The Slightly Confused Woodworker

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Op-Ed

When the woodworking “powers that be” make a statement in writing, should it be countered? When that statement defines a philosophy, or is a call to change, etc. should it be questioned? I used to think so, but now I really don’t care enough to bother. I bring this up for one reason, because quite a few people have asked me why I’ve stopped my rants, or put nicely, my “op-ed” blog posts. I told them what I just told you all: I don’t care.

Continually pushing a large boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down over and over again gets tedious after a while, in particular when it really wouldn’t matter so much if I ever did, in fact, make it to the top of that mountain. For good or ill, woodworking (ers) is what it is now. Ranting, or writing satire, or writing “op-ed” posts won’t change that fact simply because most people involved with woodworking forums, blogs, and media prefer it this way. That is fine. The ‘people have spoken’ as they say.

In all of my ranting and raving I’ve had only one real, bona fide contention with the entity of woodworking, and that is the fact that it was once a working class trade and it is now an “upper-class” hobby. That in and of itself is not a bad thing, but now most hobby woodworkers are what I refer to as “professionals”, most of these professionals it seems love to bash the furniture made today (in the sense of furniture made in factories etc.). I’m not saying people don’t have the right to criticize; they certainly do; but in reality they aren’t criticizing the furniture, they are criticizing the people who make it. That part doesn’t sit too well with me. As I’ve said in the past, everybody has the right to criticize, and that includes myself.

Woodworkers in modern cabinet shops use dados, and pocket screws, and biscuit joints because that is what they are told to do, no more, no less. So if somebody out there wants to criticize the manufacturing process I’ll say that I have something of a problem with that, too. It’s pretty easy to bash factories, and production lines, and call them “mindless” or “soul-sucking” or a dozen other insults. I’ll be the first person to tell you that I don’t necessarily work at a job that instills in me a lot of passion. A good part of what I do every day involves sitting at a desk, and tracking parts, and talking to vendors, and a hundred other things that are frankly boring. 7-5, every day, week in, week out, isn’t easy or fun. Yet, while the ins and outs of my job may not leave me beaming with pride every day, I do take a lot of pride in knowing that because I drag my ass out of bed every morning at 5 am and perform a lot of “mindless, soul-sucking nonsense” to the best of my ability, my family has a decent place to live. And though every factory worker, or assembly line employee may not feel that way, I would bet that at least some of them do. Trust me when I say, being a starving artist is easy; being a person that contributes to society by doing the jobs that need doing is not.

I’m guessing that a lot of the hobby woodworkers out there, who happen to be “professionals” at their day jobs, and who happen to be among the group that loves to criticize all of those mind-numbing jobs, likely have never actually performed one of those jobs. It’s pretty easy to criticize something you’ve never done. I, for one, respect anybody who gets out of bed every day and does an honest day’s work. I would never have the audacity to call another person’s job mind-numbing, in particular if I have no real idea of what that job entails. Or to put it another way: I have no desire to be a garbage man, but I sure as hell have a lot of respect for the people who do it day in and day out. I have no way of knowing this, but I am guessing that people who collect garbage for a living aren’t necessarily passionate about their jobs, but they do it nonetheless. If that isn’t commendable I don’t know what is, because in my neighborhood the garbage man is a lot more important than the starving artist. And while a world without art (in its many forms) would not be a nice one, the same too can be said for a world without garbage men.

So when all is said and done, my ranting, and satire, and “op-ed” posts really amounted to nothing. They weren’t going to change anything, they weren’t going to change anybody’s line of thinking, and they made me a lot more enemies than they did friends. So that is why I do not write my little rants anymore. I know that some of you enjoyed them, and I truly appreciate the fact that you did. I just hope that you will enjoy some of the other things I plan on writing about during the upcoming days and months ahead.

 

Thanks.

The Expert

I have a little something to get off my chest, and what better place to do that than my very own blog.

On occasion I’ve written about the sale of woodworking tools and what I perceive as a failure of the manufacturers to market and sell those tools on a greater scale. For the most part if you don’t have a dedicated woodworking store in your region you will more than likely have to order the majority of your woodworking tools from the internet, sight unseen in a sense. I firmly believe that if woodworking tools were more readily available in a retail, in stock, off the shelf setting there would be more sales and quite possibly a greater interest in the hobby of woodworking. Now, maybe I’m wrong, and maybe the people who manufacture and distribute woodworking tools have already done the prerequisite marketing studies and have determined that it’s not a feasible scenario. Maybe. I don’t know; I don’t have that inside information. But that’s not really what I want to talk about.

