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Default Orders Of Magnitude, Relativity, Chaos Theory and Compensatory Craftsmanship

A man begins with timber that was felled and bucked to length with a
two handed crossbuck saw, scabbed off with an adze and slabbed out
rough with a pitsaw.

The slabs are horse carted to his shop, stickered up and left to sit,
hidden from the sun but not from the air, so that the slabs can cure.

In the fullness of time the man returns to the pile and runs a plane
across the slabs to check figure and color.

He brings the successful slabs into the shop and renders them closer
to final dimensions with crosscut and ripsaws.

He further saws and planes the sticks into the pieces that will form
his invention.

He joins the pieces together with hand tools and scrapes them into a
condition to receive finish, using pieces of steel that he has formed
and tempered himself.

His measuring tools are his intellect and a story stick.

He works for eight days in the shop.

The joints are hermetic.

When he is done, he has created a Goddard-Townsend Blockfront Desk.





A man buys some 4/4, 5/4, 6/4 S4S timber and a sheet plywood.

He spends two days calibrating his tablesaw; one-half day setting his
jointer; one-half day setting his shaper; one-half day setting his
planer; three days building router jigs; one-half day calibrating his
chopsaw; one-quarter day checking everything with a moisture meter;
one day reading instructions for his alignment tools; two days
studying the effect of gamma rays on freshly sawn cherry...

His measuring tools are tapes, lasers, dial calipers, proprietary
devices that are specifically not made out of sheet metal, feeler
gauges, mass spectrometers, and generally anything that will measure
in angstrom units.

He works thirty-six weekends in the shop.

The joints are hermaphroditic.

When he is done, he has created a Pukey Duck, or perhaps a multi level
display device for chatchkies.







WoodDorking has always been about Material, Tools, Craftsmanship and
Mind - but the order of their relative importance is relatively
important to the final outcome.*




* (concept stolen from a man who taught the throwing of hand
grenades, "There are only three things that you have to remember -
pull, throw and duck - but the order is very important".)










Regards,

Tom Watson

tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)

http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/
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Default Orders Of Magnitude, Relativity, Chaos Theory and Compensatory Craftsmanship

The joints are hermaphroditic.

What on earth are you talking about?


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On Sat, 04 Nov 2006 02:52:01 GMT, "Toller" wrote:

The joints are hermaphroditic.

What on earth are you talking about?


It's about doing something from tree to finish using hand tools
(perhaps hand made tools) and getting the final object done relatively
quickly because you already know how it will turn out. The skill is
in the man.

This different that the guy who has power tools and a lumber yard to
buy material from. The skill is in the tools more than the man
(sometimes much more). The man spends more time diddling with the
tools than knowing the final outcome of the object he intends to
build.

On the other hand, if that craftsman had access to power tools and a
lumber yard would this be a different story?

Pete


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Default Orders Of Magnitude, Relativity, Chaos Theory and Compensatory Craftsmanship

So THAT'S what I've been doing wrong!

--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland -
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In article ,
Toller wrote:
The joints are hermaphroditic.

What on earth are you talking about?



It's kind of like a door that swings both ways...

--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland -


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On Sat, 04 Nov 2006 02:52:01 GMT, "Toller" wrote:

The joints are hermaphroditic.

What on earth are you talking about?


If you don't plan ahead 50 years by planting the appropriate trees,
then felling them yourself (by chewing through the trunk like a beaver
so that you truly understand the tree of course) then sawing it into
boards (with a saw you made yourself, while the tree was growing) then
scrapped that idea in favor of another plan you thought of while
pulling the splinters out of your mouth, planted new trees, waiting
another 50 years, sawed, and built the exact same thing someone else
made 200 years earlier (from when you started) entirely with hand
tools, working only on days when the electricity was out (pausing
periodically to walk round to the neighbors to show them how much
you're getting done while they are sitting around doing nothing) then
your work has no soul and really you're just wasting everyone's time.

Got it now? Good, go plant some trees and we'll see you in 50 years.


-Leuf
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Default Orders Of Magnitude, Relativity, Chaos Theory and Compensatory Craftsmanship

Tom Watson wrote:

A man begins with timber that was felled and bucked to length with a
two handed crossbuck saw, scabbed off with an adze and slabbed out
rough with a pitsaw.


snip

When he is done, he has created a Goddard-Townsend Blockfront Desk.



A man buys some 4/4, 5/4, 6/4 S4S timber and a sheet plywood.


snip

What did the customer want?
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Toller wrote:
The joints are hermaphroditic.


What on earth are you talking about?


I could be double rabbet joint in that it has both male and female parts.

;-)
glen
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"Tom Watson" wrote in message

A man buys some 4/4, 5/4, 6/4 S4S timber and a sheet plywood.


snip

When he is done, he has created ...:


A copy of an "Arts and Crafts" pukey duck, using the plans from "Wood____"
magazine.

