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Extremely Average #61: Eyeballing Challenge

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Blog entry by Ecocandle posted 03-04-2010 03:31 AM 1212 reads 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 60: Uncle Merle's Table Part 61 of Extremely Average series Part 62: The Glockenspiel »

In a hidden monastery, far from the prying eyes of a suspicious public, a great and strange sharpening monk spent his days. He sharpened chisels, he crafted brilliant pieces of furniture, and he doled out nuggets of wisdom whenever someone was unfortunate enough to be within ear shot. There are a few, myself among them, who believe that he was not crazy, but wise beyond most people’s grasp.

He used to say, “Hone your senses as you would hone your chisel.” He would often follow this up with, “Hone your tools as you would Honus Wagner.” It is these sort of statements, that left all but the most ardent woodworkers or Pirates fans, checking their watches and stammering something about the time, being late, and needing to be off.

But if you watch him work, if you paid close attention to how he used touch to gauge the flatness of a board, or sight to start his dovetails or even his hearing, to tell him when his saw wasn’t exactly cutting the way he wanted, you knew that he might be onto something. This monk, this wise and charming man, would mark his boards, check his measurements, and then look at them one more time. On occasion, he would cock his head to one side, then measure again, and find that he had made an error. Sometimes just the slightest error, but he would always catch it, before he cut.

I asked him once, how he did this, how he always seemed to sense that something was awry. He said, “I have trained my eyes to smell a bad fish.” To which I replied, “Wow, look at the time, I think I am supposed to be…” and backed out of the room. I liked him, but on occasion, he was too cryptic for me.
I was thinking about this wise old sharpening monk today, when I discovered a wonderful online game. A game that I believe will sharpen my sense of space and proportion. I believe it will improve my eyes ability to ‘smell a bad fish’. I think he might have meant ‘to see something fishy’, but I didn’t think of that at the time. Of course, he may have just wanted to be left alone, and drove me away. He was very wise and crafty, but I digress.

It is called the eyeballing game. http://bit.ly/dhPhwI I think that it will appeal to woodworkers. I feel that if I am better able to see a 90 degree angle, or visualize where 3 points would meet in space, then I will also be able to ‘smell a bad fish’. This will make me a better woodworker, or at least that is my theory.

So my question of the day is this. What is your score on the eyeballing game?

I would love to know what people think about my theory. Does it have merit? Do you think that if one improved this skill, they would make fewer errors?

Wait a minute that is three questions. Oh well, that happens sometimes. Enjoy and please leave your score. My best is 2.91, though I just tried again, and I got 3.2. It is very fun, and very addictive.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com



19 comments so far

View sras's profile

sras

4391 posts in 2591 days


#1 posted 03-04-2010 04:26 AM

First try was 6.81, second was 5.6. I’m not sure how much weighting is on speed vs accuarcy. Very fun. I agree, this should make you a better woodworker.

One of the challenges we used to do in high school drafting class was to make two dots exactly one inch apart. I used to be pretty good (usually under .02”) – not that good any more…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#2 posted 03-04-2010 04:32 AM

I don’t think the speed factors in. I believe one can go as slow as they want. The speed seems to be for bragging purposes, and as a measure in internartional head to head competition.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2857 days


#3 posted 03-04-2010 04:40 AM

4.8

dhb

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#4 posted 03-04-2010 04:50 AM

Nice job Don. I have found that I struggle most with the Parallelagrams.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View sras's profile

sras

4391 posts in 2591 days


#5 posted 03-04-2010 04:51 AM

6 tries and I got down to 2.62 – fun game. Parallelograms and angle bisection are tricky for me.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#6 posted 03-04-2010 04:58 AM

2.62! Wow, I have done way more than 6 tries. You are the reigning champ. Sras rocks!

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1614 posts in 2753 days


#7 posted 03-04-2010 05:24 AM

3.44. Equidistant is hardest for me. Angle bisection is easy if you cheat – cover up the ends of the lines, which are a distraction. Main problem for me is getting impatient about halfway through. This is, probably not coincidentally, reflected in the fact that I have several unfinished projects going at any one time.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#8 posted 03-04-2010 05:25 AM

That is an astute observation JJohnston. :-) 3.44 is outstanding.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View sras's profile

sras

4391 posts in 2591 days


#9 posted 03-04-2010 05:49 AM

2.44 – how do I stop? I have other things to do!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Chelios's profile

Chelios

568 posts in 2527 days


#10 posted 03-04-2010 07:09 AM

I see you found that great game in M Wandell’s site. I admire that guy. He is a genius, he is really smart. His woodworking skills are great but he always seems to make his pieces out of the cheapest stuf he can find and out of really simple designs. His jigs though, are pretty amazing. He should build more artistic pieces. I think he owes it to himself.

Anyway I meant to let you know about the festool Rotex 150 + the dust collection CT33. Used it today and the combination works like a charm. I finished a table in 30 minutes with amazing results and no dust. This system would be great for folks with underground shops. I will never go back to the noisy old porter cable belt sander. It gave me great dusty memories but that is all it will be form now on, a dusty memory. Or I could enter it in a belt sander race, but I will never use it again in the shop.

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#11 posted 03-04-2010 07:14 AM

Chelios,

Thanks for the update on the Rotex 150. I am glad that you had the same experience I did with it. It is quite a sander. I haven’t looked around M Wandell’s site much, I have been too addicted to the game. And what was your best score?

Brian

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2576 days


#12 posted 03-04-2010 07:59 PM

6.34

Dennis

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#13 posted 03-04-2010 08:01 PM

Thanks for posting the score. There have been lots of people who have clicked through the bit.ly link. Sixty three in fact. But only a few brave people have posted their scores. Good for you!

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2576 days


#14 posted 03-04-2010 09:17 PM

hej brian
take a tjeck on mr woodgears site where you found the game
I know you are making a routertable and he has a very clever cheap
solution for raising and lowing the router in the table from top of
the table and you will bee amazed how he has done some other
jiigs too and how he is thinking I go and tjeck his site every monday
just to see what he has done he is exstrem sometimes

Dennis

View david9951's profile

david9951

39 posts in 2622 days


#15 posted 03-04-2010 11:45 PM

4.51

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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