One of the fastest growing fields in woodworking is MLLS (medium load swing} lumber networking. What is MLLS? It stands for Mobile Lathe and Shaft System; a system that allows woodworkers to get quality wood products from short, medium or long distance. What does that mean to the average woodworking beginner?
Woodworkers in general need loads more help when they’re trying to create long items. Long, narrow beams, for instance, need to be made up of long planks of wood that each have a cross-section just right for their particular load and tension. But a MLLS plan can cut those beams into manageable lengths with no problems. That makes the job of a woodworker a lot easier. In a nut shell, MLLS systems are made up of an assortment of short, medium and long length pieces of hard wood that are easily manipulated at high speed by hand or with electric motors.
This type of woodworking is very different than regular woodworking in the way that the tools used are specialized for this type of job. Tools of the type typically found in power tool shops such as a table saw, router, sander and drill presses can’t normally be used on MLLS projects. Only hand tools can accomplish these types of tasks.
So, what is so unique about MLLS? In the first place, there are no molds to learn to make things with. We’ll assume you’ve already mastered traditional woodworking methods such as routers and saws and tables and planes. But if you haven’t, I highly recommend you learn them all. The same holds true for any other tools you might be tempted to use. If you don’t know how to use them all, you’ll never learn to build good products.
MLLS woodworking represents a complete transition from the beginner’s level to intermediate level. It is not a mere addition to your current woodworking knowledge. It teaches the principles, concepts and learning tools you need to become successful at it. The reason it works so well for beginners is because it focuses on using simple language and diagrams to explain the various techniques.
Second, it’s challenging. It will not be easy for you to learn this new system. You will need to apply what you have learned from reading the book, watching videos and doing hands-on projects. However, you will also develop an appreciation for basic woodworking techniques.
Third, it brings together a great number of skills. You may have already learned about how to build tables and planes but you probably aren’t aware of the fact that there are many more intermediate levels where you can learn more complex woodworking techniques. You will have to acquire a broad range of skills and knowledge before you can really produce quality products. And you need to work hard to keep those skills sharp. I doubt that you’d want to spend several years learning something you’ll eventually forget.
These are just a few of the benefits I derive from learning how to use the book. I have learned how to build a variety of projects using its detailed step-by-step instructions. I have improved my carpentry skills. I hope I have helped make you want to read the book as well.
Another benefit I got from reading the book was motivation. I needed a boost. I needed a clear direction to show me the best path to take. This book gave me that. It helped me learn a new skill that gives me the satisfaction I always seek when I finish a project I’ve worked on.
Finally, there are the personal benefits you receive from knowing how to use your tools. The book has introduced me to a whole world of other woodworking enthusiasts. I have come to know a lot of skilled woodworkers through the books. We have discussed many topics, discussed ideas and learned about each other. I am learning so much from these conversations that I have brought back to the web site to share what we have learned with other woodworkers.
My biggest recommendation is that if you have found a good resource to help you learn about woodworking, to buy the book. If you have yet to learn about woodworking and would like a deeper learning experience, then perhaps purchase the DVD resource. Both are excellent resources and you will be happy you bought either one!