The Slightly Confused Woodworker

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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Dutch Tool Box, A Reflection…

When I completed my tool box project a few weeks ago I posted some pictures on Lumberjocks. One of the commenters mentioned that while the box looks great for transporting a decent amount of tools, it didn’t seem as good a solution for a home woodworker to keep his or her tools stored and ready to use. I would have to say that I agreed with his opinion. If I were a woodworker with a larger garage or dedicated workshop, and I also had a larger set of tools, The Dutch tool box probably wouldn’t be the way to go as far as a permanent tool storage solution. I personally believe there are much better methods for the home woodworker to store stuff. If my garage were bigger and set up a little differently, I would think that a wall mounted rack or stand alone tool cabinet would be the best way to go about keeping my tools stored yet well organized and close at hand. Some people prefer tool chests, and while they look great and hold a lot of tools, I don’t think they work as well in a smaller workshop, and they also force you to either dig through them, or remove all of the tools you think you may need before hand. I think a dedicated wall rack and dare I say, a tool tray on your workbench, are much better ways to keep all of your tools nearby yet out of the way. So why build a Dutch Tool Box?

Firstly, the box was fun to make. It uses dado, dovetail, tongue and groove, and nailed joints, so if you are looking to practice your joinery and still make something worthwhile it is a good project to start with. You can also make the tool box with power tools, hand tools, or a combination of both. It’s also fairly easy to build, and if you aren’t as good at sawing dovetails as you would like, you can either use the box as practice, or make the case itself using only dado and nail joinery, which would be nearly as strong and somewhat easier to put together. It holds a nice amount of tools; nearly every hand tool I own is in mine except for a some of my hand saws, and if you don’t have an overly large tool set(and don’t plan on any massive expansion) it will probably be all that you need for most of your basic hand tool storage for a long time. Another good thing is that the tool box is easy to modify, and you don’t need to follow any strict plans. It is easy to take the basic layout of this box and customize it to whatever you want. With all that being said, would I build another, or recommend another woodworker making one?

There are a few things I would change; I would have made mine a little wider, around 3 inches or so. The height and depth are fine. I also would change the way the lid sits. The most difficult part of the construction is attaching the lid flush to the angled back. I had thought about squaring off the back and attaching the lid to the level section, but that little overhang would have possibly interfered with removing chisels from the rack. Once the case was already assembled, I didn’t want to take a chance and end up making a huge mistake. If I ever build another one, I will incorporate the new lid into the design. I changed the depth of the front compartment, making it around two inches deeper than the original plan in Popular Woodworking, and I’m glad that I did, as the added depth allowed me to put my gouge chisel and files in the tool rack. Had the depth been shortened, the chisel rack would have been less useful. I also used decorative cut nails to fasten the front panel, as well as reinforcing the dado joints for the shelf. I think the nails look great, and to pat myself on the back a little, mine is the only Dutch tool box I’ve seen with that feature. The bottom compartment is a little shallower than the plans call for, yet it has not interfered with anything I’ve tried to put in there. I had some reservations about the weight when the box is fully loaded. I put it on a bathroom scale and it came in at just under 112 lbs without any of my joinery saws. I have no trouble picking the toolbox up and moving it where I want, though I wouldn’t want to carry it up and down a staircase all day.

So all in all I’m glad I made the tool box. It was fun to build and offered a little bit of a challenge without being overly difficult. The box is small enough to keep out of the way and not take up too much space, yet large enough to hold nearly all of my hand tools. I think it is a good project for a new to intermediate level woodworker. If you have nice sized garage, or a dedicated workshop, I would again recommend making a wall mounted tool rack right above your bench, or a stand alone tall cabinet that you can keep nearby. Either one of those does a great job of tool storage, and will have enough room so you never outgrow them. For the smaller work shop, this tool box is a good choice, and if you take woodworking classes it is a nice way to transport your tools as well as show off your handy work a little. So I say if you are thinking about building a Dutch Tool Box then go for it. Even if you don’t plan on using it you can always give it away as a gift, or you could just go to Sears and buy one of their roll around tool carts. I have one and I love it.

