The same principle applies to music as well -- the main reason, I believe,
that much classical music is so far superior to most modern music is that only
the good stuff survived long enough to become "classical". There was probably
just as much crap being composed in Beethoven's day as there is now... but
nobody remembers crap that's a couple centuries old, whereas the crap that's
only a couple of years old is still played daily on the radio. :-(
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
On 26 Nov 2006 15:58:25 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
Revealing what? It's a job title- and if you go and apply for that
job, most places will set you to making carcasses and then mounting
third-party doors and drawers. I don't think they deserve "credit"
for that either- but they're not doing it for prestige, they're doing
it for money.
Not at all. This is exactly why I keep arguing with you. I already
said the damn indicator was a fine way to do it- you're the one who
has jumped into four or five unrelated threads, and started going off
about the half-assed methods of all us slack-jawed yokels who think
using anything that measures with less precision than a thousandth to
measure something is ok. I have not -ever- said that using an
indicator is cheating- why do you keep claiming I have?
Yes, it *is* an "old way" vs "new way" thing. It's a product of
specialization that occurs as civilization advances- those guys that
make door fronts and drawers only make door fronts and drawers, and
they get very good at doing it well for a low price point. They're
not cabinetmakers, either- the guy that makes the carcasses has
claimed the job title. Just because you (and I, truth be told) would
prefer that it only referred to a guy that runs a full-service shop,
that doesn't make it so.
Ed, I am not insulted by people doing things any way they like- I am
insulted by you putting words in my mouth and concepts in my head that
were never there to begin with.
Point of fact on this particular score- in my last post, I indicated
that a guy who is accustomed to one method may not have the skill to
properly use a dial indicator, and might just find it frustrating. I
have no idea how that became me being "bothered" by the idea of using
precision measurement tools being a skill. Most places want you to
have a degree before you're even allowed to touch those tools.
But this argument has not been about the use of indicators for a while
now, it's been about you jumping people and telling them what they
think, when it's apparent that you're (perhaps intentionally)
misreading the situation to make a point.
Because from what I've seen over the past few weeks, you are. You
keep repeating a few terms as though they were dirty words, and
applying them with a brush that is far too wide. If someone advocates
anything *but* a dial indicator where you would use one, they become a
an advocate of "Trial and error". If anyone disagrees with that for
any reason whatsoever, they're "ignorant", and think that those that
do use them are "cheating". Whether they use those words or not, and
even if they're not expressing anything of the sort, you keep pulling
out the old tried and true to polarize the argument.
Nowhere, at any time, or in any post, in my entire life, have I
advocated guessing at a setting for anything. I won't even cook a
frozen pizza without a specific temperature and cooking time firmly in
mind, much less slap a tool into a random position and start cutting
away. I'd be willing to bet that a few of the guys you've applied
your labels to are the same.
Sure, using the indicator is the normal technique. The point was that
there is more than one way to skin a cat. If your way works, that's
great, but it doesn't make the other ways inadequate.
See above- you're verbally attacking people with little or no
provocation. I thought perhaps you didn't realize you were doing it,
and the words were just coming out wrong, but now it seems to me like
you do in fact know what you're up to. Hope that works out for you-
and it might (more than one way to skin a cat, and all.)
Not true. They are explaining alternate methods, and you're taking it
as an attack on yours. Then you insult them, and they insult you
back. Getting a good flame war going doesn't help the case for
precision measurement (if anything was less related to emotion, I'd be
hard pressed to name it), unless you're of the "any publicity is good
publicity" school of thought.
A person is a lot more likely to listen if they aren't insulted right
off the bat.
If this is really necessary, I'll run back through the history and
post quotes- but I don't think that is going to make much difference
one way or the other, and this has gone on too long already.
Yep. To clarify that even further, I am arguing with you about the
manner in which you are arguing with those who disagree with you.
Shouting and mudslinging may get you heard, but they don't make you
That's not to say that you're not right- there's certainly a good
argument for everything you're advocating, and you've made the case
for it. Now stop hitting people in the head about it.
For the millionth (or so it seems) time, I don't. The difference
between you and I is that I don't think the other methods are
worthless. I know you've *said* you don't think they are- but then
immediately go on to insult those who use them, and claim that they
are wasteful of both time and materials. It keeps happening, and the
only conclusion I can draw from it is that you really think they're
The whole start to this spat was because I didn't completely
understand that Stoutman was calibrating his jig each time he used it,
and was leery of the idea that a couple of bent finish nails pounded
into a block of wood were up to snuff as "precision" stops. Once I
figured out that the thing was intended to be recalibrated using the
jointer fence before each use, I actually came around to the idea- not
enough to run out and make one, but enough to see the value of it.
But by that time, you had worked very hard at painting me as an idiot
and a rube (and did a pretty good job of it, at that- the only thing
that didn't support you was actual reality, which we can't see over
Usenet), along with anyone else who didn't immediately agree that the
thing was the best thing since sliced bread- and I think it's a rotten
way to act towards people. Believe it or not, I was trying to help
your argument by trying to convince you to cast it in a more positive
light- though at this point, I don't know that I care anymore.
Things aren't lining up for you because they're metaphors. I figured
talking about something like perfect pitch would help take some of the
loaded words out of the argument, but it didn't. With the specifics,
I said I felt like a good square and a set of feeler gauges was
adequate to set a blade, and that I didn't have enough info to say
anything about the jointer blades. I did support the dial indicator
for setting planer blades, and intend to dedicate a couple to that
I could go out and buy a Ferrari to drive to work every day- it
certainly a fine piece of machinery, and much better than my low-end
Ford, but there's no real need for it- especially if I'm obeying the
speed limits. But if I was going to participate in a race, there'd be
a real solid case for the Ferrari. See the metaphor?