When I wrote those posts there were people who disagreed with what I had to say. I have no issue with that. My opinion is not infallible. But some, in subtle and not so subtle ways, basically implied that I know absolutely nothing about it, and therefore I should keep my mouth shut on the subject.

I don’t often speak about my job on this blog. Most of you think I am an electrician. That is true, in a sense, but I haven’t been a field electrician in some time. I work mainly in the supply side of the industry. Part of that job is the purchasing and sale of tools.

For a time, I ordered the entire line of tools for my company. I ordered from every major manufacturer at least once a week. I’ve sold tools to everybody from electrical contractors, to manufacturing facilities, to tool rental companies, to townships, to ski resorts, to nuclear power plants. I’ve been involved with the marketing of those tools. I’ve helped professionals chose the correct tool for the job. I’ve said before that I hate to call myself an “expert”, but in this case, yeah, I’m an expert.

In ten years of dealing with tools as a professional I’ve learned one, unequivocal fact: an in-stock tool sells far, far better than a tool that needs to be ordered. No, I’ve learned two unequivocal facts: a tool that is on display sells far, far better than a tool that is not. Wait, here is another unequivocal fact: a tool that can be handled by the customer sells far, far better than a tool that cannot be touched.

I’m not going to get into the theories concerning the decline of the hand tool, or the decline of the local hardware store etc. I’ve covered that before. That being said, here is another fact I know: If woodworking hand tool and power tools actually had the small market share that most woodworkers seem to think it commands, most of the three dozen or so dedicated woodworking tool manufacturers would already have gone out of business years ago. On the contrary, it seems that more and more makers are springing up every month.

So in my expert opinion, woodworking tools would sell better, and woodworking as a hobby would benefit greatly, if quality woodworking tools were sold at the retail level. You may wonder if I’m such an expert, why do I not know the reasons behind this seeming lack of retail availability. Maybe I do, or at the least I have a very strong opinion on the how and why, but since it is not my place to question the motives of tool makers, I will keep it to myself. Nevertheless, you can question my opinions all you like, I don’t mind in the least. But in this case, I am an expert on the subject.

The Collector

This past weekend my wife and I checked out our new local antique store for the first time. Neither of us are antiquers, but our local store is more of a “working class” establishment rather than a highfalutin destination for yuppies with too much money who like to pretend that they are cultured. And though there obviously were some expensive pieces of furniture among other items, most of the stuff was reasonably priced.

The tool and hardware section had a fair number of old mechanical tools and a pretty good selection of hardware, but not much in the way of woodworking tools. There were some old beading planes in good shape, a few braces, a some hand saws, and a small selection old hammers. I purchased a Hammond cobblers hammer which I felt would be useful (not to mention that it was made in my hometown of Philly), and also to support a local business. When I paid for the hammer I asked the proprietor if she often got woodworking tools in stock. She mentioned that if there was something I was interested in she would be more than willing to seek it out for me, but collectors generally “suck up” tools long before they make it into the store. I know it may not be very magnanimous of me to complain, but that statement bothered me.

I personally don’t know anybody who collects tools as a hobby, be they woodworking tools or something else. My own opinion is that as far as hobbies are concerned, you can do a lot worse than collecting tools. The coffin smoother I just obtained was admittedly purchased more to “have” than to use, though I do plan on using it on occasion. I also know that there is probably a collector or collectors out there who have thirty or more of those coffin smoothers among hundreds of other tools and their duplicates. The possible good part about this “tool hoarding” is these collectors are very likely people who enjoy old tools, and history, and they will do a nice job in preserving these implements. The possible bad news is there are definitely people out there with the time and capital to buy up every old tool they see in order to thin out the market and drive up the price. While I have no way to prove that happens with woodworking tool collectors, I know it happens with other “collecting” hobbies, so at that I am taking an educated guess.

