Reply by EPJartisan

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Posted on How much precision do we need in woodworking?

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1118 posts in 3147 days

#1 posted 08-23-2012 02:40 PM

With an Industrial Design background.. I was taught to do the best you can at every stage of the process, because you can not be perfect and all those small imperfections add up at the end… BUT that was for manufacturing mass producible items.

To me, wood working is more like sculpture. I love being perfect, but i never let the tool determine the process nor the result. I gave up “perfection” a while ago, my tools move each season, blades go dull in the middle of a process… the wood a living material and if you don’t work with it… it will work against you. yet I work that there are places people see and feel and those places I make perfect, but the rest I just don’t stress about, so I say always do your best, and only focus on perfection for those few areas: joints and visible places. Thus I focus on beauty,, not perfection. Just take a serious look at Japanese cabinet makers… little spaces, uneven areas, plane marks.. they are about the beauty and efficiency… the perfection comes from the passion and repetition.

The other thing is.. people are far more amazed YOU actually made something from scratch.. people are kinda blind to the imperfections we beat ourselves up for.. and I only fear other woodworkers scrutiny.. LOL. There is a book titled, the structural properties of materials.. and they have a chart that explains how much you can be off before it is a) actually visible to the client… b) or will fail from stresses. and you know.. we get a lot of wiggle room.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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