Boy, is that a high-handed and rotten thing to say. You figure I've
spent tens of thousands of dollars and years of my life in the pursuit
of becoming a better craftsman, and never went to the effort of
reading a magazine about it?
No, I understand it. If you look above, this is what I'm getting at-
you slapped me in the face, and only then proceded to a logical
You don't make a million dollars in the first place by offending
potential customers and telling them they don't matter. I probably
would have bought a TS-aligner had you stayed more positive about it,
but this debate has cost you one sale for sure (mine), at least for
the time being.
You're getting skewed data. I keep trying to explain why that may be
the case, but maybe I'm wrong. It's happened before, and is bound to
When you're wondering why people are opposing you, there's a piece of
advice I got once that made a lot of sense-
"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got."
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this. Think there might be
just a little bit of the old stiff-neck on your side of things as
Oh, I don't mind talking about aligning and adjusting woodworking
machinery with you- I'm just trying to keep it seperate from this. I
do appreciate the link you gave me with the jig for setting planer
knives, and I'll admit I've learned a thing or two from these threads.
On the whole, I really don't mind talking with you, and I'm not really
that personally insulted- I know who I am and what I'm capable of
doing, and an argument on the internet won't change any of that. I'll
freely admit that there are far more things I don't know than there
are things I do know for sure, and always appreciate a fresh look at
things. I do like to keep things straight, though- plausible bullshit
hurts us all, and I'm sure you can agree with that.
Let's be honest for a moment- you don't really *need* a $200 router to
make a sign with your house number on it, or a japanese chisel that
has been sharpened to an edge a straight-razor would be jealous of to
clean up a mortise. You don't have to have a Unisaw with a table that
is within .001 of total flatness to rip some boards to make a
doghouse, and you don't have to have a Oneway lathe to turn a stair
spindle. Most folks already know that- but some of the new guys
don't, and there's no call to scare people away from the hobby by
making every project into a potential museum exhibit milled to a
degree of precision that might make NASA jealous. All those things
can lead to a degree of satisfaction, and can be really fun in their
own right, but sometimes you just have to grab some cheap Harbor
Frieght tools and make a pukey duck- because that's part of the hobby,
To tell you the truth, I'd like to see your argument for precision
measurement get a little more of a foothold- there's plenty of room
for it in the trade. But I'm not going to just jump on your bandwagon
if it means that anyone who doesn't go for it is to be the subject of
a smear campaign. There are plenty of reasons for a guy *not* using
your pet techniques, and I tried to suggest some of them. There are
plenty of reason for a guy *to* use them as well, and I've attemped to
acknowledge them as well.
That's about all I can do, really.
Still round and round in circles - getting nowhere.
I really can be a pretty nice person. And, I really am very good to my
customers. I go way out of my way for friends (many of whom are
customers). But, I just don't indulge every possible whim. Like I've
said before, I'm a truth and honesty at all costs kind of guy. So, if
a charlatan approaches me spouting all sorts of bovine fecal matter,
trying to impress me with some fictitious expertise, then I'm extremely
likely to insult him. I really don't care if I lose the sale. You
see, I grew up in a culture where honesty was more important than
friendship. Flattery was considered deceptive and dishonorable.
Indulging a person's ego did them more harm than good. In my thinking,
the wounds from a friend are far better than gifts from an enemy.
I have a friend who grew up in a culture that believes very strongly in
being gracious. He was taught that he must find at least one good
thing to say about a person every time he meets them. He constantly
pours on the flattery. He ingratiates himself to everyone he meets.
He embellishes his stories and descriptions to make people feel good.
Consequently, he has countless friends everywhere. Everybody likes to
be around him. Everyone enjoys his company. He is extremely popular.
But, it's all shallow. Nobody takes him seriously. Nobody trusts the
veracity of his tales. Nobody considers him to be an expert in
anything. It's all for show.
While it might seem like it, these two descriptions are not the
extremes. Both my friend and I get along quite well in our lives.
There are things about him that I admire and there are things about me
that he admires. I think that his style serves him well in his
profession. And, he thinks that my style serves me well in mine.
Neither of us are going to change. We have already lived half a
lifetime looking at the world through our respectively colored glasses
and it's no longer possible to see it any other way.
In discussion groups like the wreck, there is a very strong temptation
to express more expertise than one actually has. After all, there are
a lot of people who just don't know very much. And, there is a certain
level of anonymity which makes it difficult for people to disprove what
is said. It is very easy just to embellish a bit on one's knowledge to
gain favor and respect; so easy that I've actually done it on a few
occasions. I'll never forget the time when I declared that all the
parts of a Windsor chair could be machined:
Or the time I proposed the mistaken theory that a miter joint would be
more stable if the proportions of length to width equalized the
longitudinal and lateral expansion rates:
I actually built a table based on that theory and it's still together
today (no thanks to the theory)! My arch nemesis started an entire
thread to make sure nobody missed that blunder. I never have made a
Windsor chair. Maybe someday. In any case, there have been other
instances but I think you get the idea. There might not be anybody
that can disprove the embellished fact, but a person with real
expertise can very easily identify it. Once challenged on such an
issue it is very tempting to become falsely indignant and say all sorts
of things to try and embarrass the expert. This temptation must also
be resisted because it is absolute confirmation that the lie has been
exposed. The best possible thing to do is to come clean and yield to
the expert. A good recovery includes some gratitude for having been
corrected. This approach preserves honor and integrity, maintains
respect, and prevents a useless flame war. In spite of my academic
approach to machinery alignment and adjustment, this is one lesson that
I have learned the hard way.
