Crazy Stuff Stumpy Thinks About #13: Is it ok to laugh at wood? It is unless you live on a creek...

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Blog entry by StumpyNubs posted 03-20-2012 02:58 PM 2152 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: What in the world IS THAT SMELL?????????????? Part 13 of Crazy Stuff Stumpy Thinks About series Part 14: Tommy MacDonald and the Incredible Hulk. »

Have you ever wandered into the wrong place at the wrong time? Like that time you walked in on your best friend practicing kissing moves on his reflection in the mirror. All you could do was stand there with your mouth open like a bass wishing you were somewhere else. But you couldn’t just walk out… it was too late! You can never unsee those things, and they tend to stick with you.

Several months ago I wandered into a popular woodworking forum on the internet which shall remain nameless, other than to say it has something to do with a sawmill on some sort of creek. I had been there before, so I had no reason to expect anything out of the ordinary. I was one of those long time “readers” who never really posted over there. But I thought I might post a link to an episode of Blue Collar Woodworking. Bad idea.

To make a long story short, there are a couple of moderators over there who don’t find humor to be… well, humorous. They spend their shop time with somber faces, making manly grunts as they congratulate themselves on being masters of the woodworking universe. Even if their skills stop at cutting boards and band saw boxes, they consider themselves to be the finest of artisans. And everyone knows, art is NOT allowed to be fun. Just ask Van Gogh (you’ll have to speak up because he was such a somber artist that cut his own ear off).

The point that I am making is this: Woodworking is supposed to by fun, at least that’s the way I see it. Granted, i am no true artisan like Charles Niel, Tommy MacDonald, Roy Underhill, or a bunch of guys here on Lumberjocks. But I have found them to be as eager to crack a joke or laugh at themselves as anyone. I’ve seen Tommy MacDonald stop working to do an impersonation of Elvis and even spend time “singing” with a howling dog. Roy Underhill does all sorts of goofy stuff, some of which is on purpose! (kidding, Roy… just kidding…) They do good work, they do it safely, and they have fun while they do. And that is a big part of why we like to watch them so much!

Granted, the workshop isn’t a blast all the time. I have plenty of bad days, and I’ve had to bite my tongue and avoid blunt objects more than once. But a little music, maybe a little dance while you spread some glue, even a few old woodworking puns all have a place in the shop. If we take ourselves too seriously we’ll miss out on the whole reason we work with wood; because we love doing it.

Blue Collar Woodworking is about making your workshop better, and your shop time more fun. A few “hoity-toity-I’m-so-professional-I-wouldn’t-dream-of-cracking-a-smile-froo-froo-better-than-you” woodworkers may not like that. But lots of others do, and that’s why I enjoy making the show so much. As long as there are regular woodworkers like me willing to watch, I am going to continue to film… and build… and design… and, of course, crack a few dumb jokes!

(Stumpy Nubs is the host of the weekly internet show “Blue Collar Woodworking”. Visit for free episodes and help support the show by checking out the project plans! )

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

21 comments so far

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 2345 days

#1 posted 03-20-2012 03:06 PM

Well Stumpy, i’m sure i won’t be the the only Stumpy Nub follower to comment, but we love each episode and each blog post you put up. Keep it goin! Humor is what life is all about, where does 100% seriousness get us anyhow?

-- Michael and Matthew

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2294 days

#2 posted 03-20-2012 04:01 PM

Don’t worry about it Stumpy, God has a sense of humor, you’re a testimate to that my friend, as am I. ;-)

Keep those “Dirty Harry Sawdust” movies comin’, we’ve been makin’ tools out of wood a lot longer than batteries and steel’s been around.

Len – A trasplanted Michigander in southern Indiana, and now missin’ Peyton Manning. :-/

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7598 posts in 2822 days

#3 posted 03-20-2012 04:06 PM

I’m not worried about it, in fact I made them cancel my membership and remove my posts. That was a few months back, anyway.

This blog is just about humor and fun in the shop. Not everything in life has to be life and death serious, in fact, I take very few things seriously!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2497 days

#4 posted 03-20-2012 04:08 PM

Granted, the workshop isn’t a blast all the time. I have plenty of bad days

A day in the workshop is like sex, even when it is bad it is still good…. :-)

Sawmillcreek is famous for that, what a boring place. Don’t give it a second thought and keep having fun.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Gabe C.'s profile

Gabe C.

288 posts in 2363 days

#5 posted 03-20-2012 04:28 PM

What is this “Humor” you speak of? If we are going to spend our time around tools and materials, we need to keep up a constant image of seriousness, lest we not be taken seriously by them (our tools and materials). I can’t speak for other woodworkers, but I can certainly say for myself that every moment spent in the workshop is a grueling, torturous moment that I am disheartened to know that I will never get back. Plus, this “satisfaction” of creating something? Pshaw, who needs it.

You know though, at least in the construction industry, I have noticed a difference a lot of the time between “Framing” carpenters and “Trim” carpenters. I think some of it is due to a higher anxiety level when it comes to producing a finer product. And usually, framers are still drunk from the night before…

-- If I could just get this whole "Time/Money" problem figured out...

