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One of the great things about writing a blog is that you get to go off on stuff once in a while. Today is my day. And you, the readers, can read along and agree, call me an idiot and shake your head at my blathering, or in this case, I hope you use the comment section to add your own disgruntled responses.

Here goes. On the drive into work in the morning, I listen to talk radio. In Cincinnati, the major talk radio is WLW (a 50,000 watt giant that’s heard from Texas to New England overnight and throughout the Tri-state area all day). This morning, in an ad for a restaurant or some food-selling establishment , I didn’t catch the name because my head exploded when I heard the first sentence , the announcer told me the product included CHERRYWOOD-smoked bacon between two waffles and blah, blah, blah.

Notice capitalization of cherrywood , that means I’m yelling. It’s my biggest woodworking pet peeve. We don’t say walnut-wood, tiger maple-wood, or poplar-wood. Why in the world would you say cherry-wood? Do we not know that cherry is a wood? If the script would simply read “cherry smoked bacon” would you have thought that some dude known as Cherry was smoking the bacon? As interesting as that mental image is, I think not.

Please, help an aging woodworker. Don’t say or write (I have read this many times in woodworking forums) or refer to cherry as cherrywood. It’s not a word. Spell check is telling me that.

On to pet peeve number two, “Amish-built.” This is something I hear from a bedding manufacturer. Its frames are handcrafted, Amish-made frames. Like that’s suppose to make me think the construction is so much better than frames made by non-Amish. No offense to the Amish, but many woodworkers build better than the Amish. While there are very good Amish woodworkers, there are Amish woodworkers that build junk.

First of all, I’m not so sure the Amish build those frames. It could well be the Amish or it could be some person in a factory in Kookamunga using an air-powered nail gun to bust out 90 frames per hour. How would we know?

And, if it’s proven that these frames are Amish-built, should that impress us? Do you think we’ll visit museums in the future to view Amish furniture the way we study Shaker work? Again, I think not.

These are but two of my woodworking pet peeves. I’ve heard others suggested in the office, but now is the time for you to add your favorites. Go ahead, it’s Friday, cleanse your mind for the weekend. Leave a comment to post your woodworking pet peeves.

I hope we get an ever-growing list. I need a few more things to listen for while I make way to and from work.

– Glen D. Huey

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Showing 27 comments
  • Glen

    You know what makes me sick? You know what makes me so angry – I could just about take my neighbor’s pull-saw and file the teeth backwards!

    Pet Peeve #1: Particle-board furniture being called "solid wood."

    Pet Peeve #2: Hearing my son, Junior, and his friends describe wood as 4/4 and 8/4 and then all of the sudden say "three inch," "four inch," etc. (I guess they aren’t learning how to multiply by 4 in school these days.) One or the other, but not both.

    As for Amish Built, we have a local Amish Built store in the next town over. It’s the only place around with NICE quarter-sawn-oak furniture on hand (oh, and they actually know where it comes from, too). So I guess in many areas "Amish Built" means quality, the way "American Made" used to.

    Wake up, America!

    I think tomorrow I’ll try to get some prices on some "ten-and-a-half-quarter, quarter-sawn fruitwood."

    Pitts Off.

    😉

    Glen

  • Jon Johnson

    I thought it was just me! Golden Corral restaurants tout "applewood grill" but it’s always been mesquite or hickory smoked meats, not "?-wood smoked"

    Around central PA, "Amish built" implies, as you suggest, likeness to Shaker craftsmanship. But in this area, it also infers solid wood furniture, good value, no nonsense, solid technique, Old World hand craft. Think of the barn raising scene in "Witness."
    But the intended image hit rock-bottom when a TV infomercial hawked "Amish-made" electric fireplaces with a "strict limit of two" items per sale, presumably Amish-imposed! True, the Amish use modern power tools but usually replace electric motors with hydraulics powered by fuel-burning pumps. The heat from those extremely hot motors has ignited more than one Amish shop. Sadly, many Amish youth have been injured in woodshops (as well as in other enterprises) because safety and child labor laws are relaxed to accomdate Amish social and cultural wishes.

  • Roberta M

    I worked for a very large kitchen cabinet manufacturer. On the assembly lines there were plenty of Amish. Using pneumatic staplers, screw guns, and ‘hot melt’ glue. To me Amish made means made by someone who dresses different. They are just people. They cuss, lie, cheat, they just go to a church that makes them dress and live different.