Now, let me talk a moment about you specifically. I'm sorry to have to
be so blunt about this but you leave me little choice. This just isn't
going to get resolved without some confrontation. So, is there
anything else you want to mention that might possibly insult you?
Perhaps a favorite color? A particular day of the week? Phase of the
moon? Let's do a short review: You're not an expert on the Sherman
Act. You're not an expert machinist. You're not an expert in
metrology. You're not an expert in metallurgy. You're not an expert
woodworker. And, you're not an expert in running a business. Even
though I'm not an expert in all of these areas either, it hasn't been
difficult for me to make these determinations. I don't have to show up
at your workplace or home to figure out when you are embellishing on
your knowledge. Enough with the false indignation, OK? I'm tired of
hearing about how much I insult people when I don't indulge their
particular whims. I'm not going to sell my products to people who are
proud to cut lumber off their knee, apply factory made doors and
drawers to plywood boxes, scribe cabinets to brick walls, etc. unless
they are interested in doing something different. Like I said, just
let me know when you are ready to start talking about aligning and
adjusting woodworking machinery.
On 28 Nov 2006 14:16:47 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I am willing to entertain this as a possibility but I do not see this
to be in evidence just now.
One would expect that.
See supra and let's not stretch the equality, just now.
This goes a long way to explain your marginality in the business
world. Wake the fuck up and smell the coffee, Ed.
Then you are dumber than snot.
I don't give a shit how you grew up; as a customer, I'm only
interested in your relationship to me.
My guess is that he is extremely successful in business, and you are
I suspect that he laughs at you while counting his change.
My problem with you, Ed, is that you have adopted an elitist attitude,
far out of proportion to your abilities v. the general run of the
Miter joints are not stable, Ed. Only fools use miter joints without
other joinery supporting.
You have no idea.
Prometheus was arguing the field man's point. You have chosen to
dissect him. I have chosen to let you try to dissect me, as I also
would argue the field man's point.
Your tool works towards a point that is without merit in the real
world. That is it, plain and simple. Now, I expect an argument from
you, as that is your game; however, if you choose to pursue this, I
will not only bring up Bleed's arguments, but will add my own.
Neither are you.
Neither are you.
Neither are you.
Neither are you.
Neither are you - but I am.
It is more than apparent that you are not, either.
To your satisfaction.
Well, you went on quite a tear there, Ed, didn't you?
You know, Ed, you make me almost wish that Bleeds was back.
What an arrogant little bastard you have become in his absence.
"Know what it is to meet Achilles angry."
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
Thank you for this reply (even though my message to Prometheus wasn't
written for you). It comes as quite a surprise - especially after what
we discussed in the "Klownhammer" thread. I would really prefer to
believe that what you said wasn't just disingenuous platitudes but this
message makes it difficult. And, I really am surprised that you would
take up such a perceived offense for someone else.
In any case, I appreciate the time and effort that you expended and
would like to fully understand exactly what you intend for me to learn
from it. If I might make a suggestion, perhaps you should take some
time to read the preceding discussion (and review what you said in the
Tom Watson wrote:
The four letter expletive aside, it's difficult for me to determine
exactly what you believe is the cause of this "marginality" you talk
about. Is it the "truth and honesty at all costs" part? Do you think
that I should be a lot more deceptive? Should I just tell people
whatever they want to hear to get them to buy my products? This seems
pretty unlikely to me. And, it's something that I just can't do.
Perhaps the lesson you intend for me here is that a good business
person should indulge every possible whim. A good business person
doesn't worry about getting side tracked by a myriad of unrelated
topics or about wasting time on things that don't have any possible
More specifically, I should pursue sales with people (like the jobsite
woodworkers Prometheus was talking about) who clearly do not need the
TS-Aligner products. Is this what you are saying Tom? I should not
consider the fact that they are focused on framing and trim carpentry
in adverse working conditions. I should not be concerned that their
work has nothing to do with woodshop machinery. I should avoid saying
anything that would imply that the methods and skills that these people
depend upon are not compatible with my products because it might insult
So, insulting this segment of the market by telling them that my
products don't apply to their skills and methods has caused me to
become marginalized in the whole business world. Is that what you
intend for me to learn here Tom? Hmmmm......somehow I just don't see
the connection. I get along pretty well with all my business
associates. And, if I could offer dealers the sort of "value" (i.e.
obscene markup) that they desire then I'd be flush with them too. I'm
not feeling very marginalized. This is just a really small niche
market that I happen to be pretty passionate about.
Perhaps you have additional information which would help me to
understand your meaning. You're very good at stories. Maybe you can
cite some examples from your own life or experience in business.
Perhaps you relate a story in which deception was the correct course of
action. Or, perhaps you can describe how indulging every possible whim
has worked out so well for you. To really fit the situation, I think
it would be good to include a scenario in which the person bringing the
whim was part of a larger group that was insulted by the skills and
methods you use in your pursuit of quality and craftsmanship.
Again, I would appreciate some further clarification. If a charlatan
approaches you spouting all sorts of bovine fecal matter trying to
impress you with some fictitious expertise, you are extremely likely to
indulge them? You would let them believe that you were falling for
their act? They would receive no indication of your knowledge or
expertise on the subject? And, considering the context (rec.ww),
everyone reading along would also receive no indication of your
knowledge or expertise. You would do this because you don't want to
insult them. That way, you preserve the opportunity to have them do it
to you again. And they will do it because you have demonstrated that
you are such an easy mark. Maybe you need to review my "Philosophy"
I know of a few people that are insulted by it. I know of thousands
who appreciate it. I'm really only interested in selling my products
to people who want them. I would like to understand nay-sayers so that
I can help people who are undecided. But, I don't want their business.