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/29/06


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Glen wrote in
k.net:

I could be double rabbet joint in that it has both male and female
parts.

;-)
glen


Um... Are you sure you want male and female rabbets together? You might
just get a whole bunch more than you wanted.

Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm


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Hi Tom,

There is a great deal of virtue in the ability to bring a project from
felled tree to a beautiful piece of furniture with nothing more than
muscle power and hand tools. But such a task would be considerably
more difficult without the aid of tools and techniques which bear the
exceptional engineering and fabrication skills of many disciplines. I
suppose it's just human nature to demean those who are unfamiliar or
misunderstood with absurd characterizations intended to make them look
like bafoons. Glad to see that you are human.

I automatically dismiss the obvious implication that the second man
represents all those that use power tools because it's patently untrue.
Yes, there are some who do nothing more than fiddle around with their
machinery and alignment tools. But there are also some who do noting
but putz around their "shop" sharpening plane irons and chisels that
will never cut wood; collecting antiques which will never be used to
make anything; or spending countless hours doing nothing but slicing
the thinnest possible shavings from a piece of wood (measuring them
with - you guessed it - micrometers!). I must fight my human nature to
believe that this doesn't characterize the vast majority of Neanders.
The fact is that both of these groups represent an extreme minority
among real woodworkers.

There are people who use their machinery and alignment tools to make
furniture with the highest degree of craftsmanship. The machines and
alignment tools do not eliminate the need for skills, they just create
the need for different skills. They also save a whole bunch of time -
making it possible to produce more than one or two Goddard-Townsend
Blockfront desks (or Wooten Patent desks) from hewn log in a lifetime
(many more).

The root of such absurd characterizations designed to make a poorly
understood group appear inferior is bigotry - most often arising out of
a perception that the other group threatens ideas or ways of life which
form the basis of one's core values. It isn't limited to national,
racial, religious, or gender groups. The core values and beliefs of
certain people in the middle ages were threatened by others who enjoyed
viewing the night sky through telescopes so they were characterized as
"evil". There are people today whose core values and beliefs are
threatened by the use of automobiles and other mechanized devices so
they characterize users of such things as "evil". There's quite a rift
between blue-collar and white-collar in this country - each side
characterizing the other with absurd notions. Democrat vs Republican?
Sure, both are evil! Normites and Neanders are no different. They
suffer the same human nature - each tempted to characterize the other
with absurd notions.

Ed Bennett

http://www.ts-aligner.com


Tom Watson wrote:
A man begins with timber that was felled and bucked to length with a
two handed crossbuck saw, scabbed off with an adze and slabbed out
rough with a pitsaw.

The slabs are horse carted to his shop, stickered up and left to sit,
hidden from the sun but not from the air, so that the slabs can cure.

In the fullness of time the man returns to the pile and runs a plane
across the slabs to check figure and color.

He brings the successful slabs into the shop and renders them closer
to final dimensions with crosscut and ripsaws.

He further saws and planes the sticks into the pieces that will form
his invention.

He joins the pieces together with hand tools and scrapes them into a
condition to receive finish, using pieces of steel that he has formed
and tempered himself.

His measuring tools are his intellect and a story stick.

He works for eight days in the shop.

The joints are hermetic.

When he is done, he has created a Goddard-Townsend Blockfront Desk.





A man buys some 4/4, 5/4, 6/4 S4S timber and a sheet plywood.

He spends two days calibrating his tablesaw; one-half day setting his
jointer; one-half day setting his shaper; one-half day setting his
planer; three days building router jigs; one-half day calibrating his
chopsaw; one-quarter day checking everything with a moisture meter;
one day reading instructions for his alignment tools; two days
studying the effect of gamma rays on freshly sawn cherry...

His measuring tools are tapes, lasers, dial calipers, proprietary
devices that are specifically not made out of sheet metal, feeler
gauges, mass spectrometers, and generally anything that will measure
in angstrom units.

He works thirty-six weekends in the shop.

The joints are hermaphroditic.

When he is done, he has created a Pukey Duck, or perhaps a multi level
display device for chatchkies.







WoodDorking has always been about Material, Tools, Craftsmanship and
Mind - but the order of their relative importance is relatively
important to the final outcome.*




* (concept stolen from a man who taught the throwing of hand
grenades, "There are only three things that you have to remember -
pull, throw and duck - but the order is very important".)










Regards,

Tom Watson

tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)

http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/


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On 4 Nov 2006 13:47:21 -0800, wrote:


The root of such absurd characterizations designed to make a poorly
understood group appear inferior is bigotry - most often arising out of
a perception that the other group threatens ideas or ways of life which
form the basis of one's core values.



Shazzam!

Now I'm a bigot?

Brother Eddie, you need to cool your jets.

