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spokeshaving as zen?

  I was doing some leather work this past weekend, and found myself
wondering about how others on the list may or may not commune with their
spokeshaves.  I mean especially that moment when one is down to .25 mm
and trying for that last careful stroke to remove the .05.  I find that
I have to stare at the spot, concentrate hard, and will the blade to
respond.  For those trained in English style who have done this for a
long time my question is
    a) what are your thoughts on spokeshaving, in general
    b) are you conscious of how you do it?
    c) do women tend to spokeshave (is it a verb?) differently

I ask C because I can't do it the way my teacher did it.  He was always
alarmed at how far out my blade was extended, but for the life of me I
could get nowhere with the blade after he set it.  I think he just had a
lot more shoulder strength than I do.  This weekend my blade was out a
full 2mm from the throat.  I use gentle pressure at first, and increase
it as I get more confident on the way the blade is cutting and the
evenness of my stroke.  I actually wind up changing the blade length
relatively little for most of the job.
  Just curious.

Dorothy Africa

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