Did you ever wonder if there was a place in Worcester where old school hand tools are in use?
Did you ever wonder if you could feel the joy that comes from working with wood while listening to a cascading waterfall?
Wonder no more — there is a place where all that happens — right here in Worcester!
Several years ago, when I first became involved with the Greater Worcester Land Trust, I also wondered where those big beautiful property signs came from. And then, I participated in my first Sign and Timber Work morning. What a thrill!
There I was, watching GWLT volunteers shape a log into a square post by using hand tools I had only seen in books and movies (yep – Little House on the Prairie type stuff!)
A volunteer was standing on a log using an adze.
Another was using a chisel and mallet to shape tenons on a cross bar.
Someone else was painting lettering on a beautifully routed sign.
There was so much activity! And because of the silence of the tools, there was conversation and laughter.
The morning was an absolutely amazing experience.
After some schooling on the use of an adze, I had the opportunity to try my hand at log hewing. And, it was fantastic! I was certainly no expert, but there was no pressure to excel immediately. In time, the motions of my hands and the tool became a little smoother. I was hooked!
Then I discovered that sort of thing happens on a regular basis.
There are times when we must collect black locust logs from the forest at Cascades West. That sort of morning gives you an opportunity to use the Junior Log Arch to drag the log through the forest, or to use a two-man crosscut saw to cut the log into 8-foot sections, or to debark the logs using a bark spud. At some point, you will be carrying the log using a two-man log timber carrier after you used a peavey to move the log into place.
What a blast!
All while working side by side with volunteers that are also enjoying the experience.
These are certainly things you do not expect to do in Worcester, but you can, thanks to volunteer opportunities with GWLT!
GWLT Sign and Timber Work mornings happen every other Thursday morning from 9 am to noon at Cascading Waters (135 Olean Street). Be sure to check the event listing on our Facebook Page or our online calendar to confirm the date and location. (The location will change if we are installing a completed sign — which is just another awesome experience with GWLT!)