Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RAVES!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 08/11/22

A Cut Above

In my last post, I mentioned the YouTube channel of Dr. Doug Helvering, and that leads me to recommend a couple of other channels (neither of which has to do with music) which I watch regularly simply for entertainment or amusement.

The first one is the Chopito Rally channel, where I enjoy watching rally cars of all different shapes and sizes coming to grief in a dizzying array of fashions, some more spectacular than others. I don't know why I enjoy watching it happen; after all, someone could get hurt, and - like all motor sport - the whole enterprise is not exactly helpful in the current (as it were) climate. I suppose we all have a compartment in our brains which responds to other people's failures, and the more spectacular the better.

The second channel I would like to point you towards is a lot more static. In fact, you can hardly get more static than dead trees.

Because the Belko Wood channel features a group of guys in Belarus (somewhere around Vitebsk, I think) who go around sawing up logs and the like into slabs. We're never vouchsafed the ultimate destiny of the slabs, but I strongly suspect that they have an arrangement with furniture manufacturers and similar craftsmen in their country.

The satisfaction in watching their videos comes from observing skilled professionals at work, especially in something which is of practical use to society; not only do they produce wood which will doubtless be used for things as quotidian as tables - and in doing so making sure that little of what Nature provides goes to waste - but they display a high degree of skill in doing so. If you watch one of their videos, you will learn how to produce slabs of consistent thickness by screwing a ladder into the top of the log in question in order to guide the chainsaw on its frame. You'll also see these artisans dealing with the regular problem of metal within the wood - nails and spikes which lie hidden within, having probably been hammered into the tree decades before - and how to sharpen and change the chains. And you'll see them dealing with the region's wind and sleet with good humour and determination.

What you also get to see as a result of their work (which requires not just skill but stamina and strength; wood is heavy stuff when you come to move it about) is the glorious sight of the grain which is revealed by the chainsaws; a reminder of how beautiful Nature often is. I myself certainly wouldn't mind a table with that sort of grain on it.

The videos are all very well filmed, assembled and presented, including speeded-up sections which will make you start humming Yakety Sax (aka 'the Benny Hill music') despite yourself. I've come to like these guys.