Dutch Tool Box

Dutch Tool Box

Tools in their place

Tools in their place

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The Echo Chamber.

Tonight I had planned on writing about my recently completed tool box project, what I like about it, and what I would change if I were to build it over again. But, I had a long and tiring day at work, and I don’t feel that I have the energy to write a somewhat entertaining and coherent blog post right now. Still, I am at the computer and of the mind to at least write something. So rather than tax my mind and actually think, I’ve decided to do what a lot of other woodworking blog writers do and just blindly repeat what I’ve read on some professional blogs. So here goes nothing…

Sawstop sucks. I buy my tools used. Don’t buy new tools. New tools suck. Lie Nielsen is the best. Lie Nielsen is overpriced. Amateurs don’t deserve Lie Nielsen tools. Amateurs should purchase the best tools they can afford. You have to purchase from a Lumberyard. Real Woodworkers rive their stock. Real woodworkers don’t use power tools. I hate power tools, but sometimes I use a table saw. You have to read the Anarchists Tool Chest. I only use three tools. My rasp is hand hammered. I hate Ikea. Ikea makes everything out of particle board and cheap veneer. Ikea is killing craftsmanship. I’m an anarchist. I call my tools ‘pointy things’. Home Depot sucks. Ikea sucks; I said that before. Ikea sucks. I’m on a hand tool journey. Moderns are stupid. Moderns are lazy. I call people Moderns. I left a comment on so and so’s blog and he replied so now we’re best friends. Steve Gass should be tried for treason. My tool set cost ten dollars. My shooting plane cost five hundred dollars. My workbench is a foot thick. Only buy hardware from a blacksmith. Amateurs suck. Amateurs must save the craft. Amateurs can’t sharpen. Your chisels suck. Amateurs suck. I call woodworking the craft. What you are doing is bad for the craft. What I am doing is good for the craft. The Kreg Jig sucks. The Kreg Jig is bad for the craft. The Kreg Jig is everything that’s wrong with woodworking. I’m a process oriented woodworker. I woodwork to preserve the craft. The craft is in danger. Norm Abram sucks. I never watched the New Yankee Workshop. The New Yankee Workshop is bad for the craft. You have too many tools. You don’t use the right tools. You shouldn’t be using that brand. Real woodworkers don’t use those tools. Buy this tool. Buy that tool. Don’t buy here. Buy there.

Wow! That was easy. Having somebody else think for you really is fun! Who would have thought that you can write an entire blog post without having one original thought? I’m a changed person. I’m thirsty; where’s the Kool Aid?

Am I the Only Woodworker part trois…

Once again I’ve found myself embroiled in controversy, conspiracy, and confusion. Why? I don’t know; you would have to ask the woodworking Gestapo that question and maybe you will get an answer. But it once again leaves me wondering if I am the only sane woodworker in a woodworking world gone mad…

Am I the only woodworker that read the Anarchist Tool Chest and didn’t want to rebuild Jonestown in Guyana?

Here is a short list of some things I like: Baseball, Football(American style), American History, Robert E Howard books, and pasta. There may be people out in the world that truly hate all of those things, and to them I say: ‘Whatever makes you happy’. I’m going to say something quite controversial now…I enjoyed the Anarchists Tool Chest. I thought the tool selections were very good and that the chest itself was beautiful. I didn’t care for some of the “philosophy” of the book, though that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. But, it seems that if you are a person who really did love everything about the Anarchists Tool Chest, it has somehow become your duty to tell every woodworker who will listen that didn’t like the book how very wrong they are. I know the definition of the word ‘Anarchy’. I know Christopher Schwarz’s definition of ‘Anarchy’. If it spoke to you and made you happy, or realize something you missed, then good for you; I don’t care one way or the other. It’s a very unfortunate thing, but I learned to think for myself a long time ago, and I don’t need anybody to explain to me why I should like a book. The Anarchists Tool Chest was published in 2011 I believe, and if history serves correctly, I seem to remember woodworking surviving for a few thousand years or so before the publishing; that’s enough for me. If you enjoyed the Anarchists Tool Chest, GREAT! If you enjoyed The Anarchists Tool Chest and hate everybody who didn’t…I highly recommend Mein Kampf; I think they sell it on Amazon.

