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View RussellAP's profile

Blame the .0001 drift.

by RussellAP
posted 638 days ago


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83 replies

83 replies so far

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

3350 posts in 2562 days


#1 posted 638 days ago

I feeL the same about all the digital trinkets being touted as the end-all, be-all in adjustment devices for everything from saws to toothpicks.
Darn it! I can only blame the “oopserator” when stuff goes wrong. That’s not a real word, but I feel like havin’ it tatooed on my forehead when I screw something up.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 888 days


#2 posted 638 days ago

LOL Bill. I wouldn’t have much face left if that were the case.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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Richard

789 posts in 1291 days


#3 posted 638 days ago

I can see it coming now the “oopserator” Ball Cap and Shop Apron for Woodworkers .
Now where can I place my Order.

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prattman

440 posts in 719 days


#4 posted 638 days ago

Hey Russell, I blame the operator when something goes wrong take a look at my last project and you will see that , no tool is perfect and no two operators are gonna do something exactly the same way. I guess ya just have to roll with the punches.

-- Everyone calls me Ed or Eddie , mom still calls me Edward if she is mad at me.

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HillbillyShooter

4356 posts in 893 days


#5 posted 638 days ago

Agree 100% about mistakes being operator error, not some minute mechanical deviation from absolute perfect. I leaned the basics of woodworking from my father using hand tools in the main (except for an old B&D Hole Gun and an older worm drive Skill saw). I always heard that a1/32” margin of error was to be expected in woodworking. With age I’ve gone over to what many consider the “Dark Side”: a love of power tools and I use them almost exclusively. Why? For me the answer is they are more accurate (1/64” or less accuracy) and after years of using primarily hand tools, the are easier (paradoxically, not necessarily faster) and more enjoyable. Also, with age the mistakes are more frequent and due to what I affectionately refer to as “brain farts”—entirely operator error and lapses of concentration since my 18year old PM TS is still within 0.001 tolerances I originally set and my 16 year old PM 8” long bed jointer is level to 0.0 degrees over its length (less the last 10” out feed) per my Wixley. Good tools hold their accuracy and set up but human age has not been so kind. But, hey guys I’m still vertical and enjoying woodworking more and more every day.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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huff

2783 posts in 1886 days


#6 posted 638 days ago

Russell,

I love your threads; not afraid to stir things up a little. I guess I have to side with the “oopserator”. Heck, I never heard of blade run-out until I joined LJ’s and totally enjoyed woodworking and made my living doing so no knowing.

I had a friend tell me I built some pretty nice things, considering the tools I used. Now I wonder if he was giving me a compliment or just knocking my tools.

Prattman; you’re so right about no two operators are gonna do something exactly the same way. I had an employee once that everytime it was time to dovetail some drawers ( using an Porter Cable dovetailing jig and router) his blood pressure would skyrocket and he would start changing all the setting on the jig and router. I would spend hours getting it set-up to make good cuts, but he would take that same set-up and turn out terrible dovetails…...go figure.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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knotscott

5369 posts in 1977 days


#7 posted 638 days ago

The blame is almost always on me when things go wrong, and things never don’t go wrong for an entire project! I’ve used my fair share of tools that weren’t particularly pleasant to use, or that were barely capable of the task, but unless the tool is losing adjustment in the middle of a cut, most deviations are my fault. In fact, most of my “deviations” are doozies that really require a stronger term! I don’t waste much time miss-cutting a piece by an 1/8” or so… Most are far bigger screwups!

I’m heavily in favor tools that have good inherent precision, and setting them up to tolerances that they’re capable of, but I think a lot people get carried away playing the small tolerance numbers game without even giving thought to how it relates to their woodworking projects. It is wood, and many boards will expand and contract far more than the tolerances of our tools. It drives me nuts to see folks fretting over miniscule deviations from flatness on their new TS, and wondering if they should return the saw without even seeing how it cuts. Once the tools reach a certain quality level, tight tolerance are just table stakes….it’s an expectation. Their desirability for me becomes more about intangibles of how well they work, how much I like using them, how they feel, power, mass, capacities, features, sound, convenience, value, etc.