My point was and is that too many people concentrate on the tools,
rather than the work.

The work that you do tells you about the degree of precision involved.

The table saw is one of the final steps towards good joinery.

It is not the final step.

What you sell treats it as though it is.


That is wrong.


Do you really think that a tenon cheek is ready for the mortise when
it comes from the saw?

Do you really think that a cut edge is ready for butting to another as
it comes from the saw?


Preposterous!


If the face, or edge has not been worked, it is not finished and can
only fail.


The tablesaw is in the same category as the planer, it attempts to
level the playing field.

The real work of joinery comes after the rough work is done.



I'm not saying that it does not help to have a perfectly set up table
saw - I'm saying that it is a snapshot of reality and that the project
goes on beyond it.


Set a saw up perfectly and then run some interesting wood through it
for a day.

Then, test it again - what has happened?


It is a roughing tool, not a finishing tool - and it should never be
treated as such.







Regards,

Tom Watson

tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)

http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/
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Tom Watson wrote:

Shazzam!

Now I'm a bigot?


I wasn't thinking that you were. But, if you are feeling like your
core values are being threatened, and you intended those absurd
characterizations in your original message to denigrate those
woodworkers who choose to use machines and alignment tools, then
perhaps you are. My message was intended to promote self examination -
glad to see it worked.

Brother Eddie, you need to cool your jets.


My "jets" aren't hot. I suppose that if I were writing a long series
of one sentence paragraphs then you might get the feeling that I was
livid. But, I'm as cool as a cucumber.

My point was and is that too many people concentrate on the tools,
rather than the work.


So, it really had nothing to do with the types of tools each guy was
using? It's just a coincidence that the guy using hand tools produces
a fine piece of furniture and the guy using machinery ends up with a
"pukey duck"? The story could then be told by talking about the how
the hand tool guy obsesses over sharpening, shaving thickness, dusting
the antiques kept in the glass display case, etc. while the guy with
machines fills his house with finely crafted furniture. It would have
the same point, right?

I suppose the story could also be told so that it reflected no bias at
all. The two guys could both be using hand tools or both be using
machinery. Then the meaning of the story would be much more clear and
not seem so incongruous with the moral at the end. As you told it, the
story definitely relfects a rather strong bias (as does your reply).

The work that you do tells you about the degree of precision involved.


If you are saying that the end product defines the degree of
craftsmanship, then I agree wholeheartedly. If you are saying that the
process or the amount of work defines the craftsmanship, then we're not
seeing eye-to-eye.


The table saw is one of the final steps towards good joinery.

It is not the final step.


In many cases it is for me. The table saw is definitely not the final
step for some joinery (dovetail joints for example). But, I don't have
any problem ripping "glue ready" butt joints on my table saw. I've had
many people look at things I've made and admire the tight joints in
tabletops, desktops, panels, etc. They're all machine made - mostly
right off the tablesaw.

What you sell treats it as though it is.


What I sell helps to make it possible. High quality and accurate work
cannot come from a poorly aligned tablesaw. It also takes a well
designed and sharpened blade. Under magnification the cells of the
wood appear sheared - not torn or crushed. You can see right through
the cells in a short piece of oak or ash crosscut.


That is wrong.


I don't think so. I suspect that you aren't familiar with the results
that can be had from a properly tuned machine using a sharp cutter. If
I had been using hand tools all my life to clean up the poor quality
and inaccurate results that come from a misaligned table saw using a
cheap blade then I might just share your opinion.


Do you really think that a tenon cheek is ready for the mortise when
it comes from the saw?


Without a doubt.

Do you really think that a cut edge is ready for butting to another as
it comes from the saw?


Absolutely.


Preposterous!


Only if the saw is poorly aligned and you are using a crummy blade.

If the face, or edge has not been worked, it is not finished and can
only fail.


Please, tell me when they are going to fail. I've got hundreds of such
joints in my house that came right off the table saw. Some have been
together for nearly 30 years. None have failed. Many have moved from
humid and warm climates (Bay Area) to dry and cold climates (Idaho). I
know it's only anecdotal evidence but I'm really having trouble
believing you. Perhaps if I had made them with a poorly aligned saw
and a crummy blade I would better understand what you were talking
about.


The tablesaw is in the same category as the planer, it attempts to
level the playing field.


I guess I really don't follow your logic here. "Level" the playing
field? I just think these machines save a whole bunch of time when
they are used properly and well maintained.

The real work of joinery comes after the rough work is done.


I save a whole bunch of time and effort skipping the "rough work"
altogether. I do the real joinery on the first try, with no need to
clean it up afterwards. I don't understand the need to do it in two
steps when one step is just as good (and a whole lot faster).