  • mike h

    there a couple of things that get me going. one is on the amish built. when i first started woodworking i was at someone house to buy a car and i had to wait until they got home, because they had to drive 3 hours to get there amish built hutch. so being new to the woodworking world i was a little impressed. so we waited to see what they brought home, i helped unload the piece. then they let me inspect the hutch, well i left a little confused, pocket screws, rough finish, machine cut dovetails(not that they are bad), sloppy fittinge drawers and finally the price, more than the car i was buying.v2cmy

  • scott stahl

    I will add that ‘wood’ is added to prevent confusion with an actual fruit. My pet peeve comes from the actual wood. When I’m told that applewood smoked whatever is better I have to ask why? The fruit falls from the tree; it’s not IN the tree. Certain woods are known for their aromatic properties, oily consistency, or other cooking characteristics, but simply being a fruit bearing wood tree does not especially qualify the wood for anything.

    Amish furniture. Evokes images of all hand tooling with all natural materials. However, there is no trade association charged with keeping the purity of the brand. I will not name the large vendor of pressboard screw together furniture that sells an Amish armoire for your TV.

    I get even more burned when I read "Amish Style". Does that mean it looks like wood?

    So, yes, there is quality furniture out there from true Amish craftsmen. There is a plethora of shysters abusing the word to make a buck. Caveat Emptor!

  • Barry Johnson

    HMMMM, biggest woodworking pet peeeve has to be when editors from my favorite magazines don’t post to the blog often enough to feed my WW fix… 🙂 DO YOU HEAR ME GLEN, ROB, CHRIS?!?!!!!!

    My real pet peeve with WW is about magazines (and authors/editors) not being able to give a truly impartial reviews. While PWW and WW mag at tops in that department, even you gents (meaning Mr S :)), tend to suffer from the NEW/SHINY/BETTER syndrome.

    Why is that a pet peeve you ask??? It has cost me SO MUCH MONEY!!!!!!! 😉

  • Reed Robinson

    First, I have to 100% agree with Corey – it KILLS me to hear people refer to hand planes as planers.

    Second, I hate to do it Glen, but I’m going to have to disagree with you about both your pet peeves! First, the cherrywood, as mentioned above is parallel form with the use of applewood when describing cooking and/or a cooking procedure. You kind of need to include the "wood" part because otherwise you risk confusing the person that you’re talking about the actual fruit. Ironically, the guy who brought up "beechwood aged" illuminates another perfect example. It would sound absurd for Budweiser to say that their beer is "beech-aged" – people probably would actually think it was aged on a beach somewhere! If you ask me, sometimes you do have to add a word that becomes retrospectively redundant just to avoid confusion on the front-end. Call it the lesser of two evils. And here I was thinking you were mad because this restaraunt was wasting good furniture wood in their smoker!

    As for the Amish-built pet-peeve, I can only speak from my personal experience. During college, I occasionally helped deliver Amish furniture for a dealer based (at the time) in Minnesota. He bought all the stuff several pieces at a time from Amish builders in Illinois I think and then trucked the stuff back west where he would then mark them up big time. Having delivered the stuff, I can say with confidence that it was much, much more substantial than something you’d find in 95% of bulk furniture stores. It was certainly not as nice as something you’d expect from a Glen Huey-type indpendent craftsman, but it was much closer to the product of an actual woodworker than something coming out of a factory and destined for an Ashley Furnuture store. So right or wrong (and this is probably not as universally true as it should be for the phrase to take on this meaning, but when I think of Amish-made furniture I think of real furniture that was made with real materials and using solid joinery. I’d probably also expect it to be slightly less than a comparable piece from an independent craftsman, but certainly more then a typical and comparable furniture store piece would be. Anyway, there’s 5000 words on it:)

  • Herman Veenendaal

    People who write ‘loose’ when they mean ‘lose’, ‘your’ when they mean ‘you’re’. I could go on.

    I was once at a home show where a well known Ontario Canada windsor chair maker was displaying his work. A woman asked him if he was a windsor chair maker, he replied ‘yes’ and she said ‘So, you’re from Windsor (Ontario) then?’

  • Keith Mealy

    LizPf, don’t feel too bad. It cuts both ways. I do some upholstery work and when I go to the fabric store or sewing machine store, (usually wearing a work shirt that clearly says "Furniture") I’m usually asked, "What does your wife want it for?"

  • Keith Mealy

    Two more pet peeves:

    Me used as a subject (nominative) in a sentence, e.g., Me and my friend went to Home Depot.

    Hobbyists who describe themselves as a ‘hobbiest" (hobbi, hobbier, hobbiest?)

    My elementary school teachers are all rolling over in their graves, with the exception of Mrs. W who’s still on the green side.

  • LizPf

    I always wanted a peeve for a pet … my parents had dogs instead.