Am I the only woodworker that realizes that not all old furniture was great?

We’ve all seen photos of the Colosseum in Rome, or the great Cathedrals, or the Pyramids, and the Great Wall of China. We’ve all probably seen or read the teachings and Wisdom of Socrates and Confucius. We’ve all probably read the exploits of the great warriors of old. We’ve all seen the wonderful pieces of furniture held in museums and fine antique collections. It’s easy to see and read about some of those things and feel inspired, and even to wonder how they were made, or even feel that everybody back then must have been much smarter and braver and skilled than anybody who exists today. Well, for every Colosseum there was a building that collapsed in a few years, for every Socrates there was a guy who couldn’t strap his sandals, for every Leonidas there was a soldier who tripped and impaled himself on his own spear, and for every lovely piece of antique furniture we see, there were probably a hundred pieces that didn’t survive. Just like today, the people of yesterday had “throw away” furniture. They had benches that were held together with nails and glue; they had tables that buckled after a few years; they had chairs that were destined to be firewood. The reason we don’t see any of that furniture today is quite obvious: it didn’t survive. If the furniture of old was all so great, the world would be overflowing with it and there would be an antique shop on every other corner. We as woodworkers strive to make the stuff that will survive and rightly don’t copy the stuff that made it into the fireplace. That’s smart. But nobody is going to tell me that every woodworker in the 18th century was Sam Maloof.

Am I the only woodworker that actually bought furniture from a furniture maker?

Okay, maybe I am taking this one a little far, but after reading thousands of heartfelt pleas from the anarchists of the woodworking world to “save the craft” and thousands more lamenting Ikea as “the destruction of craftsmanship” I’m wondering if anybody out there did anything about it? For the record, I purchased our kitchen cabinets and my dining room table and chairs from a local shop. I know that what I did is nothing more than a drop in the bucket, but they were made on sight by local woodworkers. I even looked into a living room set but I couldn’t afford it. At the same time, all of these woodworkers out there who are saving craftsmanship, and ensuring the survival of woodworking, maybe you could also help by purchasing a piece of two from a private craftsman. I don’t like telling people what to do, and it’s not my place, and maybe they all do and I just don’t know about it. However, I would think that if they were supporting “the craft” I would be reading about it, and they would be doing that small time builder a favor and giving his or her shop a little publicity and a good word or two. Funny, but NOT ONCE, have I seen anything like that on one of these high and mighty blog posts. If you’re so worried about craftsmanship and the survival of woodworking, put your money where your mouth is and purchase some furniture from a fine craftsman. Otherwise, you might just want to shut up.

Yet another reason I stopped reading professional woodworking blogs.

I’ve said before that for the past few months I’ve been generally avoiding “professional” woodworking blogs and web pages. This isn’t because of some personal vendetta, but because I feel that they have little to offer me as a woodworker. If I want to order a tool, DVD, or book I will go on a professional’s blog or web page, but as far as every day woodworking content is concerned, I can get it elsewhere. On another note, I simply don’t find most professional woodworking blogs very interesting. Much of the time they are dull and filled with bad puns and even less funny jokes. Yet with all that being said, I made the mistake today of clicking on a “favorited” post from Twitter titled “An open letter to Christopher Schwarz”. The link directed me to the Lost Art Press blog, where a post was written concerning a book review of The Anarchists Tool Chest written by a woodworker named David Savage. I clicked on the link to read the review.