Keep in mind, I'm judging craftsmanship by the results, not the
process. If you are of the opinion that the process defines the
craftsmanship and that the end result is irrelevant, then we will
always disagree. Some guys even leave tooling marks all over their
projects as evidence of "craftsmanship". What's up with that? Geez,
that's like the folks who use boards with knots just to prove that it's
real wood. I'm in it for the pride and quality of the end result.
Tooling marks tell me that the "craftsman" was careless and did not pay
attention to detail. I have hand planed more than a few tabletops in
my day and didn't leave any tooling marks. Knots tell me that the wood
is cheap.

I'm not saying that it does not help to have a perfectly set up table
saw - I'm saying that it is a snapshot of reality and that the project
goes on beyond it.


There is definitely more to any woodworking project than a tablesaw.
Even a well tuned table saw isn't the end-all and be-all of woodworking
projects. Yes, I agree completely. But, your point eludes me.


Set a saw up perfectly and then run some interesting wood through it
for a day.

Then, test it again - what has happened?


Maybe it's still holding it's settings, maybe it's not. What's the
point? I would say that this scenerio definitely justifies the need
for a good alignment tool!


It is a roughing tool, not a finishing tool - and it should never be
treated as such.


Hmmmmm......Yesterday I would have called a brush a "finishing tool"
but I think I know what you are talking about here. If I believed that
my self worth was tied up in the skills to clean up after a poorly
maintained table saw then I might feel a bit threatened by those who
could achieve equivalent quality craftsmanship without doing (or even
knowing how to do) any cleanup work at all. If I thought that "how
hard you work" was a better measure of craftsmanship than the quality
of the end result then I might be threatened by those who produce
equivalent quality work with a lot less effort. I might even be
inclined to criticize their work and create absurd characterizations to
make them look like bafoons. Fortunately, people appreciate what I
make, not what I go through to make it.

These sorts of situations always remind me of an episode of the old TV
series M*A*S*H. Frank is looking to get a local craftsman to carve
something for him. He asks the craftsman to show him an example of his
work. They guy hands a 2x4 to Frank. Frank says "This is just a
2x4!". The craftsman, glowing with pride, says "Thank you!".

Up above you started by saying your "...point was and is that too many
people concentrate on the tools, rather than the work." But, your
entire reply is devoted to explaining how inadequate the table saw is
at producing glue-ready joints. It appears to follw the same pattern
that your oringinal post did. One (or two) sentences with the main
point and a whole bunch of other stuff about the merits of hand tools
over machinery. In spite of the many one sentence paragraphs
protesting what I said, I think I nailed this one the first time. ;-)
Think about it, the table saw bothers you because you care more about
the tools.

Ed Bennett

http://www.ts-aligner.com

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On 6 Nov 2006 19:19:06 -0800, wrote:


Ed Bennett

http://www.ts-aligner.com


I showed you mine.

When are you going to show me yours?



Regards,

Tom Watson

tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)

http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/
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Or a guy could have power tools AND intellect and finish before both of the
other two, with a lot less sweat, right?

--
Rick Nagy
Johnstown, PA

- Remove nospam to email me
Be sure to check out my website at
http://www.rickscabinetshop.com
"Tom Watson" wrote in message
...
A man begins with timber that was felled and bucked to length with a
two handed crossbuck saw, scabbed off with an adze and slabbed out
rough with a pitsaw.

The slabs are horse carted to his shop, stickered up and left to sit,
hidden from the sun but not from the air, so that the slabs can cure.

In the fullness of time the man returns to the pile and runs a plane
across the slabs to check figure and color.

He brings the successful slabs into the shop and renders them closer
to final dimensions with crosscut and ripsaws.

He further saws and planes the sticks into the pieces that will form
his invention.

He joins the pieces together with hand tools and scrapes them into a
condition to receive finish, using pieces of steel that he has formed
and tempered himself.

His measuring tools are his intellect and a story stick.

He works for eight days in the shop.

The joints are hermetic.

When he is done, he has created a Goddard-Townsend Blockfront Desk.





A man buys some 4/4, 5/4, 6/4 S4S timber and a sheet plywood.

He spends two days calibrating his tablesaw; one-half day setting his
jointer; one-half day setting his shaper; one-half day setting his
planer; three days building router jigs; one-half day calibrating his
chopsaw; one-quarter day checking everything with a moisture meter;
one day reading instructions for his alignment tools; two days
studying the effect of gamma rays on freshly sawn cherry...

His measuring tools are tapes, lasers, dial calipers, proprietary
devices that are specifically not made out of sheet metal, feeler
gauges, mass spectrometers, and generally anything that will measure
in angstrom units.

He works thirty-six weekends in the shop.

The joints are hermaphroditic.

When he is done, he has created a Pukey Duck, or perhaps a multi level
display device for chatchkies.