I'm not looking for people to insult, but I'm not going to sacrifice
my self respect and the respect of others to avoid insulting a
Maybe I am, as you say, "dumber than snot". And, I suppose the reverse
would be true if I were to allow myself to be insulted by what you have
written. Isn't that what you are saying? If your coarse and vulgar
manner in this message managed to insult me then you might lose the
opportunity to share your woodworking expertise, skills, and methods
with me. But, you probably don't care if you insult me, do you (it's a
small boat, isn't it?). So, according to the way you are viewing the
situation, I suppose you would have to admit that you were "dumber than
snot" too - *IF* I took offense. But, I don't. I cannot deny
admiration for the fine examples of your work that you show on your
website. I cannot deny respect for the skill and craftsmanship that
you have demonstrated. I accept that fact that your methods and
techniques aren't appropriate for the sort of work that I enjoy doing.
I'm not insulted, even when you characterize some of my favorite
machines as "roughing tools". And, I'm not just spouting disingenuous
This really could be viewed in more of a "Mahayana" manner. You
remember, from the "Klownhammer" thread. I really took those words to
heart. And, while I don't believe that I was ever in violation of the
spirit of that conversation, I have taken extra measures to live up to
the letter of it. As much as I would like to believe otherwise, I'm
feeling as if I'm the only one who did. Perhaps it's an example of how
well deception works.
Four letter expletives aside, I expect that you care about the product
first. Perhaps you are getting just a bit too idealistic here. What
sort of relationship do you have with the owners and corporate officers
of companies whose products you own? Are you friendly with the CEO of
the company that made your car? How about your computer? Or, maybe we
should talk more about products in the TS-Aligner price range. I'd bet
that you have purchased thousands of products under $200 and you know
absolutely nothing about the owners or CEOs of the companies that made
them. Are you saying that you might not buy their products if you met
them and decided that you didn't like them? Are you saying that you
expect them all to be very meek, mild and polite people who have a
friendly relationship with all their customers? This is just a bit
over the top, don't you think? You don't believe this, not even a
Let's look at it another way (more analogous to the situation). Why
don't you choose a particular product that you despise and make an
appointment to see the President, CEO, or owner of the company that
made it. During your visit, tell the person that you think their
product is useless and insulting. At this point I'm sure that they
would do their best to thank you for your feedback and offer many
platitudes to help you out of their office. But, don't stop there.
Inform him/her that you have spared no effort to go public in
appropriate newsgroups and internet forums - seeking to convince as
many as possible that they shouldn't buy the product. Then tell me
what happens next. I'd bet $100 that he/she picks up the phone and
calls the legal department. It might not be such a pleasant, friendly
relationship after all.
Here's the point. My customers (the people who have purchased my
product because they wanted it) have a very good relationship with me.
Probably better than 99% of the relationships that you've had with the
maker of any product you have ever purchased. If there is an angry,
unhappy customer out there then they have never talked to me about it.
You and Prometheus (and other nay-sayers) are not my customer. You
have never purchased anything from me. You don't like my products
based on perception, not experience. You profess to be insulted by
their very existence. You are hostile toward me and my products. I
don't even want to sell them to you. And you are making every effort
to inform the public through this newsgroup that people shouldn't buy
them. Having rather shallow pockets, and wanting to learn the motives
of such nay-sayers, I jump into the conversation rather than call the
lawyers. Suddenly I start getting compared to Rob Lee. Hmmm.....
I suppose it all depends on how you measure success. If it's measured
in dollars and cents, then he is much more successful than me. If it's
measured in the quality of sleep, health, personal life, sense of
satisfaction, feeling of pride, then I win hands down. He tells me all
the time: "Ed, you have the best job in the world!" Perhaps it's just
more flattery. I'm willing to believe that he sees things in my
profession that he admires - just as I see things in his that are
admirable. I had his job and his income and everything that came with
it. I gave it up for something that I believe in.
If he does, he never lets me see it. And, it doesn't show in his
eagerness to help me out whenever I ask.
Is this really *YOUR* problem? It's a serious question. Maybe it's a
problem that really doesn't concern you at all. Like I said at the
top, you are taking up a perceived offense for someone else. None of
my words were intended for you. Perhaps I was too hard on Prometheus.
Perhaps not. Maybe he asked you to take me on. Maybe you just decided
to jump into a matter which doesn't concern you.
While you might have your finger on the pulse of the Wreck, your
judgment of my attitude and my abilities is very subjective. Until you
actually meet me, see what I can do, and examine my work, you really
are basing your opinion on very little evidence. You may believe that
I'm behaving in an "elitist" manner, but many would believe that I'm
being very helpful. Perhaps I should start writing in parables, then I
would very clearly be demonstrating an "elitist attitude".
Thanks for the advice Tom, the joints are all reinforced. Perhaps you
should have read the thread, that's why I posted the reference. I made
that table about 20 years ago. I suppose I would be demonstrating an
"elitist attitude" if I wrote in parables *and* patronized people.
Yes, that would be a very clear demonstration of an "elitist attitude".
Do you presume to read my mind? Or, are you presuming to predict the
This is a point that you would not be mistaken on if you had been
reading the thread. I agreed with Prometheus several times about the
"field man's point". He just kept coming back over and over again
about how much I insulted the jobsite woodworker and his coping skills.
