Yes, but did you think to *write* on the jig a description of why the
hell you built it in the first place? I can't think of how many times
I've pulled some old jig out of storage and have no earthly clue what I
used it for... :-)
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
To reply, eat the taco.
It's the custom-kitchen effect! When a task intimidates (like,
for a critical audience), it's easy to put it off by claiming one
a six-burner gas stove, or marble countertops, or somesuch.
So, the building trades grow a tumor that caters to high-end kitchen
afficianados. The customers don't have to perform in the cookroom
until the renovations are "complete" ... and completion, magically,
doesn't happen quickly. The custom-kitchen builder caters to his
audience by working slowly and avoiding completion (but the
check-cashing part has to be quick and final, of course).
If woodwork isn't intimidating, you get a knife and a block of wood,
and have at it. Then you add chisels and a bench, and saws are
too useful to do without. The unintimidated woodworker always
has a knife nearby. He's comfortable watching Roy Underhill,
but could learn a lot from Norm Abram.
The intimidated woodworker needs an extra horsepower and
deeper bandsaw throat, and often treats the wood as if it
was homogeneous (he didn't do a lot of knife work, so doesn't
completely understand grain). He's comfortable watching
Norm, but could learn a lot from Roy.
When I look back on the stuff I've made using inferior and fewer tools,
I feel some pride and accomplishment for having done such a good job
manually and using some ingenuity instead of technology.
But I also like the sense of "being there" I get from having and using a
One appreciates having nice tools and what they do for you much more,
when one has had to do it with less.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
In business, we taught what was called the 80% rule. Essentially,
20% of the time/cost/effort will result in 80% of the desired
goal. The remaining 20% will take all the rest of the resources.
It holds true in a shop, kitchen or construction as well as in the
There is a reasonable level of tools and tool quality needed to
efficiently do a job. I never warmed up to the Shopsmith-type of
multitool, since I felt I'd be spending all my time setting it up,
rather than just walking over to the right tool and doing
something. I built a whole lot of stuff in my lifetime, with a
lot of it made using a Sears contractor's saw as my primary shop
When I finally built a dedicated shop for my woodworking hobby, I
first kept the old Sears saw, adding a Sears RAS for crosscuts and
a Sears compound miter saw for bevels and angles. It was only
later that I sold the old contractor's saw and got a PM66.
Another tool that I feel was irreplaceable was my 6 X 48" table
belt sander with the 10" disk sander. I got a 12" Delta planer
later on. For shaping, I first used an inverted Makita 1/2"
router on a home made bench, but even after going with a
floor-mounted shaper, I still used it a lot more than the shaper.
What's important, IMHO, is not so much the quality or expense of
your equipment, it's how well they're set up and aligned, how
sharp the blades are and how comfortable you feel using them.
That's reminds me of a pretty big mallet that I have that was made from a
hammer handle and a branch of a tree (directly). The unidentifiable person
who made it probably
did not have a Rochler nearby, but clearly knew what they were doing. It
looks like a museum piece to me.
When my shop is finished I may hang it on the wall for inspiration. :)
If anyone would care to see it, I'll take and post a pic.
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