WoodDorking has always been about Material, Tools, Craftsmanship and
Mind - but the order of their relative importance is relatively
important to the final outcome.*




* (concept stolen from a man who taught the throwing of hand
grenades, "There are only three things that you have to remember -
pull, throw and duck - but the order is very important".)










Regards,

Tom Watson

tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)

http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/





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Brother Eddie, you need to cool your jets.

My "jets" aren't hot.


Regardless of the ACTUAL temperature of your jets, I have to say they
sounded hot. It sounds like you feel the need to defend yourself - do
you really think someone is going to give up on their table saw (and
not buy your aligner) because of Tom's post? In the recent thread
following your TS-aligner sale post, I was very impressed at your
business philosophy, incorporating others' ideas, standing behind your
product because it works, and encouraging people to try it for
themselves or make something better if they don't believe you. Thus
your defensive-sounding reply here surprised me. I haven't seen Steve
Knight or Robin Lee respond like that to a post here about some handy
new power-tool jig...

I have no doubt that your product is the best of its kind on the
market, and as a user of both power and hand tools, I'm not saying
either is superior. But I am curious why you apparently feel
threatened by someone extoling the increasingly rare virtues of
craftsmanship, just because the craftsman in his example used hand
tools. Sure, there are plenty of "woodworkers" who buy expensive
planes and chisels just because they're expensive or pretty, and then
spend most of their time diddling with them instead of using them to
their fullest potential. Just as there are with power-tool-happy
"woodworkers", who buy a machine just because of a new gimmick or an HP
rating. But I don't think that was the point of the OP. (Note - this
defense of Tom's original post doesn't necessarily extend to the rest
of the thread...)

When I read the original post, the point I took away was apparently the
one Tom intended: the real woodworker's focus should be on the work,
not the tools, and that a bunch of fancy expensive tools (whether they
are of the tailed or hand variety) are not necessary to produce good
work. For me, the point of woodworking is to enjoy the process, to
challenge myself, and to come out with a functional and hopefully
attractive piece of furniture when I'm done. I don't like to waste
time, but I don't need to rush through it either. (Yes, I know those
who have deadlines and/or customers to satisfy are in an entirely
different situation here.) But I appreciated Tom's initial reminder
that gadgets don't make the woodworker.

(Of course, if your hobby is fiddling with power tools or sharpening
expensive hand tools, at least you're not causing trouble for other
people or the environment, as you would be with many other hobbies...)

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On Nov 7, 1:06 am, "Andy" wrote:
[snipped for brevity]

I know a guy who owns about 25 immaculate Gibson guitars.
Can't play a lick.

But he can hum a tune or two. Quite well at that.

He's a collector, not a musician.
He appreciates the art and craftsmanship that went into the making of a
Hummingbird or Dove.
---------------------------
I went to see John Prine a few weeks ago. He plays an old beat-up
Martin D-28 (used to belong to Steve Goodman). By now you have an idea
where I am going with this?
----------------------------
A local contractor was spouting off about "the old days when carpenters
were carpenters" and that HE could do anything the young bucks could do
without all them fancypants powertools. So I handed him an eight foot
2x4 and a handsaw and asked him to take off 1/4"...along the length.

He told me to go screw myself.
----------------------------
"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools", said he, who stood on
top of a 24' ladder with a dead battery in his cordless drill.
----------------------------
All in all, I completely understand where Tom is coming from but that
doesn't take away the fact that one of my business cards says: Old
world craftsmanship, new world technology.

There is the delicate blend of arts and crafts.


r

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Default Orders Of Magnitude, Relativity, Chaos Theory and Compensatory Craftsmanship

On 6 Nov 2006 22:06:36 -0800, "Andy" wrote:


But I am curious why you apparently feel
threatened by someone extoling the increasingly rare virtues of
craftsmanship, just because the craftsman in his example used hand
tools. Sure, there are plenty of "woodworkers" who buy expensive
planes and chisels just because they're expensive or pretty, and then
spend most of their time diddling with them instead of using them to
their fullest potential. Just as there are with power-tool-happy
"woodworkers", who buy a machine just because of a new gimmick or an HP
rating. But I don't think that was the point of the OP.


Why is then that Tom turns out a post pretty much exactly like this
every now and again and it's always the hand tool using guy that is
the brilliant craftsman and the power tool user that can't find his
way around the lumberyard? If he means to suggest something else then
perhaps he should start mixing up his stories a bit.

On a digital photography site I visit there are an enormous number of
people referred to as "measurbaters" who like to compare the photos
from compares on a pixel by pixel basis and like to point out things
that no one but they can see that are just horrible and make the
camera utterly useless. And they have to have the latest camera of
course. And you never see any actual photographs from these people.
The number of photographers there with any actual talent is very small
(and I'm not one of them) and they are too busy actually doing their
work to worry about such things.