He even expressed outrage that I didn't want to sell to those people
(just like you). The "field man" doesn't need or want my products. I
don't want to sell them to him. If you want to put yourself into that
category and let it insult you then there really isn't anything I can
do. To quote a famous Seinfeld episode: "No soup for you!"
Well Tom, threats aside, it is your right and privilege to decide
whether or not my products have any merit for you. And, quite
frankly, your judgment doesn't surprise me in the least. Your methods
use machinery for rough cutting wood. You don't expect your machines
to provide you with the high precision and accuracy needed for joinery.
You utilize hand tools for that. So, you have absolutely no use for
any products which would be used to align and adjust machinery for
highly accurate "finish" cutting.
What I said in the "Klownhammer" thread and also above in this message
still stands. I have the greatest respect and admiration for the
quality and craftsmanship of your work. So, your judgment of my
products doesn't insult me in the least. And I hope it isn't an insult
to agree with you about it. I don't make any effort to sell to people
who see no merit in my products. But they always seem to do their best
to judge the merit of my products for other people. I guess that I
would be demonstrating another "elitist attitude" if I decided that my
tools and methods were the only ones that had merrit.
I know several people that have much more expertise than I do on the
Sherman Act. I have shared what I know and no more. It's a working
knowledge based on years of experience in the reseller channel (not
necessarily my own products mind you). It would probably surprise you
to know that I worked quite closely with corporate lawyers for many
I know some people that have more skill in the machine shop than I do.
I also know many people who would never attempt what I do routinely. I
don't know that you have any skill or expertise in a machine shop.
Your comments about the capabilities of woodworking machinery leave me
wondering. If someone were to say that they were a machinist who
worked in a machine shop then I would not expect them to say that they
never use dial indicators.
Indeed I am not. I have no NVLAP Certificate of Accreditation. The
requirements are a bit steep for what I do:
I do have the equipment (much of which has been certified with NIST
traceable standards), the written inspection procedures, and the skill
to carry them out in a competent manner to achieve accurate and
reliable results. I can calculate an estimation of the measurement
uncertainty and utilize statistical techniques for analysis of test
and/or calibration data. I understand basic Metrological principles and
can identify and correct common errors. But, since you have never
visited my shop, and have no idea what I am capable of, then all you
have is my word on it (and a history of consistent commentary in this
Well, what I know comes from 15 years experience in my own machine
shop. It's a working knowledge aided by the information in Machinery's
Handbook. Let's just say that I know enough not to say that dead soft
low carbon steel can be annealed and that it somehow becomes softer as
Well, if the work on your web site is any indication, then I am most
impressed. I don't have any trouble saying that your expertise exceeds
my own. Sure wish that there were more close-up shots. Ever think
about taking some classes in photography?
I'm sure that I have a lot to learn. While my practices are often
unorthodox, so are my goals and objectives. The point is that I do run
a business. And, having done it for 15+ years means that I might have
a little more insight than someone who hasn't. While I don't mind all
the platitudes that people offer, I do mind when they become insulted
and angry with me for not taking them to heart ("I was only trying to
help"). If you have been running a business for any length of time,
then you understand *exactly* what I'm talking about. And, if you had
taken any time to read the thread you would have seen this happen.
Yep. And your determinations have been to your satisfaction as well.
Since you profess and demonstrate expertise in only one of these areas,
I would be interested to know what you base your judgments on.
Obviously not first hand knowledge because we have never met.
Perhaps you can explain why I should be selling my products to people
who do not need them and are insulted when I describe what they do.
That's what this is all about. You should have read before rambling.
Well Tom, since you are taking this perceived offense up for someone
else, and I have the utmost respect for your woodworking expertise, I
choose to take no offense in your assessment of me - no matter how
vulgar. You can't insult me unless I decide to allow it. If you would
like to base these judgments on more than just conjecture and a
misplaced sense of injustice, then I would be proud to host you as a
guest of my shop. Until then, such judgments are going to be
You've quite missed it, haven't ye.
Troilus and Cressida Act V
Where is this Hector?
Come, come, thou boy-queller, show thy face;
KNOW WHAT IT IS TO MEET ACHILLES ANGRY
Hector? where's Hector? I will none but Hector.
tr & intr
1. To bully, intimidate or threaten.
Thesaurus: badger, browbeat, harass, intimidate, bully, menace, nag,
tease, harry, pester.
1. A bully or tormentor.
Etymology: 17c: named after Hektor, the Trojan hero in Homer's
An argument for a broader base to engineering education.
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
No Tom I didn't miss it, I ignored it. I'm still not insulted. I
still respect the quality of your work. But, I am forming new opinions
about you as a person.
The problem with this pseudo intellectual nonsense is twofold. First,
there just aren't a lot of people who readily recognize a quote like
this. Nor do they want to waste their time to look it up. Second,
even those few that are familiar with the quote and well versed on the
topic cannot possibly discern *your* particular meaning in using it.
Certainly there are a lot of various possibilities - the exploration of
which is pointless.
Since your reference appeals to such a small segment of the general
population it makes you appear elitist. And, you appear rather
arrogant because your condescending elaboration (directed at me)
includes everyone who "quite missed it".
Obviously, you have no desire to portray the very qualities that you
accuse me of. So, why don't you just come out and say what you mean?
Why do you feel the need to hide behind this pseudo intellectual
nonsense? Why do you ignore the entirety of my response with all of
its pointed questions and focus on just this one tiny quote? Please
just explain it in plain English so that everyone can understand what
you are talking about.