Before I go on I would like to point out that as far as David Savage’s review is concerned, I agreed with nearly all of it. David enjoyed the book and felt that most of tool selections that Christopher Schwarz offered were good ones. He also pointed out that Christopher Schwarz’s call to amateur woodworkers to take up the mantle of fine woodworking is probably not feasible. An amateur woodworker by his very definition is an amateur. Like I’ve said before, to ask and expect amateur woodworkers to behave and woodwork like professionals is quite frankly stupid. A hobby ceases to be a hobby when it is approached professionally, and to approach a hobby professionally is impossible, unless you have the time to devote to becoming that expert, which again blurs the line between avocation and vocation. The reasons that most hobbyists don’t become professionals in their chosen hobbies are the same reasons for nearly every avocation, from golf to art to playing chess, and that is the amount of time the average person needs to dedicate to a field in order to become an expert automatically transforms that hobby to “profession”. My point being, if you dedicate 60 hours of week to woodworking (or any hobby); you are no longer a hobbyist, whether you are getting paid or no.

What I don’t agree with is David Savage’s statement that creating is “anarchy”, because it is not. Hobby woodworking is no more anarchistic than hobby golf. My wife grows a vegetable garden every spring time; does that make her an “anarchist chef”? I think not. Learning woodworking, either through an apprenticeship as a pro, or through classes and books as a hobbyist, is quite the opposite of anarchy. It is in fact very much an act of conformity and discipline. So how did hobby woodworking get lumped in with anarchy?

I believe that those hobby woodworkers who identify with anarchy do so because the act of working with your own two hands was/ is entirely new to many of them. Let’s face it, most hobby woodworkers are wealthy. Most of them grew up wealthy. Many are teachers, or lawyers, or accountants etc. These are all important jobs, but they generally involve little or no manual labor or handwork. The world I was born into, that many people are born into, is a little different. Unfortunately I didn’t grow up on a bucolic farm that wasn’t really a farm or in the perfection of suburban paradise. I grew up in the gritty world of inner city Philadelphia, where everybody in my neighborhood was a roofer, or carpenter, or steelworker, or factory worker, or electrician. Working with our hands was certainly not anarchy to us; it was and is very much a daily grind performed to keep roof over head on food on the table. And the real truth is that I find it insulting when some guy with a lot of money and free time turns his hobby woodworking project into some sort of bullshit political statement by finding the need to add way, way too much significance to it. Being proud of your woodworking project is commendable; telling everybody who will listen that your woodworking project is an act of defiance to corporate America is nothing more than sad self-importance. People in this country and the world around create every day, which does not make them anarchists; it makes them people who work for a living with their hands. Hobby woodworking, on the other hand, is no more anarchistic than writing Harry Potter fan fiction.

So you might be wondering why I am writing this post, as I’ve said it before in other posts. Well, the reason I am writing is because David Savage came off as a complete jerk in my opinion, and his attitude is one that I bet is shared by too many professional woodworkers. He doesn’t seem to care for amateur woodworkers all that much, which is fine with me because I don’t care for professionals either. But it seems he doesn’t object to taking their money, which doesn’t seem very anarchistic to me but that’s beside the point. I will guarantee that somebody will say that David Savage is a great guy and I am misreading what he wrote. Maybe he is and maybe I am, but in this particular instance he comes off as a dick. He is not remotely funny, and he is not a great writer, and don’t take that as a personal attack because it is not. My dad is not funny nor a great writer either, but I still love him.