The question is can and should something be done about it? My answer would be “no and no”. Because we live in a Capitalist society with a free market, we cannot keep people from hoarding tools any more than we can keep them from hoarding cans of soup. I’m not trying to knock the free market; like everything else it has its good points and bad. But I can have an opinion, and my opinion is that if you happen to be one of those people who buys up every decent used woodworking tool in order to sell them later at an 800% mark-up you are no better than the people who do the same thing during Christmas with Cabbage Patch Dolls. In other words, you’re a dick.IMG_1180.JPG

Angry Eyes

There is a common misconception that words, whether spoken or written, are meaningless, and that we should just ignore the insensitive, rude, or stupid comment and chalk it up to “trolling”. Well, I write a publicly open internet blog mostly concerning woodworking, including my projects, and my opinions on the topic. This entire blog is “word based”, as are most blogs. As far as I am concerned, words are pretty important. Words have forged nations, toppled empires, and started wars. Words have recorded world history. Words have moved people to great deeds, and brought ruin to others. Nearly every person on the planet communicates with words, both spoken and written, so yeah, I don’t think words are meaningless by any stretch.

There may be another misconception that I am paid or sponsored to write this blog. For the record, I am not. I receive absolutely nothing in terms of money, goods, or services. I am not a professional writer and I am not a professional woodworker, not even close on both counts. I do not sell anything here. I have done my best to support woodworking products such as books, videos, tools, and magazines that I have enjoyed and thought that others may enjoy. I have done my best to write honest reviews of those things (when I happen to write a review). Once again, I receive no compensation for those reviews, not in the least. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there are reviews that I have written, even though they were favorable, that the individual or company who distributes the product may not care for all that much. To that I say: If that is the case, please feel free to contact me and I will gladly remove the post with no hard feelings whatsoever. I’m not here to generate hard feelings. That being said, sometimes I do generate hard feelings, and sometimes I have them myself.

I’ll say this again because it is worth repeating: I have NEVER gone on another person’s blog or forum, in particular with regards to woodworking, and deliberately insulted somebody in the comment section. I have left comments, and almost always those comments were very innocuous, that were responded to by others in a sometimes not so friendly way. When that happens, and I see it, I will and have responded. Because the internet is filled with “Jack Wagons” as Greg Merritt so eloquently put it, a comment regarding something as simple as a hand plane you happen to like can easily turn into a name-calling, insult fest. If you are one of those people who think that woodworking blogs and forums are immune to that behavior you are woefully misinformed.

For my own part, if I feel the need to say something that may be considered “controversial” I do it on my own blog. The way I see it, another person’s blog is not the place to rant; there may be people who happen to read that blog who don’t particularly want to read somebody else’s ramblings. That is why I do it here, because there is no chance that somebody will accidentally read something they do not want to read. Otherwise, I freely admit that on my own blog I may say some things that other people don’t care for, or I may have an opinion that is not popular. Because I read a fair amount of blogs on woodworking and other topics, I sometimes read things that I don’t agree with. If I read something that is open to debate that I happen to disagree with, there are times I will comment. Once again, I do my very best to keep my comment civil and fair. If I read something that I completely disagree with, to the point that I may even become angry with it, I do the smart thing and leave no comment at all. There are some blog writers out there who want to generate controversy and a heated discussion on the comment board. They generally aren’t the problem, it’s the other commenters who are. So, rather than get into what I know will be a long, drawn out war of words, I avoid it completely.

The other day, I wrote a post about an exchange I had with a commenter on Popular Woodworking Magazine’s web page. There are people who didn’t agree with my handling of the situation, which is fine. I handled it in what I felt was an appropriate manner. Maybe the problem wasn’t with how the situation was handled, but the fact that I discussed it on the blog. Once again, I have no problem with that. But I do have a problem with explaining myself. As I said to a commenter the other day, there are things I write on this blog that I am serious about, and others that I am not. I leave it up to the people who read the blog to figure out the difference. That may confuse some people, and rightly so, but “it is what it is” as the cliché goes. A while back I wrote a post about the “Paul Sellers Controversy”, where he made a statement concerning woodworkers who use power tools. Was I really “outraged” at Paul Sellers? The answer is: “no, not even the tiniest atom sized bit of outrage”. But I will tell you what did bother me; afterwards, when the woodworking forums turned into an insult-filled, name-calling festival among those who both agreed and disagreed with Sellers. I took a lot of flak for that post, not only in the comment section, but much more so in emails. I spent far too much time explaining the point I was trying to make: I had nothing against Sellers one way or the other. At the time, I was only vaguely aware of him, and I read his comments second hand on another forum. I had a huge problem in that every “Jack Wagon” who read Seller’s post used it as an excuse to be a “Jack Wagon”.