“Oopserator” is my new vocabulary word of the day!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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huff

2783 posts in 1886 days


#8 posted 638 days ago

Forgot to mention; that employee was a retired engineer from IBM and he never blamed himself for bad joints, it was always the tool that screwed up. Loved working with that guy and he was a really good woodworker, just never enjoyed what he did.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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Mike

289 posts in 1288 days


#9 posted 638 days ago

I always scratch my head at the people that tune their tools to .001” and complain about being .005” off, then talk about the moisture content in wood. The reason that gets me is because they spend all this time making sure that a tool is “super” accurate, then talk about a medium that fluctuates in size based on a number of factors such as moisture. Wood moves in size naturally. Having joints super tight because you need all the tolerances to be within +/- .001” is ridiculous. I live in the north east and can tell you, after I tried making a box to exacting tolerances and then watched the box destroy itself over a year due to swelling and contraction .001” is a ridiculous fantasy.

It is more of “Oopserator” error than the tool in many cases in my humble opinion. I am thinking that the Urban Dictionary needs a new word and definition!

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

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bandit571

6674 posts in 1284 days


#10 posted 638 days ago

Gremlins! Gotta be, I don’t make mistakes, do I????

Now called “Design Points” to show off how different my work is from others…..

Note how tongue is firmly ( within a .000001”) planted in cheek. Used to be, the really bad screw-ups became firewood, leaving a mistake-free shop. Sometimes it got a might too warm in the shop.

Level of mistakes can be judged ( in my shop, anyway) by the length, and width of the “Blue Streak” coming out the windows. Somedays, even a marine would blush…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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BHolcombe

83 posts in 677 days


#11 posted 638 days ago

I work solo, so I only have myself to blame when something gets screwed up. I spent a few years working in a machine shop so I know that often setup error is confused for a tool malfunction.

I would like to weigh in with the fact that good tools to help to reduce some of the dangers of woodworking (not eliminate!) and anything that makes a project run smoother makes and makes a shop more efficient also offers the opportunity for the project to be more profitable.

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Jorge G.

1524 posts in 1076 days


#12 posted 638 days ago

One of the joys of WW is to guide a poorly designed tool to a successful function.

I have to disagree with you. There is nothing like having the right tool for the job and have it preform flawlessly. The purpose of a well design/made tool is to disappear in your hand so that you can concentrate on the task being done, not the tool itself. What you call joy I call frustration, I did not “enjoy” having to file holes and assemble/disassemble my TS top countless times so that I could make it all square. I do not “enjoy” having a miter saw that will not cut perfect 90º and 45º angles, and then having to use a shooting board to make them right.

Typically once you are in this situation fitting mistakes start to accumulate and I imagine this where the saying that a “good wood worker is one that knows how to hide his mistakes”, I never agreed with this. I call this the sloppy woodworker or the one who does not have the right tools.

It is not a sin to work efficiently with precision and accuracy. After all the purpose of woodworking is to work the wood, not fiddle with your tools…no?

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

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derosa

1532 posts in 1437 days


#13 posted 638 days ago

I don’t understand the need for the ultra precise measurements or cuts either, seems like a waste of time to me and while I know the machines can be made to go there is doesn’t seem like a worthwhile use of my time. To determine if my tablesaw blade is truly 90* I take a piece of scrap with a flat edge and cross cut it on the blade, I then flip one of the two pieces over and push them together on a flat surface, if the ends butt then the blade is 90, if they don’t then I adjust slightly and repeat. Also works the same for runout. No difference for bandsaw or mitresaw and it keeps everything relatively square.

Looking at old, pre-machine items you discover that even old world craftsmen that lived on what they produced weren’t that precise, just good at showing a pretty face and their stuff is still around. When I can produce things as pretty as they could, then I’ll consider worrying about precision.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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Don W

14645 posts in 1169 days


#14 posted 638 days ago

I agree with everyone. And although there is nothing like having the right tool and have it perform flawlessly, reality is life. Until recently I never bought a tool unless I needed it for 2 or 3 projects. That means I needed to make do with what I had for the first 2 or 3 projects.