Pretty much in any field it's the same story. You have extremes at
both ends. The vast majority of us are somewhere in the middle just
trying to get the job done as best they can with whatever means works
for them.


-Leuf
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Andy wrote:
Regardless of the ACTUAL temperature of your jets, I have to say they
sounded hot. It sounds like you feel the need to defend yourself - do
you really think someone is going to give up on their table saw (and
not buy your aligner) because of Tom's post?


Just like Tom's original message, I read your message and took a good
look at myself and what I had written. I re-read both of my posts
twice. I still can't imagine why someone would think that I responded
because I was upset ("jets" are hot), or because I felt threatened. I
have used both hand tools and machinery for decades. There's nothing
that Tom said that personally threatened me or anything I do. And, if
you read my messages for very long, you'll see that they are not all
devoted to selling (or defending) my products. As far as I'm
concerned, this thread is all about Tom's biased characterization of
machine tool users (as bafoons).

In the recent thread
following your TS-aligner sale post, I was very impressed at your
business philosophy, incorporating others' ideas, standing behind your
product because it works, and encouraging people to try it for
themselves or make something better if they don't believe you. Thus
your defensive-sounding reply here surprised me. I haven't seen Steve
Knight or Robin Lee respond like that to a post here about some handy
new power-tool jig...


It surprises me that you would read my philosophy and not see how it
would compell me to reply in Tom's thread. I'm a "truth and honesty at
all cost" kind of guy. And, I've been told that I can be pretty blunt
about it. But, please don't confuse my blunt manner with being upset
or defensive. I am just seeking some balance in the bias that Tom
originally posted. This isn't about me or my product or any other jig.
It's about an absurd characterization of a group of people that Tom
doesn't seem to understand very well.

I've been reading Steve and Robin for several years and have seen them
both express passionate opinions - even question the opinion of others
(which is what I have done). Perhaps I am more blunt than they are but
this isn't obvious to me.

While this topic would seem to be on the forefront of Tom's mind, I'm
not concerned with what tool or tools a person chooses to do their
woodwork with. I'm concerned that some people (a big majority) are
being denigraded for making a very valid choice.

I have no doubt that your product is the best of its kind on the
market, and as a user of both power and hand tools, I'm not saying
either is superior.


Then we are basically of the same camp.

But I am curious why you apparently feel
threatened by someone extoling the increasingly rare virtues of
craftsmanship, just because the craftsman in his example used hand
tools.


Again, I don't feel threatened in the least. And, it wasn't Tom's
example of craftsmanship that prompted my desire to add balance. I
think hand tools are great and that everyone should learn how to use
and maintain them. It was Tom's characterization of machine users that
prompted my response.

Sure, there are plenty of "woodworkers" who buy expensive
planes and chisels just because they're expensive or pretty, and then
spend most of their time diddling with them instead of using them to
their fullest potential. Just as there are with power-tool-happy
"woodworkers", who buy a machine just because of a new gimmick or an HP
rating. But I don't think that was the point of the OP. (Note - this
defense of Tom's original post doesn't necessarily extend to the rest
of the thread...)


You have provided a good summary of of my point exactly. I think that
you and I are in complete agreement here. Both goups have a minority
of individuals who focus more on the tools than they do on what the
tools are used for. Tom's point could have easily been made without
expressing any bias. But, Tom's OP characterized the hand tool
woodworker as virtuous and the machine tool woodworker as a bafoon. In
spite of what he has said, I think Tom's focus really is on the tools
and not on the work. In his second post he expresses his "point" by
declaring that it is "preposterous" to think that a table saw can
produce good joinery. He firmly believes that it is only good for
rough work and that hand tools are needed to "finish" the joints. It
tells me that his "point" is at best secondary - a vehicle for the bias
which he wishes to promote (which was probably motivated by my
characterization of the dial indicator as an "old tool" in the other
thread).

When I read the original post, the point I took away was apparently the
one Tom intended: the real woodworker's focus should be on the work,
not the tools, and that a bunch of fancy expensive tools (whether they
are of the tailed or hand variety) are not necessary to produce good
work. For me, the point of woodworking is to enjoy the process, to
challenge myself, and to come out with a functional and hopefully
attractive piece of furniture when I'm done. I don't like to waste
time, but I don't need to rush through it either. (Yes, I know those
who have deadlines and/or customers to satisfy are in an entirely
different situation here.) But I appreciated Tom's initial reminder
that gadgets don't make the woodworker.


Well said. Then you wouldn't disagree with the opinion that different
tools require different skills. The skills to produce a good quality
joint using a tablesaw are going to be different than the skills needed
when using handtools. If a person cannot use a particular (and
appropriate) tool to produce a good joint, it is likely that their
skills with that tool are lacking. You can't just point a board in the
general direction of a table saw and expect an accurate cut. Nor can
you just push a plane over a piece of wood and expect a true surface.
Fine craftsmanship doesn't result from a complete lack of skills. And,
the choice of a particular type of tool doesn't necessarily determine
the resulting craftsmanship.