We all have a right to an opinion, and he has a right to say what he likes on his on forum, just as I have the same rights on mine. I like to say that any opinion should at least be an informed opinion, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Either way, had myself or Sellers charged a fee to read our respective blogs because they contained a specific content that was expected with each entry, and then decided to change the format, then complaints would be warranted. But that is not the case with my blog, Sellers blog, or many, many others. However, it’s one thing to say on your blog or forum that you don’t like cheaply made tools or furniture; it’s another thing to tell people not to buy them, and it goes even farther when you make statements such as “The people who buy cheap tools and furniture are ruining woodworking!”. Your typical “Jack Wagon” who reads statements such as that suddenly has a whole lot of ammo to fire around the nasty comments and more importantly, they feel that their nasty comments have been validated.

So when it comes down to it, if you think I’m the “bad guy”, I don’t care. I’m finished with explaining myself or my style of writing. If you get it, and get what I am trying to say, I’m happy to interact with you even if you may not always agree. If you don’t get it, I can’t help you and I’m done trying. If that makes you angry then tough shit. I know who the “bad guys” are, and there are times I’ve pointed them out subtly and not so subtly. I’m not trying to sway anybody’s opinion one way or the other. I’m just putting my opinion out there. I am not leading the horse to water and asking it to drink; that is not why I’m here. I don’t want a flock; I want to interact with people who can think for themselves. Hopefully, there are still a few of you left out there.

The pie in the sky keeps on turning.

Every so often I read a comment, or comments, on a woodworking forum that are so stupid that I have to bring it up on this blog. Before I go any further, let me state that I have nothing against your everyday stupid comment. But there are levels of stupid comment, and at the top of the list (or bottom depending on how you look at it) are the stupid comments that think they are really smart. So what is a “stupid comment that thinks it is smart”? Broadly speaking, it is any definitive statement made without one shred of evidence or real facts to back it up. Often, these stupid comments have been made before, and like many lies, if they are told enough people eventually begin to believe them.

The origin of the stupid comments I read just yesterday was the origin of many a stupid comment made on a woodworking forum: IKEA. For the record, I do not shop at IKEA nor do I own furniture from the store. I may likely never enter an IKEA. I have no strong feelings either for or against the place. But it does bother me when I read about the professed “hatred” of a store. Why? Because that so-called hatred leads to comments like “IKEA drives down the prices of real craftsman and makes it harder for them to earn a living!” What?

Let me tell you a story. It was a crisp, lovely Autumn morning roughly 12 years ago. My wife and I had just purchased our house and we were looking to furnish it. I thought it would be nice to go a furniture shop and have a nice bedroom set made. I had in mind a dresser, two side tables, and an armoire; oak was my wood of choice. The shop I went to had a book where I could choose a style I liked, or if I was ambitious enough I could bring in my own photos or even my own concept drawings. We picked from the book because there was a set my wife liked, and it was close enough to what we had originally had in mind. The person at the shop said they would work up a quote and mail it to us. Less than a week later the quote showed up. While I can’t remember the exact number, I do remember that it was more than the car I was driving at the time. Even more to the point, I could have gone to a place like IKEA, or Raymour and Flanigan, and furnished my entire house for what that guy wanted to charge us for a small bedroom set. So my question to the geniuses on the woodworking forum is: What the hell would have been my quote had IKEA not been around to “drive down the costs”?

For the sake of full disclosure, I have priced out custom furniture since then, I even purchased some of it. There wasn’t one instance where I thought to myself “That was less expensive than I thought it would be!” There also wasn’t one instance where I couldn’t have gone to a furniture chain store and gotten something comparable, or something that would have done the same job, for less money. Would the custom furniture have been made better? Probably. Would it have looked nicer? Probably. Could I afford it? For the most part, no.

