caveat emptor

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Blog entry by Lazy_K posted 05-24-2015 02:19 PM 1269 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi, there will be 2 posts today:
I was just viewing a video of making a tool called a “chair devil” or “go devil”. I am restraining myself with great effort not to post to that cabinetmaker that he is wrong!!! wrong , wrong, wrong.

Which brings me to a rant (here);
The internet is a wonderful thing! anyone can post anything, anytime.
The internet is a horrible thing! anyone can post anything, anytime.

There are a lot of really great instructional videos out there. there are some really horrible, terrible , very bad , no good instructional videos out there. Many people learn a new skill and the first thing they do is make a video of their new skills demonstrating to the whole world their competence. And sometimes the worst is when a “pro” posts a vid and I know they are wrong. you can’t expect “new” persons to be competent or completely correct, and a “pro” posting something that they do, that works, isn’t really “wrong”. Is it? no, I don’t think so.

The vids that I have the WORST possible reaction to are the ones done with an air of “I’m great and you are not so you must try your incompetent best to emulate me” and the whole video(s) is really just a tribute to their barely competent greatness.

I MUST always keep in mind that in Woodworking, there are at least 6 ways to do things “right”. And, what is right for one is not for someone else.

deep breath, it doesn’t really matter. the shaped scrapers in holders that he was making WILL work. and will help to get that job done.

here are my go-devils: if anyone cares, the top two are spokeshaves, the bottom 3 are go-devils, if I get a big response I’ll make another one and document the critical points here on LumberJocks.

-- Kai SaerPren

5 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2365 posts in 1614 days

#1 posted 05-24-2015 08:48 PM

Granted some self-proclaimed experts may occasionally be wrong, what about the manufacturers?:,310

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Guy Dunlap's profile

Guy Dunlap

208 posts in 1325 days

#2 posted 05-24-2015 09:25 PM

Could you please be more specific to which video(s) you are referring to?

-- Guy, Indianapolis, IN - - Instagram –

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 600 days

#3 posted 05-24-2015 09:51 PM

Free speech is a great asset that the United States has, but the down side is that many posts are inaccurate and some are outright wrong. The alternative is to have a censor that reviews materials before they are posted. I seem to recall the IRS trying something similar to this with conservative religious non-profit groups.

For myself I will put up with the inaccuracies in order to eliminate censorship, or even the NSA monitoring phone calls.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Lazy_K's profile


111 posts in 1613 days

#4 posted 05-24-2015 10:12 PM

Oldtool= those at lee valley look like good go-devils, but why buy what you can make?

Guy= sorry I am not going to get any more specific. getting more specific may subject me to charges of slander or libel. and I really don’t want to do either. or be that troll.

be careful when you see new techniques or tools on the web. try to find other you-tubers who have done similar things. and compare techniques and teaching styles. As a professional I have always had to deal with managers who didn’t know how to do the work coming out to the shop and insisting that they had a better idea. There are a lot of videos out there like that too. over engineered solutions to situations that do not need new solutions because the simple old ones work better than any of the new ones.

think about it. most of the “old” woodworking methods are not things that someone came up with from out of the blue. but evolved over decades or even centuries. every generation improving and or simplifying to the point where today all we have to do is repeat. then design our own style to practice on.
Example: close to 100 years ago Stanley Co made a low angle jointer plane. it didn’t sell. 99.9% of the time an experienced woodworker doesn’t need it, and when he does he has several workarounds to choose from. fast forward to today. the low angle jointer sells very well (or bevel up plane) by veritas sells very well. Why? not because the wood has changed. nor has the materials that the tool is made from. it’s an over engineered solution to an old problem. But the new cabinetmakers don’t know the old solutions. Yes those planes work amazingly well. but a toothing plane then card scraper will also do that job. 100 years ago most cabinetmakers had a toothing plane, today, nearly no one does. So spending lotsa money on an expensive new plane seems like the best solution.

just please, everyone, be aware that you need to see several sets of instructions about each topic before you can see which solution will be best for you.
have fun and count your fingers.

-- Kai SaerPren

View sepeck's profile


314 posts in 1564 days

#5 posted 05-25-2015 02:56 AM

I have only seen one recently posted video about making a chair devil and nothing in that video matches the tone or content you describe in your post.

-- -Steven Peck,

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