Tom Watson wrote:
: The problem with this pseudo intellectual nonsense is twofold. First,
: there just aren't a lot of people who readily recognize a quote like
: this. Nor do they want to waste their time to look it up. Second,
: even those few that are familiar with the quote and well versed on the
: topic cannot possibly discern *your* particular meaning in using it.
No kidding. And it's unclear what the hell he was talking about
with respect to linking the Shakespeare quote to bullying. Thinking
of himself as a persecuted hero who slays the bully? Thinking of
himself as the bully?
Combine the confused attempts at literary allusion with the
cussing, and I'm starting to think the writer is actually a
teenage relative of the account owner, trying (badly) to come
across as a badass enfant terrible.
:> An argument for a broader base to engineering education.
No, an argument that you need to try harder to make posts that
make sense, or at least stop swearing so much at pleasant people.
-- Andy Barss
On 28 Nov 2006 14:16:47 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
Only thing that has irritated me about you is your paranoid attitude
that everyone is out to get you, and it's manifestation as a
willingness to attack like a bulldog at the slightest provocation.
I'm not terribly insulted by you- I'm arguing with you, because I can
take a punch on the chin. Sometimes, that leads to a cold beer and
some frank conversation that clears the bullshit out of the air- and
sometimes it leads to this.
Nope. Nor am I a lawyer, judge, constitutional scholor, or college
professor. I also do not hold a medical degree, skydive, sew or
ballroom dance. I make useful items out of wood, metal, and
occasionally masonry materials- that's it. However, I am a person
capable of actual thought- and more often than not, that's more useful
in dealing with reality than memorized expertise from a textbook.
No- but I get by, and do well enough at it. I use what is needed to
do the job at hand. When that's a mic, I use a mic. When it's a dial
indicator, I use a dial indicator. And I know enough to know what
tool I need to measure the part in front of me properly, as well as
visualize offsets, write G-code programs (without CAD, even), and set
up machines for precision work. Sometimes, I even use something
demeaning like a rule or a square. I've even been known to lay out a
blank with some red dye and a caliper from time to time.
[shocked silence from the audience]
That's the result of on the job training, as opposed to taking a voc.
school course on the subject. Guaranteed, I can learn whatever I need
to know when I encounter a new challenge faster than you can blink-
that's worth more than your bombast.
Never said I was- in fact, I didn't even know the term until you
started tossing it around willy-nilly. But that doesn't prevent me
from knowing when something is not called for. I could align all the
books on my shelves to make them flush with the front using a
straightedge and feeler guages, but that's.... insane. And even
though it's nuts, I'd imagine that you'd still chime in about my
sloppy trial and error book alignment technique, and declare that a
dial indicator would make the bindings align more evenly.
Nope, working knowledge only. I add to it as needed for the job at
hand. I've worked an alloy or two, and know how to get them to do
what I want. Sometimes, I have to use something new, and then I learn
a little more.
I'm not? I'd be willing to go toe-to-toe with you on that score.
Considering the range of skills involved and the general level of
ability in the population, I'd feel very comfortable calling myself an
expert in at least a few areas of it. I'd even go out on a limb and
guess that I know more about it than you. Can't say for sure, of
course- but I'm not the one applying micrometric precision to a
product of a living organism. You forgot the soul of the tree, Ed-
why not just focus on metal, where that soul doesn't matter a bit?
Iron and steel don't care how they are worked.
Nope. I'm not even an expert consumer. Whenever possible, I make my
own things. Though I did manage to do well by myself for a long
stretch of time contracting- does four years count for anything, or is
that just goofing off? Still be doing it today, if I was willing to
risk everything while networking to establish myself in this area- but
Almost kind of wish you did show up one day, you could see how wide
you've been of the mark more than a few times. Sure, I've made some
deadly written gaffs in the quest make a point, but we all make
No- I'm not really an *expert* at many things. Expertise implies
specialization, and I am a rabid generalist. I learn what I need to
do a particular task I'm taking on, and then get on with it. Once
I've learned it to my satistfaction, I move on to another challenge.
When I see someone struggling to figure out something I've already
done, I try to share what I learned by doing that thing a time or
twenty. They can take it or leave it, and if they leave it, I feel no
need to "call their motives into question."
I'm sure I could become an expert machinist just to argue with you on
a woodworking newsgroup, but that's not a very good motive for doing
something. If I were going to specialize in it, I'd have to like it
more than I actually do, and be willing to devote single-minded
attention to the subject for years. Something I have done with
woodworking, despite your claim to the contrary- I've still got my
first scar from when I was seven or eight years old, and trying to
figure out how to whittle articulated chains like the ones I saw in
the "Paul Bunyon logging camp" with my little Old Timer pocketknife.
Got a little pineywood sap in my blood that day, and it never did
manage to work itself out. Sure, I've asked some dumb questions in
the past- they're in the archives for all who care to look to see.
I'm 27 years old- everything I learned on were low-end hardware store
hand tools, until several years ago when I finally got to a point
where I had money and space to start buying bigger and nicer
equipment. When I got that equipment, I figured I had better ask
around a bit before I managed to chop a hand off on my new toys.
Truth be told, my shop and projects today would make a lot of far
older men more than a little green around the gills- but I still
remember picking up sticks and whittling them with a pocketknife while
I blue-skyed about making something "really nice" someday. So when I
see you prattling on about how anyone who doesn't have a million
dollar shop adjusted to machine shop precision can't do a damn thing
worth doing, I get more than a little irritated on behalf of that kid
standing behind me that still has only a pocketknife and a bit of
I run metal working machines to pay the bills- I make parts to fit
specs as quickly as I can to keep the money coming in- and so far,
that's been working pretty well for me. The boss says I'm the best
machinist they've got- and I'll have to admit that I'm more convinced
by that (when real life, and the shop's cash flow is involved) than
worrying about whether or not Ed from the Wreck has approved my
credentials. No, I don't often measure in tenths- go on and sue me.