I am not using this post to knock the costs of custom furniture, I am only saying that many people cannot afford to own it. IKEA has not affected the cost of custom furniture one way or the other; custom furniture was expensive, is expensive, and always will be expensive. “But IKEA contributes to the ‘throw-away society’ mentality!” Here is another story. I have a computer desk and chair I purchased at Staples at least 15 years ago. I paid $99 and change for the set. That desk, made of plywood, particle board, and veneer, would be considered a throw-away item to certain people on a woodworking forum. Well, it probably is a throw-away item in the sense that when I die it won’t be willed to anybody, nor will relatives fight over it. But, considering that at this point in my life it has cost me less than $7 per year to own, and it still works just fine, I would hardly consider it a piece of junk. A similarly sized custom-made desk, built from maple, oak, or cherry would likely cost in the neighborhood of $6000 if I know anything about furniture. That is 60 times the cost of the very serviceable desk that I own. Of course the custom-made desk would look far nicer and would definitely be of better construction; I just don’t know if those features are worth 60 times more to me. But that is just my opinion.

In conclusion, this amounts to nothing more than me ranting. But when people make stupid statements it makes me want to rant. Places like IKEA exist because they fill a need. Mass-produced furniture exists because it fills a need. At the end of World War 2 when entire continents were displaced, people needed mass produced furniture that was affordable; people still need it to this day. Today, maybe one person in one hundred can actually afford to purchase high end piece of custom furniture. Maybe one in ten thousand can afford to furnish their house that way. Now, I will freely admit that I have no real facts or figures to back up that claim, I am only using my knowledge of the cost of custom furniture and my knowledge of what the average person earns. Or to put it another way, nobody I’m friends with could afford to purchase more than one custom piece of furniture, let alone furnish their entire homes with the same. Yet I am supposed to believe that private furniture makers would be thriving if IKEA didn’t exist?

I’m going to say this for the tenth (and hopefully last) time on this blog: the golden age of heirloom furniture is a myth; it’s pie in the sky. I’m not sure where this notion of every home containing masterpieces came from, but it needs to stay off the woodworking forums. If almost nobody can afford custom furniture today, why would it have been any different in 1750? As I said, maybe one percent of the population will ever be able to afford to own a piece of custom furniture. Now, even half of one percent is still a lot of high end furniture, but what about the rest? Should furniture businesses stop manufacturing inexpensive furniture for the masses so as not to upset the sensibilities of a few people on a woodworking forum? Is that what the forum geniuses want? Or maybe, just maybe, should these people develop some sort of an informed opinion, shut up, and get back to woodworking?

A cold winter’s rant.

When I’m master of the woodworking universe….

You will not be allowed to purchase a tool because it has “soul”. If you need your tools to have “soul” then you obviously have no soul of your own, therefore you feel the need to purchase one and pass it off as your own. If you are a REAL woodworker, any tool you use will gifted with the soul of its user, namely you. Just like you “can’t buy your way into good craftsmanship”, you also can’t buy soul. You either have it, or you don’t. And if you don’t have it, no used tool is going to make it all better.

And for the record, I don’t feel all that comfortable using the term “Real Woodworker”. In this case, however, I am making an exception. Why? Because the people out there who want tools with soul also like to use the term “Real Woodworker” quite casually. So, you’re a real woodworker but have no soul of your own? Is that how it works? You need to suck the soul out of inanimate objects? I didn’t know there was such a thing as woodworking vampires.

When I’m master of the woodworking universe….

Bevel angles will never be mentioned again in terms of sharpening. Do you know when I became a good sharpener? When I stopped worrying about bevel angles. They are absolutely useless. Trying to sharpen to a specific angle is a complete waste of time, as it makes no real difference. Just use the bevel angle that is on the tool and don’t worry about the angle it is ground at and you will be fine. Bevel angles, and arcs, and geometric formulas look great and very official when you read a book or article about sharpening, but they mean absolutely nothing when it comes to actually producing a sharp tool.

When I’m Master of the Woodworking Universe…

Hand tool forums will cease to exist. I will readily admit that several months ago I re-entered the world of hand tool forums. Why you ask? Well…I like hand tools; I enjoy using hand tools, and to a lesser extent I like purchasing old hand tools and trying to fix them up. Hand tool forums can be a good place to find used tools, or pick up tips on finding and repairing them. But once again, on too many occasions I’ve come across the seedy underbelly of the hand tool world.

I used to find hand tool forums elitist, but elitism is not the correct word to capture the mood. The better description would be “bitterness”. Where does this bitterness stem from? Beats me. It is beyond the old power tool vs. hand tool arguments, beyond American made vs. Chinese made, and far beyond  “I’m a better woodworker than you”.