Up until recently I did all my table sawing on a portable 8” makita TS. Yes I still have that saw, its served me very very well. I built more cabinets on that saw than I ever will on my recent grizzly. Do I wish I had the cabinet saw 30 years ago, sure, but other things were more important.

If you can’t take a skill saw and cut a straight line, you don’t deserve a cabinet saw. Learn to use the tools you have, then get the ones that make you more productive (whatever productive means to you).

I tend to like fiddling with tools, so for me woodworkig is about having fun, and the tools are a big part of the working with wood.

I think its a little sad when a new woodworker thinks he needs all the cool tools to actually do nice woodworking. The fact is, its just not true.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#15 posted 638 days ago

I’m with JGM on this one. There’s nothing more frustrating than using a tool that doesn’t perform the way I need…and nothing is more dangerous.

Besides if your tools aren’t well-designed or well-made, then how do you know the operator is in error? Is it the tool or is it the operator?

There is certainly a level of precision that is perhaps “good enough” in that regard, but why would somebody be satisfied with a tool’s performance if it could perform better than it currently is?

Getting better at this hobby is about, in part, eliminating variables. So, when something goes wrong you aren’t left guessing about what caused the issue.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#16 posted 638 days ago

I think that’s a straw man argument, Don. Nobody is arguing that quality woodwork cannot be done with simpler tools. The argument, to me, is why people would be so complacent as to allow their tools to perform at less than capability? To me, it’s as much a safety issue as anything else.

Or, why would I choose to us a certain tool for a job when there are safer and more precise options?

There are people who struggle with skil saws for any number of reasons, but would feel right at home with a big cabinet saw…and vice versa.

Yes, you should learn to use the tools you have…but that shouldn’t mean people shouldn’t look for better ways of doing something. Too often something bad has to happen before we realize we need a different tool for the job.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Don W

14645 posts in 1169 days


#17 posted 638 days ago

I should clarify one thing about my statement. If you buy a tool, it should be of decent quality. Having a tool that’s crap is worse than not having one at all. Every tool needs to be maintained, tuned, sharpened, and kept up. I just don’t think it’s a requirement to have a tool for every task.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Jorge G.

1524 posts in 1076 days


#18 posted 638 days ago

I think its a little sad when a new woodworker thinks he needs all the cool tools to actually do nice woodworking.

I think this is more a symptom of the woodworking magazine and woodworking retail chains showing impossible results or top of the line tools to make a simple dado. For example I was looking at the Veritas catalog and in it they had their router plane. Now, shown in the pic was a dado clearly made with a router bit and a power router, you know perfect bottom and sides, there is no way they made that dado with the router plane, but there you have it.

Look at any article in the magazines, you see guys with 3 routers, all with different bits, saw stop TS, 18 or 20” band saws, etc, all to make a simple box.

Since we all start by reading this magazines, it comes naturally to think this is what you need. Once you become experienced you find out it is not so. My point was that less than perfect (e.i. expensive) tools can be made to work properly, but I do not call this an enjoyable facet of woodworking. In other words, I like wearing nice clean clothes, but hate doing laundry… :-)

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

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Don W

14645 posts in 1169 days


#19 posted 638 days ago

Jay, you posted as I was typing. I’m on. A phone, so I’m slow. I agree and I think we’re arguing the same point. Your point about finding better ways is exactly the point I was making. After you’ve just got by finding an alternate way, its time to buy the right tool.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Don W

14645 posts in 1169 days


#20 posted 638 days ago

I agree JGM. I like restoring and tinkering with tools, but hate when I have to do it in the middle of a woodworking project.

some of the expensive tools on the market blows my mind. You just couldn’t do woodworking for a living and afford to by them.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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JesseTutt

795 posts in 712 days


#21 posted 638 days ago

The error is mine. It may be possible that I failed to properly align the tool. But, usually it is that I did not use the tool correctly.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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crippledcarpenter

17 posts in 1048 days


#22 posted 638 days ago

I have found that, not to beat anybody up, a lot of wood workers that place the blame on their not so perfect tools are retired metal workers. Their exacting standards in their industry sometimes makes id difficult to make the transition from metal to wood. I have two good friends that struggle with the idea that wood moves. they are forever trying to build jigs to compensate for the variables. Myself, if i am within a 1/16th i’m good. I agree that it is always operator error. YOU control of your tools. (Be, Know, Do)

-- haste makes firewood.