(Of course, if your hobby is fiddling with power tools or sharpening
expensive hand tools, at least you're not causing trouble for other
people or the environment, as you would be with many other hobbies...)


Absolutely.

Ed Bennett

http://www.ts-aligner.com

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OH WHY OH WHY Can't we all just get along........




"Tom Watson" wrote in message
...
On 6 Nov 2006 19:19:06 -0800, wrote:


Ed Bennett

http://www.ts-aligner.com


I showed you mine.

When are you going to show me yours?



Regards,

Tom Watson

tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)

http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/





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Tall Oak wrote:
OH WHY OH WHY Can't we all just get along........

Perhaps this is why woodworkers spend a great deal of time in their
shops...... alone. g
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Somebody please correct me if I am wrong but I think Tom's original
point is being missed. In other words, I think people are reading too
much into it.

I do not think Tom is saying people who use hand tools are superior to
people who use power tools or vice versa, even.

I think he is saying that a real woodworker is going to have the
finished product in mind and build an herloom.

On the other hand, there are many people out there who call themselves
woodworkers, who have all the latest tools, who read book-after-book
and article-after-article on everything woodworking, are anal in their
process to the point of silliness, all for a Pukey Duck.

Not that there is anything wrong with power tools or even Pukey Ducks
for that matter. What were the reaosn behind his story? Did he just
talk to somebody for the 100th time who declares themself a master
woodworker with all the latest tools and has read all the latest books
and magazines all the while just making bird houses a kid can make?
Did he have the privilege to speak with a man who has limited amout of
tools in his shop--and maybe nothing newer than 40-years-old--who
produces incredible work? Both? Neither? An inquiring mind would like
to know...

I have to say, I sort of know where Tom is coming from and if I am not
too careful, I sort of fall into exactly what he is talking about. I
do tend to read a lot but I think it is because I do not have enough
time in my life right now to devote to actually cutting wood. I have
not done enough actual making of things. I need to find a way to spend
more time in the garaaaa--er--shop to become more like the first guy
and less like the pukey-duck fellow.

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wrote in message

Somebody please correct me if I am wrong but I think Tom's original
point is being missed. In other words, I think people are reading too
much into it.


No correction needed.

TW's like that ... being smarter than the average bear, most never snap to
just how many chains are being yanked/legs being pulled, while he sits back
and grins.

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/29/06


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On Tue, 7 Nov 2006 15:13:06 -0600, "Swingman" wrote:

wrote in message

Somebody please correct me if I am wrong but I think Tom's original
point is being missed. In other words, I think people are reading too
much into it.


No correction needed.

TW's like that ... being smarter than the average bear, most never snap to
just how many chains are being yanked/legs being pulled, while he sits back
and grins.



In other words, a Troll. A smart (or smart ass) Troll maybe, but.....

Tells some good stories though.

Dave Hall
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In my view, craftsmanship is more a state of mind than it is about
equipment or tools or electricity.






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"Dave Hall" wrote in message ...

In other words, a Troll. A smart (or smart ass) Troll maybe, but.....


Nope ... about as much a relation to a troll as a Stephen Hawking is to a
Jessica Simpson.

Tells some good stories though.


None better these days ... .

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/29/06


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Hey Tom had an interesting problem When I put my red oak through my new saw
it just turned blue.




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Swingman wrote:
: wrote in message

: Somebody please correct me if I am wrong but I think Tom's original
: point is being missed. In other words, I think people are reading too
: much into it.

: No correction needed.

: TW's like that ... being smarter than the average bear, most never snap to
: just how many chains are being yanked/legs being pulled, while he sits back
: and grins.


In other words, he's a troll.


-- Andy Barss
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Barss leaks:


In other words, he's a troll.



In the same sense that S. was a "gadfly".


t.
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On Sat, 04 Nov 2006 11:06:44 GMT, Lobby Dosser
wrote:

Tom Watson wrote:

A man begins with timber that was felled and bucked to length with a
two handed crossbuck saw, scabbed off with an adze and slabbed out
rough with a pitsaw.


snip

When he is done, he has created a Goddard-Townsend Blockfront Desk.



A man buys some 4/4, 5/4, 6/4 S4S timber and a sheet plywood.


snip

What did the customer want?


A William & Mary tavern table.


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Tom Watson wrote:

: Barss leaks:

:
: In other words, he's a troll.


: In the same sense that S. was a "gadfly".


No, in the same sense that you, like a lot of 15-year-old boys with
poor social skills, made an offensive post, then refused to answer questions
about it. Then replied to a thoughtful post (by Ed) in an immature
and bothersome way.

You're a troll, plain and simple. And deserving of the usual
respect.


