On Sun, 06 Dec 2009 06:40:14 -0500, the infamous Tom Watson
Damned straight! ;)
Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas
to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label
of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem
important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
-- Thomas J. Watson
You asked, I answered. As I said, there are ways to mitigate the
effects of these problems. If you are aware of them, and you know
that they adversely affect the accuracy of the results, then isn't it
somewhat disingenuous not to mention them when you advocate this
technique? Of course, asking the question itself ("why is it goofy?")
would seem to indicate that you didn't know the answer (i.e. weren't
aware of the shortcomings).
And, like I said, I'm sure that it's "not necessary" for the sort of
work that you do. But don't presume to speak for others and the work
that they do. Maybe someone needs the added accuracy - or maybe they
just don't have a lot of time to waste goofing around with trial and
error methods of woodworking. They would prefer to know that their
drill press spindle is squared up to the table without having to worry
about all the possible sources of error that might exist.
Geez, not the "NASA" argument! Just about every time this topic comes
up someone has to make a citation to NASA. If you can't draw on logic
and reason, then try a bit of hyperbole, right? So, are you saying
that only a "NASA machinists' group" can specify the use of dial
indicators to align a drill press? I hate to disappoint you but
millions of people use dial indicators every day and they don't all
work at NASA. Dial indicators are not specialty tools intended only
for the elite few who work on the cutting edge of technology. They
are as common as dirt in almost every industry (including many
This is actually a very good argument for the use of a dial
indicator. How else are you going to make fine adjustments and
precise alignments? Trial and error? Talk about goofy!
(RE: drilling a hole from opposite sides)
Hmmm... you go from "I don't know of any situation..." to "I do all
that...". Seems like a rather large leap to me.
We're not talking about the accuracy of your machinist's square.
We're talking about a goofy method for drill press alignment. In case
you didn't notice, the shortcomings that I pointed out have nothing to
do with the accuracy of the square.
I realize that the "square" method for drill press alignment can be
found in countless books, magazines, and TV shows. It's quite
popular. And, in all those references there's not a single mention of
its shortcomings (which you acknowledge). This should tell you
something about the expertise of the popular media.
(RE: cost of a TS-Aligner)
Ya, right. Sure you are. Just like you knew all about the
shortcomings of using a square to align a drill press (but couldn't
figure out why it was goofy). Just like you drill holes from opposite
sides and they easily meet in the middle. It's funny, but you only
seem to know these things *AFTER* they are pointed out to you. The
time to demonstrate some expertise is before you criticize things that
you clearly don't understand. If you really understood what goes into
the cost of a TS-Aligner, and the functions that it provides, then you
would have had nothing critical to say about my pricing.
Is that why you have been so critical? Talk about being
disingenuous. Why did you pay money for your "engineer's square"?
Assuming you actually have a drill press, why did you pay money for
it? Can't you manage to do high quality woodworking without these
"shiny tools"? Or, maybe you are unwilling or unable to make your own
versions of these tools. Why pay so much for a square? It seems like
such a simple tool that anybody could make one - right? What a ripoff
- all these square makers charge way more than it's worth. Or, maybe
you would be willing to entertain the idea that there's more to a
square than you can get by looking at a photo.
I'm thinking that this statement reveals more than you wanted it to.
Nobody's trying to make you feel inferior. Nobody's saying that you
can't do your best without a particular dial indicator jig. There is
no "club" here that needs to be joined. You will have to look to
yourself about any feelings of insecurity you have on this topic.
Remember, you brought up the issues with commercially made dial
indicator jigs - not me.
We're talking about why the use of a square to align a drill press is
goofy. I'm pointing out the problems with this technique and you are
supposedly defending it. Apparently there isn't much for you to say
because your defense has migrated to criticism of commercially made
dial indicator jigs - mine in particular. I didn't tell anybody that
they had to have one of my jigs, I just said that they should go out
and get a dial indicator.
Be careful that you don't try to make others feel inferior because
they choose to buy a dial indicator jig and don't join your "I made it
myself" club. You're always going to meet people who would rather buy
than make their own. And, you'll always know people who are capable
of making a lot more in their shop than you ever could. Everyone has
a reason to be looking down their noses at someone else.
Hype? Hmmm....that's somewhat of a wild generalization. So, let's
see your dial indicator jig. I assume that you put yourself into this
category of "guys who make their own jigs and fixtures" and are proud
of your accomplishment. I invited you to submit your jig as a good
example of what someone can do in their own shop. Where's the beef?
Let's compare jigs so that everyone can see where the hype really is.
Or, maybe you would be more inclined to admit that it's nice to be
able to buy some things that are just impossible or impractical for
you to make on your own. Maybe you would like to stop looking down
your nose at people who value their time more than the cost of a
commercially made dial indicator jig.
I hate to disappoint you, but dial indicators have been around since
"before electricity". James Watt (inventor of the modern steam
engine) is often credited with the invention of the dial indicator in
1772. But, your point is well made. Examples of fine woodworking
date back to the Egyptian empire. It may not have occurred to you,
but the argument applies equally to the drill press and that
"engineer's square" of yours. If you are so inclined, you can try
your hand at shaving wood with rocks and copper edged tools. How on
Earth did they ever drill holes without drill bits? All of the modern
tools and machinery don't enable high quality craftsmanship; they just
make it easier and faster.
The problem with being a Luddite is its inherent hypocrisy. You come
up with an imaginary period that you think is some sort of idealistic
utopia and decide that every advancement after that is an evil
corruption of the art. But the line you draw is completely
arbitrary. Some other Luddite has a different idealistic utopia in
mind and thinks your ideas are a corruption of the art. Ultimately
both deny progress. In case you didn't notice, the Luddites didn't
win the industrial revolution.
Well, Ed, I bet you won't remember, but Don Peterson and I both
tested and commented on the TS-Aligner when you first introduced
it. Back then, I had my shop and a fairly new PM-66 TS. I'd
spent quite some time aligning the fence and table using the old
method of a square, reversing cuts etc. Don had used the aligner
first, then shipped it to me. I spent a couple hours with it and
only had praise for it. In that couple hours, I made those "nano"
adjustments that resulted in some of the most pleasing output I'd
ever done. It was a great thing then, and I'm sure that with the
refinements you've made over the years, it's a better thing now.
Ed, I didn't even read past your first paragraph.
You sell a widget and will take your arguments to defend it to grave, so
there is no use debating it.
I wish you good luck and success in you endeavors. Sincerely.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
As well-regarded (and relatively fragile) as the Starrett combination
squares are, how come they don't sell them in a decent case (or do they?)?
Was looking at C33H-12-4R, and dreweling over C434-12-4R...circle-divider be
darned, there's something about that protractor!! ; ) Maybe I need a
konk in the head with a square! Maybe I'd see Starretts??? ::cough
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