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MrRon

2724 posts in 1845 days


#23 posted 638 days ago

There are certain operations that don’t require a high degree of accuracy, but there are some that do. A table saw MUST be able to be set for a 90° cut and produce it without having to check each time. There are parameters that must be adhered to for a tool to be considered good or junk. A saw that won’t produce a 90° cut, is junk and worthless as a tool. A drill press is another tool that must be able to drill a hole 90° to the table.

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HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1515 days


#24 posted 638 days ago

... All I know is that while I am in the shop, god is a master dam builder on many rivers, and is pointed/directed toward new jobs to do…...... frequently.

;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 888 days


#25 posted 637 days ago

My point is along the lines of these guys that go out and buy serious brand name tools, then slave over 300$ -700$ upgrades like fences and special jigs just to cut an angle in a sheet of wood. Holy TS Batman, it’s just kind of ridiculous to me. If I need to stop a project because my TS is not cutting right, we have a problem that a new TS will fix, but if it’s just a tiny bit open at the back side of the blade, consider it a gift from the anti kickback squad. Most of the time people are working with BB wood that looks like the proper dimensions but is even more off than your TS.

I say if you are planing and joining a board then you cut it on a TS and it’s not right, you got a problem, but if that happens with BB wood, it’s the wood.
Personally I think that if you’re making something like boxes, the cut needs to be straight, or at least evenly short on each end. I don’t think I’ve ever made anything where that 32 if an inch was obvious to anyone but me.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1515 days


#26 posted 637 days ago

”...Holy TS Batman, it’s just kind of ridiculous to me. If I need to stop a project because my TS is not cutting wright, we have a problem that a new TS will fix,...”

YEP, You got that right!

Before—Yes this was mine and what I used.

After

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 888 days


#27 posted 637 days ago

Hey mike, I bet that bitch cuts straight, don’t it. lol
I had a little craftsman like yours and it would tip over when I pushed the wood through.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#28 posted 637 days ago

@Don – Yeah, it’s probably semantics there.

@Russell – I paid $500 for my Unisaw and $600 for the fence system that goes on it. BOTH are the best money I’ve ever spent on woodworking. Give me a list of TS cuts and I will cut them 10 times faster and more accurately than you would on a Bies. That’s worth the money for me. And because it works so well, it makes such things even more fun.

Beautiful, well designed tools are a pleasure to use. This is true in any thing. My telescopes cost 10 times more than what people probably think…but I bet I get 100 times the pleasure in using them.

I said this in another thread the other day, but i believe people don’t really know what they need until they actually have it. Similarly, I think people don’t know the value of something until they’ve spent time using it. If this were not the case, then there’d be no market for the things people think and extravagant or excessive.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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REO

581 posts in 675 days


#29 posted 637 days ago

I grew up in my fathers shop. “Thats good enough” and “You cant see it from Wisconsin”(I live in MN) are two sayings that for me fit the bill. I have learned that if I need to I can and do work to a close tolerance. In some places on the same project there is a need to get it right and other places I can let it go. Determining what is “good enough” can be tricky. I have never had a customer complain about an items form, fit or finish. |Oh yeah I make lots of mistakes! and I know where they are. Being a machinist I am capable of close tolerance work. I can also make up for a tools short comings or build one to operate as I might need, and have many times. The opening post was about an operators ability to get it right regardless of the tool. If there is a mistake it has to be mine, not the machine. It only does what I tell it to do. I have to account for the inherent inaccuracy and produce an acceptable product. Otherwise anyone could do it LOL!

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#30 posted 637 days ago

BTW, I’ve made 1/32” strips of oak with my Incra fence, cut after cut without any jig. I can make baskets with that wood, or weave them together to make panels.

1/32” is a huge measure.

I can thickness a board and visually see a difference between .57” on one edge and .58” on the other. That’s a 1/100th of an inch. Machinists that I know can do better than that.