Christopher Schwarz was quite happy to have the good review, and I can’t blame him for that. But he did somehow seem to compare Savage’s writing to Ernest Hemingway if I am reading it rightly. Well, if David Savage is Ernest Hemingway then so am I. He is not close to Ernest Hemingway; as a writer he is not even Mariel Hemingway. That is once again not meant as an insult; most professional woodworkers aren’t good writers for the same reasons that most professional writers aren’t good woodworkers. I’m glad that the book received the good endorsement, and I hope it adds to the continued success of both the title and to Lost Art Press as a company. I’m sure that Savage is a top-notch woodworker, so the need to over exaggerate his writing skills was unnecessary in my opinion, and I’ve read nearly every Hemingway title, as well as enough of Savage’s articles to at least have the right to form that opinion.

In the end, I am not happy in the least that I clicked on that link. Like I said, I made the choice to stop reading most professional blogs and I’ve been a much happier “amateur” woodworker for it. The few that I do read, I generally enjoy and keep it very light during the rare times when I do happen to interact with the author or commenters. Yet, a small part of me is at least okay to have clicked on that Twitter link, because reading that article confirmed my instincts. I am extremely happy to have stopped reading professional woodworking blogs, and never was that point proven more than today.

Why I love and hate Eric Sloane.

As much as anything else, Eric Sloane was and is one of the reasons I am a woodworker. For those of you who don’t know him, Eric Sloane was an artist and author as well as something of an expert on early American life in New England. He wrote many books detailing the day to day life in early America including the tools used for farming, blacksmithing, and woodworking. He was an avid collector of those implements and made thousands of detailed drawings of them, as well as drawings of the architecture of early America. For the most part I love his works. I own more than a dozen of his books and my daughter and I look through them all the time. They are worth owning for the artwork alone. Not only that, his books were prominent in my classrooms in grade school as well as the small library our school had. Just like now, I would page through the books during quiet time, reading them and studying the drawings. It was because of Sloane that I first learned of the ‘ship-lap’ joint in woodworking. It was because of Sloane that I knew a little about how farms operated, even though I was an inner city kid. Sloane even taught me why old doors look the way they do. You can say I owe a lot to him and his works. But there is a side of Eric Sloane that I don’t care for all that much, and to be honest it wasn’t something I picked up on until fairly recently.

After my daughter was born, my wife and I purchased many books for her. We read to her often, and now that she is learning to read on her own we encourage her to pick out books for herself at her school’s book fairs as well as when we happen to be at a book store. When we purchased books for my daughter, among them were several titles by Sloane (for the record, I picked them and not my wife). I had already owned several, and felt that adding more to the collection was a good idea, as well as allowing me to have some of his books that I had never read, or at least hadn’t seen in a long time. When reading these books to my daughter, I began to pick up on Sloane’s condescending attitude towards “modern” Americans. In many instances, he spends much of his time calling people “lazy” or “ignorant” or “Godless”. He felt that modern Americans have no respect for the land. He stated many times that the jobs that many modern people work at do little more than to make people miserable. He states several times that people do not work “hard” anymore. He blasts labor unions as corrupt entities that exist solely to allow people to do as little as possible. He laments that the average person of today has weekends off?!?

If Sloane were alive, I would point out to him that most modern Americans spend far more time at work than their ancestors did. I would also point out that most modern Americans are far more educated than those of the past, an education that allowed the population to understand the machinations of government, and also allowed people to escape the yoke of local religious zealots, who felt that a population that knew how to read, write, and add was asking for trouble. I would then point out that corruption among churches and religious organizations as well as the pilfering of the wealth of the congregation both poor and wealthy was prevalent then and continues to this day. I would also have to mention that the colonists of New England decimated the forests from Maine to Maryland as well as over farmed much of the land using poor irrigation and crop rotation techniques that poisoned well water and soured the land for decades. I would then tell Sloane that the people of yesteryear often died before they reached the age of fifty, and the quality of life is often much better now than it was “then”. After, I would let Sloane know that while labor unions were not perfect organizations, they came into existence because of the wretched working conditions that people like my ancestors were forced to endure. Labor unions kept eight year-old boys out of coal mines and factories, where unfortunately, countless thousands of children were killed or seriously injured, along with many adults, who were paid pennies for their labor. Finally, I would say to him that if he wants to work Saturday, that is his right, but I like to have it off on occasion. Because many people, myself included, still do work on Saturdays.

