Well, the time has come to pack up my woodworking shop and move to a new house. After 17 years here, we just bought a new house, a much nicer house in a much better place, and one of the things that I get out of the deal is a nice, new shop. So it’s packing up 16 years of tool purchases and making the trek. This ought to be fun.
A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.
This is something I don’t get, to be honest. In a number of discussions over on a woodworking forum, people were variously looking for opinions on how different people handled different problems and invariably, there is always someone who brings up the most ludicrous possibility, as though we ought to seriously consider it when making decisions.
Here’s a thought… don’t do stupid things!
A couple of days ago, someone in a woodworking forum popped up and wondered how one would make a mechanism that would allow upright drawers to pull out and swivel like the ones in the picture. I ended up being first into the thread and pointed out that it could easily and cheaply be done with a couple of t-tracks, some t-bolts and, if you wanted to be fancy, four bearings. But nobody liked my $10 solution, everyone kept coming up with things that cost much, much more, ostensibly because it costs so much more, it must be better, right?
I spend a bunch of time on YouTube watching videos whenever I have a few extra minutes and I’ve been watching a lot of wood turning videos. I honestly don’t do a lot of turning, I just don’t have time, although sometime I’d like to be able to spend more time at it, but it’s fun watching what other people can create.
Lately though, I’ve noticed a lot of different turners doing things that I’d consider very inefficient, just because it makes a lot of shavings. In fact, in one recent video, I saw someone round out the top of a project, then instead of cutting off the protruding tenon, which was 4-5 inches long, they swung their rest around and ground down the entire tenon into shavings. Why?
There are times I really don’t understand people and when those people infest my hobbies and show up on forums I frequent, I just have to rant about them. A couple of crazies this time out, just people being dumb for the sake of being dumb.
One guy get on and rants about softwood being hard to work with, then reveals he has entirely unrealistic expectations, he expects softwood to behave exactly like hardwood and because it doesn’t, it must be the wood’s fault! And he’s trying to work with dull tools and is complaining because it leaves fuzzy edges and tear-out. Seriously? Getting quality results in woodworking is a combination of having the right tools and the right skills for the job. The tools don’t necessarily have to be expensive, but they need to be sharp, otherwise it’s like trying to cut down a tree with a herring. But this guy has no sharp tools and sharpening tools is too difficult and time consuming so he thinks the laws of physics are going to let him get away with not doing what needs to be done. Sure. Tell me another one. And then he wants qualities of the wood he happens to have on hand to be identical to wood he doesn’t want to go out and get, just because he wants it. Head, meet desk.
Another guy wants to charge his LIPO drill batteries but he doesn’t want to actually buy a charger for them. He keeps coming up with all kinds if hair-brained schemes that are both more expensive than just buying the correct charger, and are likely to blow up his batteries to boot. He wants to use chargers that are not meant for the batteries he has to do the job for something he doesn’t want to spend money on, then he wants all of us to ride him around on our shoulders, telling him he’s a genius. Well here’s the thing. LIPO batteries have this really terrible tendency to explode when they aren’t treated right. If they overheat, they go boom. Overcharging them is a good way to get them to overheat. That’s why there are special chargers just for LIPO batteries. We told this guy that. He ignored us. He kept thinking he was special. Hopefully he didn’t burn his house down.
In both cases, the more people tell them to just do the right thing, the more they double down on their own stupidity, supremely convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Now I really don’t care if you want to be stupid so long as your stupidity only harms you, but how dumb do you have to be to go to a forum of people to ask questions, and when everyone tells you what an idiotic thing it is that you want to do, you argue with them and do it anyhow? It reminds me of another forum recently where someone showed up and immediately started insulting all of the moderators because they wouldn’t let him violate the rules. He called them cowards. They banned him. He deserved it. What an idiot.
Over on a woodworking forum, someone came along and started bitching about Home Depot giving him some crap about the huge number of returns that he did without receipts, he even had to appeal to a district manager to get his store credit and he was mad and wanted everyone to know.
Well pal, why didn’t you have your receipts? It’s your responsibility to keep them if you’re going to do any returns, and he clearly bought things with the clear intention to return them, he’s the one who is failing here and doesn’t seem to care. So I pointed that out to him. Nicely. He came back at me. Not nicely. And here we go again.
I’ve kind of gotten into watching woodworking videos on YouTube and I know that there are a lot of people trying to make a living making videos and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it seems that a fair number of them have stopped being fun and interesting and have gone straight to non-stop advertising.
There’s nothing wrong with advertising and I know it’s expected that if a company sponsors a particular video or project, you have to mention them but there’s a difference between giving credit where credit is due and being an ongoing commercial for these companies.
I notice that as CNC routers and laser engravers are becoming more and more common in woodworking shops, they are getting used quite often, but I really can’t look at that as woodworking because it takes the human hand and human skill out of the equation. Sure, you have to program the computer to create what you want, but it isn’t the woodworker making the design, it’s a machine.
So should we consider this woodworking? I vote no.
This is just a minor gripe that I just have to get off my chest. I’m on a couple of woodworking forums and most of them have a place to sell unwanted tools. Even though I’m not in the market for anything, I still look, just in case, plus it’s fun to see what other people have. The majority of the time, the tools are somewhere back east and for local pickup only, I’ve rarely seen anything on the west coast and never in my own backyard, even if there was something that I wanted. Sometimes, the pictures of the tools are nice, but a lot of the time, the tools look just horrible, dirty, dusty, covered in sawdust, etc. Don’t these people own a brush? I mean seriously, they went to the trouble of taking a picture, don’t they want to make it look as good as they can?
I’ve complained in the past about the assumption some woodworkers have that you have to own the most expensive tools or be a part of their tool-owning cult in order to be a “serious woodworker”. Well, someone tried that again, arguing that you couldn’t be a “serious woodworker” unless you owned a Festool track saw for breaking down sheet goods. I immediately rolled my eyes, not having even broken out my regular circular saw in years, but this time, to my surprise, lots of people came out saying that was absurd, that track saws were, for many people, a complete waste of time and money.
I guess woodworking common sense is getting through to people.