Orders Of Magnitude, Relativity, Chaos Theory and Compensatory Craftsmanship

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Andy wrote:

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).

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.

Then we are basically of the same camp.

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.

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).

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.

Absolutely.
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
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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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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
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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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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.
--
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In other words, a Troll. A smart (or smart ass) Troll maybe, but.....
Tells some good stories though.
Dave Hall
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"Dave Hall" wrote in message ...

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

None better these days ... .
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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. : 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 the same sense that S. was a "gadfly".
t.
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: 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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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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<...snipped...>

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

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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Nope ... IIRC, in the same sense that ostriches come from Australia.
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On Thu, 9 Nov 2006 21:27:56 +0000 (UTC), Andrew 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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In my view, craftsmanship is more a state of mind than it is about equipment or tools or electricity.
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