When you re used to dealing with fine, accurate measures, you can tell the difference when something is off. If you’ve never come accustomed to a certain level of precision, you’ll never know the difference.

You ever play cards…lots of cards? You ever got to the point where you could feel that a card was missing in a deck? That’s very noticable after playing a while. Thickness of a card? Right at 1/100th of an inch.

I would be careful when raising that subject of our purchases. We could argue about the need to get accuracy within a few thou when woodworking. But it can become a little close to insulting if you criticize people who might actually spend that ”$300 to $700 upgrades.” I didn’t take it as an insult, but it does speak somewhat of ignorance.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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hobby1

275 posts in 899 days


#31 posted 637 days ago

Hi,
Another one of my many hobbies, besides woodworking, is home hobby shop machining, model engineering, with small bench top machines.

In that realm I always read about holding tolerances within the “thous of inch”, that’s the only place where it is applicable, and can be expected, because a lot of mechanical movements require tolerances in the “thous.”

But even then the tolerances can be accepted most of the time withing 10 thousanths plus or minus, except for piston to cylinder bores, where it is required to be closer in tolerances.

With that being said, I have produced many good running model engines, and hydraulic models, using what some call inferior tools. The harbor freight mills and lathes.

Yes these tools are not top accuracy, however, you learn the weekness of the tool, and compensate for it, by either modifying it, or adjust operating procedures.

Such as my micromill machine has a inherent drift problem with the quill feed when I lock it, it stays at the proper height, but it has a lot of vibration, due to its design of being a drill press as well as a mill, so in order to compensate for the poor design, (not operator error), I had to fabricate a clamping block that wedges the quill in to a locked position for milling.

That’s one example of tool error designs,

In the woodworking tool error designs, I got the craftsman table saw, that had poor reviews of the blade wobbling, they are right the blade does wobble, however when I run the stock through it, I compensate for it by pushing evenly, whan I notice some vibration, I let up on the feed rate, and allow the blade to catch up, and continue pushing the stock through allowing the saw to keep up with the feed.
This wobble has no bad affects on the stock, because the stock is made out of wood, and all wood projects do not need tolerances in the “thou” range but only in the 1/16th” to 1/32” range, very seldom to a 1/64th”, and the inherent error of blade wobble is within the 1/16th to 1/32” tolerance range, because this is woodworking, not machining.

Another bad review comes with my benchtop bandsaw, it too is said to have excessive vibration, well there right it is definately a design error with the machine, but instead of blaming the machine for inaccuracies, I decide to modify it, I replaced the friction blade guides, with home made sleeve bearings, and by clamping these tight to the blade a lot of the vibration is eliminated, because the vibration seems to come by the blade being bent during cutting a radius and throwing the blade out of kilter which results in broken blades soon after.

Since this modifiction I never broke another blade, as well as I don’t have to tighten the blade so hard to keep it running straight, because it never gets bent when it is riding tight between roller bearings.

In conclusion, there are a lot of inferior designs with tools, but we just learn how to work around them, by modifying them, or adjust our operating procedures with them.

Especially in woodworking, I have never heard of woodworking being tolerated in the “thous” always in the 1/16ths, and ocassionally to a 1/32”, anything smaller than that, is machining metal not wood.

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Bill White

3350 posts in 2562 days


#32 posted 637 days ago

I have to admit…..
“Oopserator” was derived from a spelling error in my initial post. I had spelled operator with 2 “o”s. I looked at the spelling, said “oops”, liked the idea of playing with such a stupid booboo.
Now, I have a confirmed definition forever lodged in the jargon of Lumberjocks. Darn! Now I’m famous. Yeah! Right!
Tee shirts and hats are forthcoming. $200.00 each. :)
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Jorge G.

1524 posts in 1076 days


#33 posted 637 days ago

The problem with your argument is that what you find superfluous other find necessary, or if not they find having a nice tool enjoyable. There is nothing wrong with this, which is a recurring topic, try an read a festool thread.

Personally I do not buy a tool unless I have seen the need and have thought “It would be nice if I had xxxx instead of having to hassle with this in a half assed way” a couple of times. And I do have tools that I might use maybe once or twice a year, but when I use them, they are exactly what I needed.

