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I wanted to be encouraging. I wanted to be funny. I wanted to tell folks in no uncertain terms that it isn’t necessarily the case that every plane needs to make .001″ shavings, have a dead flat sole, and perfectly square sides.

What I didn’t want to do is disparage folks with substance abuse problems who’ve found help by banding together. No one has contacted me about this, but I deeply regret and apologize for this not that witty phrase. It was in poor taste, and I could have easily made my point some other way.

– Adam Cherubini

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  • anon

    As someone who suffers from hand-tool addiction, as well as a significant history of substance abuse, I would just like to say that while I appreciate your sensitivity I thought it totally unnecessary. The title was apt, amusing, and I think no offense should be taken. As an active drug addict and alcoholic, arguably my primary developmental problems were hyper sensitivity and extreme narcisism. It never helped me much for others to avoid ‘offending me’ and allowing me to continue to play persecuted prima-dona.

    Love the blog. Not so sure about the outfits, but when in Rome, I s’pose… 😉

  • David Carroll


    I entirely agree with you about the misguided idea that many have about plane sole flatness in all planing applications.

    I thought the "Planaholics Annonymous" comment was funny and not especially insensitive to people with real addictions. But I suppose there are some who might be offended, so hats off to you for addressing that premptively. Classy Guy.

    I’m enjoying this series and my only criticizm is that the pieces aren’t long enough to go into the excruciating detail that true tool & techniques junkies, er…enthusiasts like me crave.

    Keep up the good work!

    David Carroll

  • Gary Roberts

    Adam, herewith is an excerpt of an email that I sent to Chris:

    "Cherubini is to be congradulated for his sidebar comment on the selection of planes. As an inveterate collector (30+ years) of planes, both wooden and metallic, I can attest to the mystical draw these tools have on our collective consciousness. However, over the years I have noticed that I always turned to the same planes, chisels, saws or whatever, to use in day to day woodworking. None are fancy (well the bedrocks are, but I bought them many years ago when they where affordable) and all are well used and broken in. The peculiar patented stuff, the exotic woods (my weak spot) and so on sit unused. They exist to fulfill my collecting instincts. Not to fulfill a search for the ‘perfect’ tool.

    Someone, possibly you (Chris), once said that the perfect tool is the one that we are most familiar with, use most often and would never lend to anyone. Or maybe I said that?"

    The search for the perfect plane resulted in miriad patents, many of which can be found in near perfect condition. Why? Because they where failures as working tools. Purchased and left in the box or on the shelf while the familiar, serviceable and practical tool was used.

    As to your analogy of tool acquisition being a form of addiction, let me draw on my previous profession as a counselor and say that all collecting is a form of addictive behavior. It’s just (usually) accepted in society as a mark of intellect to pursue an esoteric hobby. I challenge any tool collector/user to walk by a flea market table full of antique tools, to turn their face away and never look back as they go on to buy an inflatable Barney doll instead. No offense intended to Barney collectors.

    For the record, I subscribe to Popular Woodworking in part for your articles as well as for the unbiased views of the various authors. Keep up the good work.


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