In spite of your scorn, I'm not going to run out and buy new equipment
and change the company's (sucessful) business model so that I can run
with big dogs like yourself. I'm fine with making useful things that
people actually need- and the customers are delighted to let me make
those things for them. And, in case you hadn't realised, you've
mentioned nothing but dial indicators in *any* of your posts. I've
been avoiding that, but there it is. That the only measurement tool
there is, Mr. Metrology? Someone is not in the *real* world- are you
sure it's me?
I'm tired of the damn flame war that you keep rekindling in thread
after thread with little or no provocation. Lots of folk roll over
for you quickly enough, and I just decided not to. Sort of like not
just looking the other way and walking along when a kid is getting
mugged by a bully.
With you, Ed- I'm not. Not anymore. I have always been able to align
and adjust my woodworking equipment just fine on my own. If I want to
add a dial indicator to the mix somewhere down the line, I imagine I
can figure that out on my own- even though I have not recieved the
acclaim of "experts" in the field of metrology.
To close, I'll remind you of your response to Tom Watson:
"While you might have your finger on the pulse of the Wreck, your
judgment of my attitude and my abilities is very subjective. Until
you actually meet me, see what I can do, and examine my work, you
really are basing your opinion on very little evidence. You may
believe that I'm behaving in an "elitist" manner, but many would
believe that I'm being very helpful. Perhaps I should start writing
in parables, then I would very clearly be demonstrating an "elitist
Perhaps you should heed your own advice. A man's value is in his
works, not his words- might want to know the work before you go
judging his "expertise."
Like you said, we've dancing in circles. Feel free to get the last
word in, I've said my piece. I really did try to see your point, and
there were some very good points you made- but you've got this so
worked up in your own head, you can't see the shop for the swirly
brownian motion of every mote of sawdust.
Thanks for the detailed reply Prometheus.
When I read this my first reaction was to re-read what transpired in
various threads, including this one. While I don't think that I'm
being paranoid or attacking people like a bulldog, it is quite possible
that I'm so focused on the moment that I miss the big picture. I
invite you to do the same thing - especially in this thread. After
some careful introspection I really don't believe that your words
characterize my behavior. If you still believe that you have
accurately described the situation, then I would consider it a big
favor if you point it out to me.
Well, the air does nead some clearing, that's for sure. I would be
honored to buy you a beer and you are most welcome to visit my shop any
time you are in the area. I don't know if I'll ever be in your area
because I don't know what your area is. But you are always welcome in
my neck of the woods.
In my review of this thread in particular, it still seems as if I just
couldn't express any opinion or explain any position without raising
your cockles. I didn't say any of these things with the intent to
insult you or anyone else. I understand how disturbing it is to have
one's passions and achievements mistakenly characterized in
unflattering ways. If I did this to you then I apologize.
The whole purpose of my products is to facilitate a level of accuracy
and precision that eliminates the need for trial and error (test cuts)
with woodworking machines. This is going to be offensive to people who
hold these techniques dear. It is also going to be offensive to people
who believe such a goal is impossible because their own efforts have
been met with failure. Most often these people respond with critical
remarks like "it's unnecessary", "it's more trouble than it's worth",
"it has no merrit". I challenge these statements with pointed
questions and embarrassing scenarios. When challenged they generally
attempt to villify me in some way. More often than not, they try to
protray me as arrogantly running around attacking people for advocating
anything other than my products.
I still don't understand what skills and techniques you have been
talking about. You say that they are not "trial and error". But when
I characterize "trial and error" as a rudimentary and primitive
technique you say that I'm being offensive. If they are not trial and
error, then they are not related to my products. My products do not
exist to put down any particular trade group or skill set. I do not
want to promote my products to people who don't need or want them.
But, I won't sit by and let my passions and achievements be mistakenly
characterized in unflattering ways without being challenged. It's not
an unprovoked attack, it's a very carefully measured response. The
goal is to discover (expose) motive. It doesn't have to be painful or
insulting but some people prefer that to honesty.
I'm not going to respond to each point of expertise that I mentioned in
the earlier message. Your response tells me that the intent was
completely missed. I realize now that I probably should have never
posted it. I was very frustrated with your response and with a few
other messages from you in the group. I should have let it go for a
day or two and then I would have been better able to respond to your
message. I didn't write it to put you down or to put down the skills
that you obviously possess and use to earn a living. I'm sorry that
you took it that way and felt the need to strike back. I hope that you
don't miss the intended meaning and that your future postings in the NG
will be better as a result.
On 3 Dec 2006 13:55:54 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Ed, I think we've both gotten at least a little out of hand with this.
I'm not going to pursue it, and I'm not going to hold a grudge about
it either. I'm sure you're a good guy, and it seems that we're just
misinterpreting each others' words. It'd probably be a two minute
conversation face-to-face, and the whole deal would be resolved. It's
tough to know when someone is joking, being sarcastic, rolling their
eyes, etc. with written words, and there has got to be a subtext here
on both sides that is not being communicated accurately for any number
of possible reasons.
So, I'll apologise in turn for the misunderstanding, and forget the
whole deal. Like you, I'd be pleased to buy you a beer if you're ever
in the area (which in my case is Bloomer, WI.) Probably, I'd like you
just fine in person, and get a touch embarrassed over this whole
exchange to boot.
