” “realise,” “straightways” and “to-day” … it’s awfully difficult to tamp down my atavistic need to bleed “mortise,” “vise,” “realize,” “straight away” (or better yet, “now”) and “today” onto the page. And the semi-colon and comma usage is decidedly different than what I was taught. But so what. What on page 2 was annoying is on page 762 charming.

But there are two words that keep tickling my fancy (other than “whilst,” which I often employ): “practicable” and “lugs” – they are so much more fun to say than “practical” and “ears.” And I find it trés drôle that “french” (as in French polished) is never capitalized, but “Scotch,” as in the glue, is. Sometimes.

“Cramps,” however, are to me something entirely different – and “cramp shoes?” Slippers, worn while eating ice cream and downing a stiff drink.

OK – back to it. I have to have this finished before Chris is back from showing folks how to centre grooves, trim mitres and cut rebates.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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16 Responses to I Speak Hayward…Though it’s Difficult

  1. Brian says:

    Realise you soon shall that the answer is more liquid corn and less red ink!

  2. Wombat says:

    As a Brit, the clamp/cramp one is interesting to me. I was taught (rightly or wrongly) that you clamp something to the bench or other fixture, but you cramp two components together – hence ‘sash cramp’ but ‘G clamp’ – although the terms are used pretty much interchangeably nowadays. Lug is another interesting one.. the “lug” is the ear-flap on a deerstalker or similar.. ‘lughole’ is another slang ear synonym, although I think that’s more modern.

    Preheating the parts gives you more open time with the glue, as opposed to it gelling rapidly on a cool surface. I suspect this was of more importance in times gone by, where a shop was likely a tad nippy in the winter.

    Two countries, separated by a common way to spell whisk[e]y 😉

  3. nrhiller says:

    Megan, what a joy this is to read!

    To this day I use the same 48-inch Record sash cramps (with removable 24-inch extensions) that my mother and stepfather gave me on my 21st birthday, back when Record and Stanley tools were still made in England.

  4. Paul Chiasson says:

    Just as a point- ‘practicable’ is a term used in law (in Canada, anyways), and it sets a much higher threshold than practical. Many things are practicable (they can be done) that are nevertheless not practical.

  5. Brian Noel says:

    “More cramps, dammit, I need more cramps!”.

    • Brian Noel says:

      I see the error of my ways and renounce my attempt at humor. It is no laughing matter to make light of cramps and a misplaced period is a horrible thing indeed. Page seven cracked me up though.

  6. Paul McGee says:

    How do you think we feel reading US abuse of our, true, language. 😉 :p Strewth.

    • fitz says:

      Ah yes…the purity of English, a tongue derived from various Germanic, Norman and Celtic languages, with quite a few loan words from India, Spain, China….

      Truth. 🙂

      (But I don’t think “to-day” is still used?!)

  7. Paul McGee says:

    Pre-heated joints on the seventh page here (of a great read)

    Click to access CharlesHaywardSeamy.pdf

  8. Gye Greene says:

    For the lower entry on the page you showed, I initially read it as “When You Haven’t Got the Cramps” — which is usually a good thing.

    I used to live in Seattle, but then moved to Australia (where the spelling and grammar is much like the Brits). When I was first grading students’ assignments, I kept marking down “whilst” as being too pretentious — until I realized that about half the students were doing that. So then I had to go back the the stack and un-mark my “corrections”…


  9. gblogswild says:

    Hasluck called them cramps, too. Drove me up a wall until I learned to ignore it. Now I chuckle every time I do a glue-up.

  10. Pingback: I Speak Hayward…Though it’s Difficult - Woodworking Unplugged

  11. Bob Jones says:

    I wondered what he meant by scotch glue. I thought maybe it was the same company that makes clear tape. 🙂

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