View StumpyNubs's profile


7598 posts in 2822 days

#6 posted 03-20-2012 04:58 PM

Gabe- Safety is no excuse for having your panties in a wad all the time. We’re not talking about doing a little dance whole you feed stock through the shaper. Every responsible woodworker knows how to achieve a proper balance of focus and fun.

Fun doesn’t always mean screwing around and being reckless. It means enjoying your time in the shop and not taking yourself so seriously that you ban all forms of smiling.

Of course, I know your comment was tongue-in-cheek. But before the “safety” folks jump all over me, I thought I’d clarify that point.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3904 days

#7 posted 03-20-2012 05:55 PM

Hey Stumpels, please keep it comming.

Mean People Suck. That is why they are mean.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View bondogaposis's profile


4754 posts in 2373 days

#8 posted 03-20-2012 06:52 PM

Actually I think a relaxed and focused attitude is safer than constant tension. Sure you gotta pay attention during rip cuts but spreading glue, not so much. At least I’ve never heard of anybody gluing themselves to a tablesaw. Knowing when to focus and when to relax are the signs of experience and mastery of the craft. Humor is a big part of that, it spawns creativity. Stumpy I love your show and your off center humor, keep up the good work.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3190 days

#9 posted 03-20-2012 07:19 PM

I used to enjoy that other site “creeky sawmill”. LOL. The section on woodworking deals and discounts was great. I scored a couple great tools from info I got off that section of the site. About two years back they made it so that the deal section (the best part of their site) was for contribution members only. I figured if I have to contribute money to use this section now and I just wanted to save money to get tools in the first place, I am probably not the only one who quite using it. Therefore I’d be paying to see much less information, I’ve always gotten more from LumberJocks anyway. Stumpy who needs mean uptight snobs. I appreciate all your blog posts, the humor is what makes it exciting and fun. Keep it coming!

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#10 posted 03-20-2012 07:29 PM

I’ve heard a lot of complaint’s about how restrictive other Forums are. It’s better to stay on forums where those kind of restrictions are not part of the atmosphere.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Aristocraft's profile


87 posts in 2603 days

#11 posted 03-20-2012 07:42 PM

Before joining LJ, I had an experience with another “woodworking” form, – no kidding all serious and jumped to conclusions! My question, which I had asked, never got answered and instead of answering it, they ridiculed me because I had a web site! Claimed I was trying to sell items, the questioned asked had nothing to do with my web site, it was a stretch to say the least.
I love LJ, and Stumpy’s highly educational videos, ah yea, educational…....

-- --- Never a failure - Always a lesson

View StumpyNubs's profile


7598 posts in 2822 days

#12 posted 03-20-2012 08:25 PM

Aristocraft- Sawmill Creek HIGHLY protects their exclusive right to advertise anything and everything. Anything that even looks a little bit like it may benefit someone other than the management is quickly removed. If you make a comment about a tool, and add a link in your comment to that tool at Woodcraft or somewhere like that, they will accuse you of secretly working for Woodcraft and remove the link. NO JOKE!

I did a 3 minute review on the Worksharp 3000 as part of a 12 minute episode of my show. They accused me of getting paid by Worksharp. A couple of moderators over there are real nut-jobs!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2584 days

#13 posted 03-20-2012 08:39 PM

Humor? Woodn’t know if it knot-ck me in the the head!

As we say ‘round here – “blank them if they can’t take a joke”

I think humor is an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT for a woodworker! Even our great woodworkers, no matter how expereinced they are, make mistakes, and if you can’t laugh at yourself and your mistakes you can not learn from them! Good Lord! I’ve got to laugh at myself a good dozen times I work on any project!

Another paraprahes quote I heard long long ago…”everthing can be made fun of or joked about, it’s just a matter of timing”. We can joke and laugh about death, just don’t do it at the funeral.

As far as relaxed…relaxed to me does not equate to sillyness, or antics, it means to be at ease in your surroundings. This does not mean you are not aware of them, or do not pay attention to them, but rather at ease in them.

Without humor we are all dead.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2561 days

#14 posted 03-20-2012 09:53 PM

Here, Here! Stumps, the reason I’m on LJ’s is because everyone seems to be friendly and happy to give advice, especially to a youngster like myself. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was not born with a chisel and mallet in my hand. Everything I’ve learned is from free books, friendly people and the stumpy nubs show…even though some advice seems shady….jk.

-- I never finish anyth

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2697 days

#15 posted 03-20-2012 10:42 PM

“Blue Collar Woodworking”, humorous??? I Haven’t a clue what you are talking about!!! It’s down right hilarious!! You are entertaining enough to keep folks watching & serious enough to be informative. Fun & Educational or as I say “Infotainmant”, Isn’t that a “Win, Win”

Let the “Stiff as a BORED” WW’s stay away from LJs & the “Blue Collar Woodworking Tour”!!!!!

Keep up the good work & “Stumpify” us all!!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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