Lets take for example a kerfmaker, by your argument this is a silly little tool not worth the money. For me, every time I make a dado that fits the mating piece exactly and saves me half an hour of trial and error fitting, it has paid it’s price many times over.

For those who have limited time in the shop, maybe those upgrades you mention are worth the money. I really do not understand this idea that you have to “suffer” for your art or in this case your craft and that you have to “make do”. Seems to me this is more a case of envy towards those who can afford the better tools. Let me put it this way, if I could afford it, I would have Altendorff TS, a wall full of Festool power tools, Damascus steel chisels, and all the tools BCT makes. I cannot, but I do not begrudge those who can, good for them IMO.

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

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#34 posted 637 days ago

Well said, JGM. I’d love a bunch Festools. Don’t know that I really need them (how can I know that?) but I’m sure using them would be very pleasurable.

Woodworking is as much about the journey as it is the destination.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Roger

14146 posts in 1405 days


#35 posted 637 days ago

I also agree. Very well spoken. I am “old-school” I guess. I can’t afford the rediculously high priced machinery out there. I am very happy with the tools I have. I, yes, I, keep them tuned, and pre, and post-maintained. I think a person should know everything there is to know about your tool/s, auto/s, motorcycle/s, etc., basically everything around you. If ya don’t, that’s when things can go flew-wee!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 888 days


#36 posted 637 days ago

JGM. I don’t mean to belittle those who delight in the tech side of tools and fuss over minute tolerances. They are a different breed than I and most of us here on LJ. I’m glad they are here, I enjoy the posts, but when one of them is fussing over a tolerance that is only measurable with a digital caliper after not only buying a 1500$ saw, but close to 1000$ in upgrades and gadgets, I have to wonder if he plans to make something or just fiddle with tools all day.
Loosely speaking there are two kinds of WW’s, or perhaps it’s just the extremes. The first is the techy WW. Has to have the best of everything, reads all about new things and in general has a magnificent shop. The other kind is more of an artist and will use tools sometimes in what a techy would consider perverted ways to get the result he wants. And then feel very good about not having to buy a better tool, instead he’s become a better WW, not just a WW with better tools.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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Roger

14146 posts in 1405 days


#37 posted 637 days ago

Well said RussellAP

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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Mike

66 posts in 983 days


#38 posted 637 days ago

I have found when things dont go right there is a loose nut behind the switch !!!

-- But hon I need this tool.......

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Jorge G.

1524 posts in 1076 days


#39 posted 637 days ago

The problem I see Russell is that I see you are judging other people by your standards. To you a 1/32 gap is no big deal, to me a 1/32 gap on a dado means a loose fitting mating piece with an unsightly gap. In photography there is a measure of circle of confusion, in other words what the human eye can resolve. You say, “well only I can see that gap”, you would be surprised, the human eye is capable of very fine resolution and might dare say that other people see it too, but just don’t mention it.

I find somewhat disconcerting that you would state that the one who is an “artist” is the one who “makes do”, it is my experience that those who make incredible artistic work more often than not have a workshop full of tools, rather than just a hammer and a bag of nails. In fact they will be the first ones to tell you that they buy the best they can afford, since buying cheap tools and then trying to make them work is not only an exercise in frustration, but being penny wise and pound foolish.

I am not advocating that those who decide to take up woodworking go and get the best there is only to find out they do not like woodworking. My point is that once you are doing something you enjoy, you impose your own limits, which are no one else’s business but yours.

IMO, and with all due respect to you, pigeon holing people into techys and “artists” just because one can afford a tool and the other cannot is belittling. I would like an honest answer from you, you have never thought: “jeezz I would LOVE to have….” even thought you know you don’t need it, or you have never in your life made an impulse buy, even though the article you bought you knew you did not “need” it, be that an expensive pen, a watch, etc. If you can honestly answer NO to these two questions, then while I disagree with you I understand why you are bewildered by the guy buying the $1500 TS and accessories. But if you answer yes, then you are just being judgmental.

