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Of course yesterday’s blog post was an April Fool’s joke. Work continues on my chair. And recent cuts while demonstrating aside, I almost never cut myself. I think the worst injury I ever received related to woodworking was the time I intentionally caught a center bit, which, as I expected, buried itself into my palm leaving me with a stigmata that would make Padre Pio blush. In retrospect, the wound healed quickly (thanks be to God) and I would do the same thing again. It was really a beautiful bit. I use it often.

The chair is still mostly a train wreck, but I accepted that long ago. Not everything we do in our shops will be a masterpiece. Woodworking is like everything else. You have to practice at it. So I’m over it. I’m over the mistakes and I’m moving forward. But I’ll continue to clue you in on what I feel I’m doing right and what I don’t get right. I’m writing to help you with your woodworking, not to show off. And I realize there’s a fine line between that and an excuse for shoddy work.

I do indeed have a back shop. You’ve seen pictures of it here. There is a Woodcraft slow speed grinder in it. I have a Jet wood lathe (currently sporting a spring pole). No table or band saws. No planers. I really do work wood by hand. But I liked the idea that there might be one reader, maybe not wholly convinced we actually landed a man on the moon, who would say “Aha! I knew it! I knew he was a fake!”.

My favorite part of all was the suggestion that I shoud go ahead of the more seriously injured in the emergency room. Maybe I watch too much tv (or watch too much crap), but I think the whole idea of being a diva is particularly funny. Why is it accomplished people in the entertainment industry get to forget their manners? Why can’t Tom Lie Nielsen do stuff like this for instance? Or Robin Lee? Chris Schwarz? None of these guys have posses. HELLO How you expect to be treated like a diva without a posse. At least Tom has bling.

For those of you who expressed concern, thank you and I humbly apologize for yesterday’s very stupid post. I certainly didn’t mean to make light of workshop injuries and I appreciate your well wishes.

Adam


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Showing 6 comments
  • Sjoerd

    Adam,
    I know you are a magician, but you’ll have to choose between ONE stigma or more stigmata, can’t have it both ways…!
    Keep up the good work.

    Note to PWW web folks: why does it take more than three minutes to open these pages?

  • David

    Adam – I realized your last post was in jest (everything posted on the net on April 01 is suspect…), but you do bring up a valid point, perhaps inadvertently.

    In large part, hand tools are incredibly safe – you simply cannot accidentally saw off a digit with a food-powered saw, nor are you going to injury yourself with an hand plane, and even a hammer is at most going to result in a blood blister.

    However, carving tools are very, very different. As a carver, one of the lessons I learned early on from the master was that one never, ever, ever uses a carving tool on a workpiece where the other hand has to hold said piece still. This is a lesson that a surprising large majority of self-taught American carvers don’t learn, and just as you describe, an incredibly sharp #7 gouge can result in an injury that is every bit as debilitating as an amputation by table saw.

    The point for your newbie readers is this – if you cannot carve with both hands on the grip and hilt of the tool, then you’re doing something wrong. Find another way, because you’re asking for it. And the orthopedic hand surgeon that will have to (hopefully) repair the damage will be far more costly than going to the store and buying a new kind of clamp or vise for every single project that you do.

  • Rob Porcaro

    Adam,

    Even though I do not make period furniture and I work with both machines and hand tools, I learn almost as much from your mistakes, and how you handle them, as I do from my own. Believe me, between the two of us there are plenty of "learning opportunities". Thanks and keep it coming.

    Are you going to remove the stiches now that you’ve revealed you didn’t really cut your hand?

    Rob Porcaro

  • Doug Fulkerson

    I think my favorite line was, "I’ve decided to switch gears a bit and start that Mission style bookcase my wife has been wanting". Also, the idea of you throwing chairs around a la Bobby Knight had me in hysterics.

    But you did have a very valid point, or I thought so, in showing that woodworking can be frustrating. We like to tell people that working in the shop is relaxing and pleasurable, but the truth is sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s painful; physically and/or mentally. The saw wanders or the chisel slips and the next thing you know you’re looking at scrap instead of furniture. At that point you feel like taking up some other hobby, like numismatics or philately, but the next day usually finds us back at the bench. I guess that is what makes it so rewarding when it does finally all come together.

  • Bjenk

    Adam,

    Even though yesterday’s post was a joke I have to tell you how much I appreciate your honesty in evaluating your own work. I think it is a trait in passionate craftsmen. I have a hard time in dealing with my mistakes or things that I feel I should master. Being honest about it and how we feel is important. I am trying to accept my inadequacies and recognize where I need to train more and take note of what went wrong. I am learning this from you as much as I am with techniques and culture of traditional woodcraft.

    We couldn’t hope for a better mentor. Sentimentality mode off. Yeah, the injury joke was mean.

  • The Village Carpenter

    My favorite part was your use of the quotes marks in describing "serious" injuries and "heart attacks" in true diva fashion. ; )

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