A Warning to Potential Newbies

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You’ve probably encountered one at the gas station - the strange looking fellow with his odd rectangular red metal can, labeled GASOLINE, front and back, puming a mere gallon of gasoline. What really got your attention was when he pulled a little plastic bottle out of his old jacket pocket and poured its mysterious content into the can with the gas. And when he put the metal top back on the can you noticed that it wasn’t Child Proofed. You thought “That’s an odd fellow.” as you watched him drive away - in his OLD pickup.
Your at the 7-11 around 11 pm, getting the milk you forgot to get when you went grocery shopping two days ago. The guy in front of you at the register getting a pound of Pemican and wearing a dusty jump suit, dusty ball cap and - what look like big plastic ear muffs arund the back of his neck - confirms the adage - “You’ll see the strangest people at 7-11 - especially if it’s next to a laundromat.”
You’re at The Borg with your fourth grader. You’re there to get some quarter inch ply your daughter needs for her science project. While she’s going through ALL the quarter sheets to make sure she gets the best one you notice a guy going through ALL the oak boards in the rack 20 feet away. He pulls out board after board looking carefully at each face, siting down one edge and looking down the end of each board. A half an hour later your daughter has FINALLY picked just the right piece of plywood and the guy’s still going through the stack of oak. And even after standing in line at the Contractor’s Register for 20 minutes, you notice that guy’s still going through the rack of oak boards - and still hasn’t picked out even one board.
It’s Sunady morning, the only day you get to sleep in, and you’re awakened by a strange sound - a buzzing/chattering noise that lasts maybe 10 or 15 seconds, followed by the sound of a quieter, but still loud, low hum. Then the buzzing begins again, this time with less chattering, and then the low hum again. The buzzing noises quiet down but the low hum stays about the same. You finally doze off, only to be awakened by the sound of a power saw of some sort. The sound is intermitten, short 5 second bursts, a short period of silence, then another burst from the saw. After a minute or two there’s another 30 seconds of sawing with another gap of silence. Now you’re wide awake and you begin thinking about all the things you need to do today. By now the noise has stopped.
Your nine year old comes home with a bunch of small pieces of wood or various colors and shapes - all glued together, maybe with some feather duster feathers sticking out of holes drilled in the wood. “Look what I made!” You know better than to ask “What is it?” and wisely say something like “That’s pretty nice son, tell me about it.” Your son starts his story with “You know the guy down the street with all the power tools?”
It’s Halloween, or it could be Christmas. The front yard of a house two streets over Is full of carefully painted plywood cut out figures, ghosts, goblins and witches, or reindeer, Santa and his sled - full of toys - or maybe a life sized Nativity Scene. They’re all done well but you wonder who has the time to make all that stuff.
Your wife comes home raving about the wonderful kitchen table one of her girlfriends made in a shop class Adult Ed has at the high school your son goes to. “Why don’t WE take one of those shop classes! You could make a bunch of shelves and cabinets for all the stuff in the garage - and I could make a beautiful hope chest for our daughter!” You think to yourself but don’t actually say “Yeah right. Where are WE going to find the time to take a class - and a shop class at that?” But what you actually say, or rather, mumble ,is “Yes dear.” and hope she won’t pursue this crazy idea. Then, to get away, you take the garbage out to the garbage can.
In each of the above cases you’ve encountered the “new subcutlture” - the amateur woodworker, aka Wood Dorkesr, and perhaps one of their wood masters - The Galoot. This diverse, semi-underground movement secretly has a goal - to convert YOUR garage into what THEY call The Shop. And they will help you down The Slippery Slope by perhaps offering you some of their old tools and machines they no longer need or have shop space for - since they upgraded to what they refer to as Heavy Iron - whatever that is. At first it’s only a corded electric drill, then a power miter saw and perhaps even a bench top or contractors table saw - with a rip fence -whatever that is.
You’ll accept these items thinking they might come in handy for home repairs/home improvements, and you’ve been thinking about making some kind of bench to work on out in the garage. No alarm bells will go off - no “AH HA!” exclamations of the recognition of an attack on your check book or your “spare time”.
Then, while channel surfing, you find some guy named Norm on a show called New Yankee Workshop. The guy’s got a funny Bahstin accent, wears flannel shirts and has a beard - but he’s making some cabinets out of plywood or something called “em dee ef”. You stop and watch the whole show. When it’s over you think “Hell I could do that!” and start thinking about how nice it would be to have some cabinets in the garage, or maybe one above the washer and drier for all the laundry soap, SHOUT, fabric softner and dryer sheet boxes.
On your next trip to the bookstore, while passng the magazine rack you notice all the woodworking magazines. One has “Build Your Own Garage Cabinets!” on the cover. A quick glance through that issue and you’re sure you could make some for your garage. You tuck the magazine under your arm and head off for the books on wine. Along the way you pick up a copy of Woodworking For Dummies. You don’t even notice that you’re beginning to accelerate down The Slippery Slope and that you’re approaching The Point of No Return.
No one is there to tell you about Dust Collectors, Joiners, Planers, SCMSes, Bessy Clamps, padouk, ipe, flame birch, quilted maple. You don’t know what “spalted” means and dovetails are only part of a specific kind of bird. You’ve never heard of Lie Nielsen, Lee Valley or Veritas, and Stanley is merely the actual name of your buddy Stan. All that - and a whole lot more - will come in time. And if you get into this subcutlure of “amateur woodworkers”, in time, you’ll learn about The Cabal - maybe.
YOU”VE BEEN WARNED.
charlie b (one of THEM)
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"charlie b" wrote in message

<much good stuff sniffed>
That voice in your head at it again, Charlie?
Thank goodness!
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/13/05
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Sounds like a longer version of the chant boots heard at Parris Island in the '50s, usually as they lined up for their first chow: "You'll be sorreeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
But, hell, by that time they already were.
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I don't get this one...
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Two-stroke oil additive.
TomNie

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I figured that might be it, but couldn't figure out how that would relate to a woodworker...
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chainsaw?
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ok... I guess you could use a chainsaw to make some crosscuts. :)
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Locutus wrote:

Preparing turning blanks from logs?
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I used my chainsaw for preparing turning blanks for a long time until I got my christmas present from me the year before this, a Laguna 16 HD. Now it is a bit quieter in my neighborhood.
Lets hope that the old guy was putting premium gas in the can.
I was out in the shop a week or 2 ago, because I had to do an inventory. I figured out that my shop is worth as much as my house. It aint much of a house, but it is a very nice shop, especially if it was about twice the size it is now. Well, maybe 3 or 4 times the size. The house only needs to be about half again as big. The shop would probably still be worth more than the house. We do have priorities. robo hippy
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Locutus wrote:

Or a whaddayacallem... tiki thingie.
er
--
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Wed, Feb 22, 2006, 3:52pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@eruditorum.org (Enoch Root) doth sayeth: Or a whaddayacallem... tiki thingie.
Damn straight. A chainsaw is a precision woodworking tool.
JOAT Don't make me use UPPER CASE.
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Locutus wrote:

Two cycle Chainsaw?
er
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Enoch Root wrote:

Stabil?
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B a r r y wrote:

Nope - Stihl
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Yeah, what was in that little plastic bottle?
BTW, our 7-11 sells pemmicin.THe brown bag with the indian on it, right?
Searcher
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Searcher wrote:

Does it say Red Man on the front?
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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Gerald Ross wrote:

*snark*
er
--
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Your 7-11 sells pemmican?
Ken Muldrew snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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That's excellent, a good warning. You should post it twice a week. Luckily for me I am inspired by fine furniture and small, intricate work using hand tools, and I have adult ed for the big machines.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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