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

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2262 posts in 1484 days


#40 posted 637 days ago

When I’m in my shop, I want my mistakes to be because of my own carelessness not because a tool doesn’t perform the way it is designed to. Ultimately every tool’s purpose is to make ww easier by performing accurately the job it was designed to do. I’d rather have a mistake because I measured/cut/designed wrong than because the tool didn’t work the way it was designed to. I had a MS that couldn’t cut 90 deg. I could sort of compensate for this which made it usable, but eventually I replaced it with a MS that cuts 90 deg. when I set it to cut 90 deg. I don’t think that poorly designed tools are a joy to learn to use. Yes, most of us can learn to work around them, but ultimately it makes more sense to use tools that work as they were designed to.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1524 posts in 1076 days


#41 posted 637 days ago

I have found when things dont go right there is a loose nut behind the switch !!!

I think you mean a loose nut pressing the switch…. :-) Yep, I have some of those nuts too…. LOL.

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

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GarageWoodworks

419 posts in 758 days


#42 posted 637 days ago

With all do respect your post (and replies) is (are) filled with a few strawmen.

Measuring to 0.0003”? I’m into the precision ‘thing’ and I’ve never come across a woodworker who measures anything to the ten-thousandths place.

Someone who dials in their tools is likely to be making a “fuss over minute tolerances.”? It takes no time at all to align my tools to within 0.002” tolerances. When done properly, it’s faster or just as fast as methods of lesser accuracy. Align a TS blade to 90.00? Easy peezy. Align a TS fence to within 0.003” front to back? Easy peezy. Align a miter gauge to within 0.001 degrees? Piece of cake. It is not always necessary to have a high level of accuracy, but if it takes no more time than why not? It eliminates a lot of the “What did I do wrong?” variables when you know your tools are spot-on. It also gives you a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that any error you introduce is going to come from YOU, not your tools. “Fuss”? Nope.

“One of the joys of WW is to guide a poorly designed tool to a successful function. “

I would say that one of the joys of woodworking and a measure of a great craftsman is knowing how to tweak a “poorly designed tool” until it performs with acceptable precision.

-- Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/GarageWoodworks?feature=guide

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3621 posts in 1969 days


#43 posted 637 days ago

Most wood workers do in process inspection; i.e. are the dados the correct width to fit the shelf, do the dowels hole line up, are these two boards the same length and width, etc.!

But when those checks don’t yield the proper results or if the in process is done too late and mistakes are found can the proper corrective action be applied or is a design change possible/required?

I worked in manufacturing engineering at several companies and they required scheduled calibration of tools from calipers to diamond drill bits for drilling laser guide tubes. If tools are out of calibration the tool cannot be used until it is calibrated. I don’t do that in my shop because I am the only one that uses these tools as I am responsible for the work they produce and rely on in process inspection to catch these errors.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2938 posts in 888 days


#44 posted 637 days ago

JGM, The better my tools have gotten, the better the work has gotten. That’s a given, however the satisfaction of producing something stellar with out precision tools makes me feel good.
I’ve tried to express this as an opinion, not a fact. I don’t want anyone to feel like I judged them for getting the best they could. I just expressed several things I’ve been thinking lately as I’ve read through some older posts here on LJ.
I do not discount the possibility that I’m simply at a stage where I’m questioning just how far I’d like to go in WW. And I’m trying to make objective arguments to myself for what is really necessary. Do I want the tool to be perfect, or can I get by with a tool that has a problem with a certain function just by being a bit more clever. I like finding ways around problems, which is one of the reasons I am a WW.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#45 posted 637 days ago

Yeah, this isn’t a left-brain/right-brain issue. I am very well studied, methodical, technological, and scientific about all my hobbies, whether that means FWHM star sizes and signal-noise ratios in astroimaging, nailing my strike temperatures when homebrewing, achieving proper CO2 saturation levels in my planted aquarium, or cutting wood square and true.

Why would you NOT fuss over the details? If your tools can perform to a certain level, why would you not try to achieve that? That’s just bring lazy and reckless. And it doesn’t take long to do this…it’s not “fiddling with tools all day,” which is still an enjoyable part of this hobby for MANY of us. This is why so many like making shop fixtures and jigs more than they do anything else. It’s why people take pride in beautiful workshops.