In fact, I just met with a guy from the blacksmithing group (I'm
learning to make chisels for myself so the lathe doesn't put me in the
poorhouse) in person for a demonstration of his forge and a some tips
on building my own, and he was nothing like what I had imagined- I
don't know that I've ever met a friendlier or more helpful guy, but he
seemed a little grumpy and brusque online. So, you never really know-
and that's probably the case here as well.
So, good luck in your ventures, and have fun- that's the whole point,
Absolutely. I think there's probably a bunch of misunderstandings here
and that we probably would get along great in real life. Apology
greatfully accepted. I'll look you up if I'm ever in WI. Let me know
if there is anything I can do for you.
You have this confidence because you are proficient at using a
subjective measurement technique (what others are calling the "carry").
It is easy for you to judge rubs or scrapes and obtain accurate
results (or at least accurate enough to satisfy your needs). It's
pretty obvious that the OP doesn't have your level of proficiency. He
is frustrated and unsure. He needs a more objective measurement
I notice you didn't comment on this particular point.
With enough experience a person can look at the results from one pass
and come up with a list of likely causes for the symptoms. Obviously,
the OP doesn't have that level of experience. It doesn't do him any
good to say that he must apply skills and experience that he doesn't
Even if a person has the experience to understand "Jointerese", he
would still need to decide which of the possible causes was the most
likely. Then, if he was still dogmatically opposed to using a dial
indicator, he would have to proceed with blindly making an adjustment
and doing another test cut to determine if the problem got worse,
better, or stayed the same. From those results, he would have to
decide to continue with the adjustments or try fixing another possible
cause. This is "test cut hell". Even the most experienced person
can't avoid doing more test cuts and suffering some degree of
frustrating uncertainty. There is no such frustration or uncertainty
when using a dial indicator.
An analogy might be helpful. What if a doctor approached his job in the
same manner: "Avoid diagnostic tests or equipment and let the patient
tell me what is wrong." So, you go in and tell him you have a
headache. Using his highly refined diagnostic skills he narrows the
symptoms down to "eyestrain" or "brain tumor". Since the latter is far
more serious than the former, he wants to rule it out first. So, he
schedules you for brain surgery.
I gotta give you this one. This particular sceneraio would definitely
put a guy like me in a big bind.
The brain is the best tool in the shop.
People pay you $55 an hour to do test cuts? And they say that I charge
too much! Where can I sign up?
In the meantime he would like to be doing woodworking rather than
goofing around with his machine and doing more test cuts. I just don't
understand the "dial indicator phobia" which compells people to avoid
using one and say whatever they can to dissuade others from using one.
I won't go to the trouble of replying to each comment. Basically what it all
boils down to is lack of understanding of the machine. How does one get to
understand the fundamentals of anything if they always take the short road.
The methods I have passed on are the 'traditional' methods of setting up a
jointer which have always worked for the craftsman of the past and still
apply today.If you look at a jointer from back in say the early 1900's and
look at a jointer from today (or any machine for that matter) the basic
principles and design of the machine has not changed, with the exception of
better guarding nowadays.Although the old methods do take a little more
practise thye do encourage logical thinking and you will learn from the
experience and from there next time something is happening you will know
just where to start looking because you understand the mechanicals of what
is happening, Once a quality machine(or even a reasonably quality for that
matter) is set up properly there is no need for 'fine tuning' excepting
after things like changing knives. Even then it should only involve
resetting knife height which should take between cpl of minutes to half an
hour depending on machine design.
I wish I did get $55/hr just for test cuts. I actually specialise in
traditional detail joinery and restoration done the traditional ways.
The dial indicator doesn't eliminate the need for thinking or for
understanding of the machine. It's not a shortcut on the road to
knowledge. It's just a measurement device which provides very accurate
and objective information about the machine's adjustments. You can
just blindly measure all the adjustments but you still need to
understand what they should be and why before you decide if they need
to be changed.
The difference between the two methods boils down to one (and only one)
thing. The measurement device (or technique) used to provide feedback
on any adjustments that might be needed. You advocate using the
results from test cuts to determine what needs to be adjusted and to
track your adjustment progress. I use the dial indicator. Both of us
agree that the knives need to be equal with the height of the outfeed
table. Both of us agree that the infeed table needs to be parallel to
the outfeed table.
Both of us can look at the results of a test cut and interpret the
symptoms to a likely set of causes. But, I'm not going to start
shimming slide ways until after I have actually measured and confirmed
that the infeed table is not parallel with the outfeed table. Having
no accurate measurement device (other than the test cut), you are
compelled to blindly start shimming (because you believe it is the most
likely cause) and then do another test cut to see what effect (if any)
Both methods work and both methods can be used to obtain equally
accurate results. I prefer using a dial indicator because I think it
is faster (no need for test cuts) and I think it's easier to obtain
accurate results (because you don't have to make subjective judgements
of scrapes or rubs).
The only thing I don't understand is why you like avoding the dial
indicator. Why do you try to dissuade others from using a dial
indicator? Do you feel they are somehow cheating? ("they always take
the short road"). Do you really believe that the dial indicator is
harder or more involved? Are you just opposed to intellectual progress
("...the traditional methods...have always worked for the craftsman of
the past..."). Is it because it's your job to advocate traditional
methods (i.e. you get paid for it)? Please help me to understand why
you would rather dive into shimming slideways and making test cuts
before knowing if the infeed table really is out of alignment.
Paul D wrote:
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