-- Andy Barss
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In article , Andrew Barss
wrote:

Tom Watson wrote:
: Barss leaks:
:
: In other words, he's a troll.
: In the same sense that S. was a "gadfly".
No, in the same sense that you, like a lot of 15-year-old boys with
poor social skills, made an offensive post, then refused to answer questions
about it. Then replied to a thoughtful post (by Ed) in an immature
and bothersome way.

You're a troll, plain and simple. And deserving of the usual
respect.


Tom's no troll. He may be occasionally lacking in social graces, but
he's no troll.

Ten minutes on Google Groups would show you that I'm right.
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"Andrew Barss" wrote in message
Tom Watson wrote:

: Barss leaks:

:
: In other words, he's a troll.


: In the same sense that S. was a "gadfly".


No, in the same sense that you, like a lot of 15-year-old boys with
poor social skills, made an offensive post, then refused to answer

questions
about it. Then replied to a thoughtful post (by Ed) in an immature
and bothersome way.

You're a troll, plain and simple. And deserving of the usual
respect.


Nope ... IIRC, in the same sense that ostriches come from Australia.

--
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Last update: 10/29/06



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In article 091120061548486628%dave@N_O_T_T_H_I_Sbalderstone. ca,
Dave Balderstone wrote:
...snipped...
Tom's no troll. He may be occasionally lacking in social graces, but
he's no troll.



Not that there's anything wrong with that....
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland -
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On Thu, 9 Nov 2006 21:27:56 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss
wrote:

Tom Watson wrote:

: Barss leaks:

:
: In other words, he's a troll.


: In the same sense that S. was a "gadfly".


No, in the same sense that you, like a lot of 15-year-old boys with
poor social skills, made an offensive post, then refused to answer questions
about it. Then replied to a thoughtful post (by Ed) in an immature
and bothersome way.

You're a troll, plain and simple. And deserving of the usual
respect.


-- Andy Barss



("You treat a person decently, not because of who they are but because
of who you are." Granny Watson)

("For Brutus is an honorable man." WS 1564 - 1616)

It might be instructive for you to read the original post before you
formulate the intent to disparage.

("As I would not be a troll, neither would I be trolled". AL 1809 -
1865) (I before E, except after careful reflection.)

When Socrates walked the Agora in Fifth Century Athens and asked
questions of his brothers with the pure intent of disturbing the
dissembling nature of their presumptions, was he a troll?

Was Socrates the first troll?

Nay, I place myself not in the same regard as that purest of Athenian
reasoners, yet I seek to emulate him in my shabby way, as so we should
in the regard of our betters.

It was a question needing asking, you see.

("Are we not men? No, we are Devo". Devo 1978 - 1978)

There is and has always been on the Wreck the weird tendency to
attempt the cross-pollination of the metallic and the organic, a kind
of miscegenation if you will or, if you won't , if that seems entirely
too politically incorrect, you may think of it as an unreasoning
desire to join oil and water - well, there is the essence of it.

Our machinist brethren occasionally wander from their purview and drag
their otherworldly assumptions into the simple world of wooddorking.

Their world may be likened unto that of the Forms described by Plato -
unchanging, unchangeable and lacking in the perversity that so
inhabits the organic realm.

I envy them their predictability but only to the point where
prediction and predilection are confused.

Yes, their predilection confuses them when they enter the organic
realm. There are too many variables for them to deal with and they
become very tense.

What profit it a man if he gains absolute accuracy for a moment over a
material that is constantly changing, and thus loses its very soul.

Give in to it, my brothers - give in to the variability, the inherent
unpredictability, the implied possibility of wonder and wondrous
results...

We can set our machinery to 0.0001 but our material has been changed
by the very act of processing it in that machine.

Our material will change in length and breadth and depth within one
revolution of the earth to a point that is several orders of magnitude
greater than that of our setup measurements.

Metaldorking is a game of knowledge and predictability - wooddorking
is a game of wisdom and possibility.

I submit to you the happy circumstance (for some) that a man who
begins with a Ryobi BT-3000, which has a variable of accuracy measured
in cubits, has the same chance of turning out a wonderful wooddorking
project as the man who roughs out on a CNC machine.

The machinist requires that his tools be perfect, in order to
accomplish his result. It is not a journey of discovery - it is
simply a walk from A to B.

The wooddorker must embrace the ineluctable organicity and essentially
flawed nature of his material, as he must do with himself - or do
without happiness.

The concentration on the machine, rather than the artifact and its
intent, is the main division.

It divides you from your art - and it divides you from your soul.


("There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." WS Hamlet A1 SV)

("Yeah, it'll cut it up for you - but the sumbitch won't teach you to
cook." Ron Popeil 1935 - ad nauseam)













Regards,

Tom Watson

tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)

http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/
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