If more people were more studied, scientific, and technical about things they would NOT have so many questions about FINISHING. Honestly, it’s not rocket science.

But to suggest that being technically oriented with this hobby means that I cannot be artistic is pretty silly. Since when can somebody NOT be both? IMHO, truly intelligent people strive to be BOTH. These aspects actually work together in a person; it’s not a dichotomy.

I think when people make posts about how they don’t understand why others do something, it is coming either from ignorance, arrogance, or jealousy. Why else would you care what tools other people purchase and how those purchases are justified? I know you are just trying to bring up some discussions, but please be sure to say when you are speaking YOUR thoughts vs. playing devil’s advocate.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1524 posts in 1076 days


#46 posted 637 days ago

It takes no time at all to align my tools to within 0.002” tolerances.

Yeah well, to some people it is nuts for you to try to align things to thousands of an inch. In any case, the point of this thread is not how precise and accurate you are working, but how superfluous is the purchase. Lets take you and your tensioning band jig, I don’t want to hassle making one, I rather buy one.

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5411 posts in 2030 days


#47 posted 637 days ago

It’s always my fault. For either using the tool incorrectly or for buying a tool not up to the standard of work I’m trying for.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View NormG's profile

NormG

3998 posts in 1605 days


#48 posted 637 days ago

Completely mine, through and through

-- Norman

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

6674 posts in 1284 days


#49 posted 637 days ago

More of a case of: IF the saw is so great and accurate, ANY fool can cut a square & straight line. Anyone can make a superior cut with a “precise” saw. Even if they never been around a saw before.

Take this saw as an example, bad as it is…

I have been using this saw since the early 80s. Regular PMs keep things running to suit me. Is it with in a few thousandths? Have no way to measure anything that small, so don’t know. Does it produce a straight edge when ripping? Yep! Does it produce a 90 degree cut, when needed? Yep. Cost when new? $400 in the box, and out the door at Sears. It has had ONE major rebuild in it’s life time, cracked a trunion. New parts from a parts saw, and re-check everything. Same old stock fence, just I know it’s “limitations” and adjust for them. About the only “upgrade” I think I’ll get for it, is a better dado set. The Vermont American 6” one is getting a might worn down. Slop in the miter guage??? None that i have found. I do have an add-on piece to the MG’s front. But it is still a stock one.

Actually, I MIGHT use this saw one day a month, maybe. Last night i used a lathe from the same company that was about the same age…

Just five speeds, on a belt drive. Does it take a while to change speeds? yep, maybe 45 seconds….

Those two knobs were done with just a pair of MkII Eyeballs, with the patterns sitting behind the lathe, where I could see them.

So, unlike some people that HAVE to have MACHINES that almost do the work for them, I’m just a-playing around, and having FUN. If need be, I could just get down one of my handsaws and make a few “split the line” cuts. No Biggie. To each type of wood worker, their own way of working.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1524 posts in 1076 days


#50 posted 637 days ago

JGM, The better my tools have gotten, the better the work has gotten. That’s a given, however the satisfaction of producing something stellar with out precision tools makes me feel good.

And this is as it should be, I agree that there is some satisfaction on making something nice when you had to improvise because you did not have the right tool, but IMO is not an optimal situation or one that I would like to find myself often.

On the other hand I am puzzled, seems to me that your experience and your thoughts are at odds. On one hand you cannot understand the guy who buys the $1500 TS with accessories, yet on the other hand you state the better your tools, the better your work has become. Could it not be possible that the guy who bought the expensive table saw is experiencing the same thing you are, and that you are just not there yet?

Bottom line Russell, I could come to you and say, “jeezz men, why do you need a table saw, a power drill and an orbital sander to make your Adirondack chairs?!? Here is a hand saw, a hand drill, a bag of nails, and a piece of wood with some rocks embedded on it, get to it men, you don’t need all that fancy equipment!!!”... :-)

I bet you dollars to doughnuts that somewhere out there there is someone who would take issue with the equipment you have to make what you do.

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

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