For the record, I really enjoy Eric Sloane’s works, both as an author and an artist. I also agree that there are parts of modern life that are not so great, and that we as a society would do well to bring back some of the old customs and traditions. If you are a woodworker and have never read any of Eric Sloane’s books I would highly recommend that you do. Sloane was Roy Underhill before Roy even existed. Sloane’s drawings of woodworking tools and joinery are as good or better than you will find anywhere. Sloane’s books also offer excellent information on trees and their identification and uses. A quick scan of an Eric Sloane book will give you information on chair making, draw-boring, and tool construction, among many other woodworking tasks. Not only that, the books are all inexpensive and easy to come by. Yet, I could do without the reproachful style of writing. I was born in the 20th century, and that is a fact that I can do nothing about.

The reason I wrote this particular post is two-fold. Firstly, when I was sick I read through most of my Sloane books and it brought it back to mind. Secondly, there is still a lot of “modern bashing” in the world of woodworking. I for one like progress, and a little change can sometimes be a very good thing. Modern is a relative term. “Traditional” tools such as hand planes were once very modern, and at the height of current technology. Had the people of yesteryear behaved like many woodworkers do today (or at least pretend to), those tools may have been ignored and faded into obscurity. The woodworkers of the day were smart enough to realize that those tools worked, and made their jobs easier and their work better, so they embraced them. I am glad that they did, and I will forever be on the lookout for the next tool or device that makes my life easier and my work better. Life is hard enough, I don’t need to make it any harder in order to prove a point, or worse, impress a person or persons whom I’ve never met and never will. I don’t know about everybody else, but I have better things to do.

It’s finally %*@#&% finished!

Just around two weeks ago I got sick; I don’t like being sick. I missed a week of work and generally felt like death warmed over. In the meanwhile, our frigid winter has continued and with it we’ve gotten lots of snow. In fact, in just over a weeks time we’ve gotten more than 3 feet. It has not been a friendly environment for woodworking. I still do not feel great, my garage is freezing, and even when I’ve managed to feel somewhat normal I’ve not had a place to woodwork. The main problem right now is the snow. My wife is parked in the garage, and I am parked in the driveway. My street has 5 feet of snow piled on either side and my little town more resembles Alaska rather than Pennsylvania. But today I caught a bit of a break. I had off from work and my wife did not, and that meant that I had a place to park along with an empty garage. So at long last I had the space and an hour of free time to get my Dutch Tool Box put back together.

In essence, this project was finished more than two weeks ago. Just before I got really sick, I took it apart and painted it. So all I really did this morning was put it all back together. I did end up adding an ogee to the lid, and for the record the lid still is not attached, but that is only because I decided on another coat of paint for added protection, which I did just a few hours ago. Other than that, I attached the handles and bottom cleats, and added my own little personal touch to the chest.

My logo!

My logo!

I had been on the lookout for a decorative touch to add to the front panel of the tool box. While the cut nails do a little to break up the flat black paint, it still is somewhat boring. I had many ideas, from inlaying a coin, to a flag, to Captain America’s shield, but I couldn’t find a suitable item that would fit the bill. Just as I was about to give up, I looked into having something made, and discovered a web site: plaquemaker.com. I only needed to submit a design/drawing and they could convert it to a plaque sized to my choice. So I decided to submit my own design/logo rather than using a pre-made image, and I felt that “The Slightly Confused Woodworker” was as good a choice as any for my tool box. The company was easy to deal with, the plaque was inexpensive, and they also keep the image on file for future ordering, so If I like I can install my “logo” on future projects.

