Aaaargh! I’m…not smart. I was just working on a tapered leg for the end table I’m building. It’s a beautiful blank, made from two glued up pieces of cherry. I tapered all of the legs on the tablesaw the day before yesterday, so now I’m working on planing out the saw marks with a little Buck Bros block plane. About halfway down the length of this particular leg are some deeper saw marks that it was taking forever to reach. Because I’ve only had two or three cups of coffee today, instead of my usual gazillion cups, I had the bright bloody idea of knocking out those saw marks crossgrain. After all, I didn’t care if it was a little less than straight and level on one side. Brilliant, right? A couple crossgrain passes, and the saw marks started to disappear. Wonderful! One more pass across the grain, and of course, naturally, this crossgrain planing did what it does best, or at least second best—a splinter, two inches long, a quarter wide, and a sixteenth deep, broke out of the far side. If I’d thought for even a second, I’d have seen it coming from a mile away and just been patient with my along-the-grain planing. Impatience kills cherry. Now I’ve got to decide whether I should try gluing that splinter back in, or use up some more precious cherry and glue up a new leg blank. I guess I’ll go take another look at it. But first, I’m gonna make another pot of coffee.
I’m going to invent a workshop helper. At random intervals, it will scream out warnings, like “Don’t even think about it!”, “You’ll put yourself in a world of tearout!”, “You’re spraying too thick!”, or “Back away from the workpiece and no one gets hurt!”. It’ll sell for 19.99, and be a big hit with anyone who doesn’t have a wise and wrinkly old man handy. Or maybe I could just rent out wise and wrinkly old men. It would certainly bring production costs down.
-- I hate finishing. I never manage to quit while I'm ahead. --Chris