    Seriously, my sore point is the assumption on the part of many woodworkers that "the little lady" who works with wood makes little projects. "Honey, you don’t need all that plywood … here are the cute little pen turning blanks." Sorry, pen blanks won’t turn into bookshelves for my 5,000+ science fiction book collection

    Or the fellow at the lumberyard who sees me and my husband (who will help me strap the wood to the car roof) drive up. I’m holding the clipboard with plans, and the steel tape, but he walks over to my husband "How can I help you?"

    Yeah, I’ve been burned a few times.

    {Captcha failures: 1

  • Norm Beckett

    My pet peeve. Ruler used to describe a RULE. We shed the ruler in 1776.

  • Stuart Hough

    You folks crack me up! I, too, am constantly bombarded by little things that set me off. My pet peeve is that I can’t possibly have a PET peeve…there are too many peeves for me to have just one. Sorta like that old Lay’s potato chip commercial…"nobody can eat(have)just one"!

  • Keith Mealy

    My pet peeve: "Pre-Drill"
    I am going to "pre-drill some holes." How exactly does one "pre-" do this that is different than "drilling some holes," or "drill some pilot holes?"

    Megan, I can relate a story from an acquaintance of mine. He is a very good woodworker, but struggles with finishing. My light really came on one day when he said he’d ask a question on a forum and he’d get 10 different answers, all claiming they worked best, then "some idiot" decides to post a long treatise on all 10 methods. No wonder it’s confusing. All roads lead to Rome, except those that are dead ends.

    Glen you need to listen to NPR. Except this week when I heard wall-to-wall Hillary umm Clinton interviews. I don’t know if she uses more vocal stalls than Condi umm Rice, but I wish I had a little corrective buzzer every time either of them and-umms through an interview.

  • Chuck Bender

    And Megan, the "rule of thumb" for deciding which way to actually do the task at hand is clearly defined on the signature line of your paycheck.

  • Chuck Bender

    "What the rule of thumb regarding that?" They may as well say "Just tell me the one unchangeable answer so I never have to THINK again. Sure, I’ll get it wrong most of the time but at least I will have blindly followed the rule of thumb." My pat response “The only rule of thumb is there are no rules of thumb” The only way to fight absurdity is with absurdity.
    Glen and I also share a pet peeve. We’ve discussed it at length over MANY years. After hours of painstaking labor choosing just the right tiger maple(insert “wood” here and we’ll point and laugh) for a piece, then spending days and weeks building and finishing the piece, hauling it to a show only to have the very first patron ask “What kind of oak is that?” Wavy, maam/sir, wavy.

  • Phil Williams

    Beechwood aged Budweiser….so people don’t assume it is being aged on a beach?

  • Robert Englebrecht

    Building the "heirloom" project in a weekend. I think heirloom is an overused word in woodworking. Like "hero" is in the non-woodworking world.

  • John Baer

    "Orange wood" and "lemon wood" are also in use, sometimes hyphenated and sometimes written as one word. I think Patrick might be right.

  • Christopher Schwarz

    …. one more pet-peeve: sharp-tongued managing editors of mid-tier woodworking magazines.

    Chris again

  • Christopher Schwarz

    My wooden pet peeve? Fruitwood.

    I dream of calling the lumberyard and ordering some 8/4 curly fruitwood.

    Chris

  • Patrick

    Actually, they usually add the "wood" to any type of wood that is also a fruit. For example, "apple wood smoked" is not uncommon. I cannot think of any others besides apple and cherry, but I can at least see the reason for it and there does seem to be consistency.

  • Corey

    I have a question about my Stanley #5 planer. ….. PLANER?!?

  • megan

    My pet woodworking peeve (which really is more of an amusing frustration). No matter what I’m building, I have at least two out of three resident woodworkers tell me I’m doing it wrong…because I’m doing it the way the third guy taught me.
    Megan

  • Bob Levister

    Unrelated but similar is the expression "tuna fish". Everyone knows tuna is fish. Just my two cents.

  • Drew DePenning

    I think when it comes to food, people know that Mesquite and Hickory mean smoked wood, but when they hear cherry they think of, well, cherries.

    Paul is right in that many people if they heard "Cherry smoked bacon" would think that some sort of cherry-flavored glaze was applied during the smoking process.

    Those Amish-built bed frames always get me. I think it is just a marketing ploy because people confuse Amish with Shaker and automatically associate quality with Amish construction.

  • Paul Kierstead

    Well, it could be cherry flavoured and smoked. That would be pretty weird I have to admit. Or it could be smoked using cherries; I know that would not work, but I am not sure that most people have much conception of cooking that goes beyond grill steaks and boiling veggies.

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