For instance, just last week I read not one, not two, but three posts alone bashing, of all things, The New Yankee Workshop. Why? Once again it beats me. That show hasn’t been on the air for more than 5 years if I remember correctly. But the posts didn’t stop at just Norm Abram. They also bashed several other well-known shows, some on television, and some internet based, as well as in general the trashing of anybody who doesn’t do it just the way the post author thinks it should be done. Once again accusations were made of “ruining woodworking” or “selling out” or “building junk”.

I’ll say it again, “What do you care?”. Maybe the real question is “Why do I care?” Well, I wouldn’t care so much if I didn’t actually pick up some useful information at times. As I said, hand tool forums can be a good place to pick up tips on finding and repairing old tools, or get honest reviews of new ones. But the pissy attitudes associated with many of these forums is so off-putting that I find myself once again preparing to delete myself from their ranks. Anybody who says “The woodworking community is full of so many good people!” has never been on a hand tool forum.

And people have the balls to call me angry.

If I offended anybody I’m not upset; this is a rant after all.

Rantmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas, and I’m pissed off. So I decided to rant….
When I’m Master of the Woodworking Universe…

More will be written about hand saws and less about bench planes. How often have you seen a bench plane on the cover of a woodworking magazine? How about a hand saw? Hand tool/power tool arguments aside, give a woodworker a saw and he or she can build something with it. Give a woodworker a handplane, and the only thing you can make is a lot of shavings, or what I like to call a mess. I’ve read hundreds of articles in woodworking magazines about cleaning hand planes, sharpening hand planes, tuning hand planes. Know how many articles I’ve seen and read about sharpening handsaws? Two. Handsaws are perhaps the least discussed handtool when it comes to magazines and books, yet they are probably the most important tool a woodworker has, in particular if that woodworker works with handtools only. So real woodworkers make shavings? Maybe, but people who make furniture make sawdust.

When I’m Master of the Woodworking Universe…

No woodworking writer or blogger will allowed to bash the building trades unless they actually have worked at them. Once again I’ve discovered too many blog posts written by self-proclaimed “anarchists” that felt the need to knock the skills of carpenters, and more strangely electricians and plumbers. So you ask me what this has to do with “Anarchy”? I don’t know, you will have to ask the geniuses who write the posts. I can tell you from much personal experience that a lot of people think they are good at carpentry and electrical work. I’ve seen far too many homes that should have burnt down, yet miraculously didn’t, because the homeowner decided to do the wiring himself. My favorite quote of all time when working on an electrical panel that quite literally exploded and should have killed the fool homeowner who was “working” on it: “I saw it on the internet and figured how hard could it be” Know what that guy did for a living? Accountant.

I do my own taxes. That doesn’t make me a tax attorney, and it certainly doesn’t make me think I’m one, either. If you want to do your own electrical work, be my guest; we make a lot more money on doing repairs than on new construction, but don’t have the audacity to think it’s easy because you read a book on hand tools.

When I’m Master of the Woodworking Universe…

Japanese woodworking tools will stop being  considered magical. On a hand tool forum last week a post was written about “how much more accurate” Japanese hand planes are than western planes. I tried to explain to the guy that eastern and western planes work in almost exactly the same way, with the exception that one is ergonomically designed to be pulled, the other pushed. If you know anything about how a hand plane functions, you will see that the ratio of sole to mouth is very similar on eastern and western planes; the accuracy is in the user, not just the plane.
All hand planes can be used on the push or pull stroke, it is simply a matter of comfort. Though I have no proof of this, it is my belief that Japanese hand planes are pulled rather than pushed because of the methods of work holding that Japanese woodworkers employ. A Japanese woodworker holds his work very close to the ground; it would be quite difficult to push a plane with your legs, as a western woodworker does, when the board you are working on is 6 inches from the floor. Pulling the plane allows a woodworker who is working low to the ground to sit or kneel while planing. The same goes for Japanese hand saws, it is easier to pull the saw through a board if that board is being held just off the floor, otherwise you would be pushing your saw blade into the ground.

I know I’ve spoken about this subject before, but once again I’ve come across too many self-proclaimed experts doing nothing more than pushing off their opinion as fact.

There is no magic, no mysticism. Before you open your mouth and sound really stupid, do a little fact-checking into the engineering of a handplane and you will see that both eastern and western planes work in almost exactly the same way.

If I offended anybody, I’m not sorry. This is a rant after all. Happy Christmas.

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