So now that this project is finished I’m not sure what is up next. I want to make a blanket chest for my wife, and I also want to make some new tools, and while I’m at it a new workbench might be on the horizon. But for now I am not doing anything. I still don’t feel all that great, there is still a massive amount of snow on the ground, and the cold weather is not expected to break any time soon. I don’t want to make any decisions until I feel better, and maybe more importantly, until I actually have a place to woodwork. At that, this winter cannot end soon enough, because until it does I will not start another woodworking project.

Tool box ready to go (the lid was still drying as of the publishing of this post)

Tool box ready to go (the lid was still drying as of the publishing of this post)

Why you will never be a good woodworker.

After being quite sick for almost two weeks, I’ve found a dark, cynical side of myself that I’ve been suppressing lo these many months. I’ve had no desire to woodwork, or do much of anything else for that matter. With that being said, because I haven’t read any professional woodworking blogs for weeks, I came to an almost happy equilibrium with the amount of woodworking information overload that is floating around the internet. This afternoon that all changed when I happened to go on Facebook.

Anyway, it dawned on me that there is way too much feel-good, happy to be alive woodworking information and not enough gritty misery. I’m hoping to change that with this post. After you read this, you may hate me, in particular if you are a new woodworker. I don’t care anymore. If you do end up hating me, it will be the same hate that a new recruit has for his Drill Sergeant. However, one day many years from now you may finally understand why I was so tough on you, and you may realize the miserable SOB that made you hate him was absolutely right.

So while every other woodworking article and blog in print and on the internet is busy telling you how becoming a good woodworker is darn easy, here are my reasons why you will never be a good woodworker, ever.

Reason #1-Time.

You don’t have enough time. Just like every other skill, woodworking takes practice. Practice takes time. Building furniture takes time. You have no time. You have job, a house, a spouse, a family. You have no time! Of course, you could use power tools to help speed things up, but a good woodworker never uses power tools according to every woodworking expert on the planet. So you’re screwed. You are doomed to eternally sucking at woodworking. Get over it, loser.

Reason #2-Tools.

Woodworking tools are infinite. There are too many of them. No amateur in his right mind has the money or space to own every woodworking tool you “should” own. Even a small woodworking tool set is a large collection of wacky tools and gadgets that take up space and need care and cost way more than they look like they should cost. Unless you plan on dedicating the 14 free minutes you have each week to learning about and using woodworking tools that cost a lot, you will never be any good, period. Another thing, you can’t get by on a handful of cheap tools and desire; that is complete BS. That is like entering the Indy 500 because you own a car. You need the best of everything, bottom line. Of course you could use some power tools that will do the job of several hand tools, but no good woodworker ever uses power tools according to every woodworking expert on the planet. So unless you are the type of person with unlimited space and cash who happens to care if his rasp is hand hammered, you are going absolutely nowhere, fast.

Reason #3-Woodworking Media

If you read anything concerned with woodworking, and you take it at face value, you will never be a good woodworker. It’s all too ambiguous. Woodworking is an exact science. Woodworking is mathematics. You cannot be ambiguous in mathematics, it just doesn’t work. The numbers need to add up, the answers need to be exact, and you will not find that in a woodworking publication. I don’t say that as an insult to woodworking publications; they need to do what they have to in order to survive, and that means printing ambiguous information that can be interpreted in an infinite number of ways by thousands of completely different people. But I am saying that if you think you are going to learn how to woodwork by reading a magazine then you are in for a rude awakening.

I could give you all ten more reasons, but I’m not going to, because if the first three weren’t enough to scare you straight then nothing else I can say will work. I’ll give you this, you are stubborn if you’ve made it this far. Either way, don’t look to me for encouragement, because I have none for you. Do yourself a favor, if you are planning on taking up “the craft”, forget it. Take that money, and get yourself an Xbox, or a bubble hockey table, or go on a vacation to a tropical island. I can think of nothing more silly than spending your free time rubbing a piece of metal on a wet rock so it’s sharp enough to slice a plant.