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Forum topic by BustedClock posted 08-10-2017 05:24 AM 1202 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BustedClock

125 posts in 2360 days


08-10-2017 05:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question craftsmanship skill joining

Over the years, as a software engineer, many people have called me an… well, an orifice for metabolic waste products. I think I earn this appellation because I’m a big fan of consensus best practices, development principles, and design patterns—things that I argue demonstrate true craftsmanship.

With that as prologue, I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos about building loft, and Murphy, beds. Without exception, each builder uses nothing but glue and screws/nails, or whatever those guns shoot out. They build some nice stuff, and I suppose beauty is as beauty does, but is this really craftsmanship? Or, as is entirely possible, and perhaps likely, am I just being an AH?

Certainly, building the way they do is quick, easy, and cheap. Also, what they produce certainly seems adequate to the task. Still, in my mind, it’s not that much more time consuming (certainly not with power-tools) to build things with mortise/tenons, sliding dovetails, and even regular dovetails.

So, I wonder what the rest of the community thinks? Have I, once again, discharged metabolic byproducts all over people other hold in high regard?

Enquiring minds want to know!

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.


8 replies so far

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TravisH

551 posts in 1773 days


#1 posted 08-10-2017 11:58 AM

Definitely going to be a wide range of thoughts when it comes to craftsmanship. Personally I don’t see it as craftsmanship but don’t get too hung up on it. A lot of it depends on the application/intended use of the product as far as how I would approach building something.

I am building a bed for my daughter currently and don’t consider it craftsmanship. It is glued and screwed. I would never pass it off as craftsmanship either. It is however made of wood, fits what she was wanting, and somewhere between 700 and 1500 dollars cheaper than what I was shown online as guidance. I imagine it will overall be more sound than most of what I was shown. More importantly is its intended short term use and it being really a disposable product (likely my future shave horse).

I have made loft beds and bunk beds also for my kids and they are no where near craftsmanship. They are functional and cheap and allow my two boys to slap stickers all over it which made them happy and me happy it wasn’t a piece of high end furniture.

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verdesardog

152 posts in 2449 days


#2 posted 08-10-2017 01:45 PM

WTF? Screws and nails don not mean a work is not done with craftsmanship. We do what is required to get to the end product. I guess it depends on your definition of craftsmanship but any good looking functional piece done well would qualify for craftsmanship in my mind.

-- .. heyoka ..

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Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#3 posted 08-10-2017 03:03 PM

Too often these days, people claim to be something they’re not. Not you though. You claimed to be an orifice for metabolic waste products, and you turned right around and backed it up by spewing a solid stream of it.

Aren’t you the person who posted recently about wanting to learn joinery? So how are you different from a BASIC programmer criticizing someone for not using Lisp? (Actually, I worked with a guy years ago who truly thought that if it wasn’t written Lisp, it shouldn’t have been written at all).

Anyway, all in fun. Oh, and what those guns shoot? They’re called Craftsmanship Sticks.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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BustedClock

125 posts in 2360 days


#4 posted 08-10-2017 10:43 PM

But, I never claimed to be a craftsman! ;-)

And, actually, I’m really on the fence. What TravisH makes a lot of sense. Also, I’m sure it makes a difference if you are knocking things out for yourself vs. for a paying client. Furthermore, in many cases, the maker doesn’t say anything about being a craftsman, but the people linking to that maker call him a craftsman.

As for languages, I’m a REAL man, I program in assembly! (Not really!)

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

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Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#5 posted 08-10-2017 10:53 PM


As for languages, I m a REAL man, I program in assembly! (Not really!)

- BustedClock

Once upon a time, that was all I had. 8086, 8088, Motorola 6800. Assembled it by hand and toggle switch loaded it into a paper tape punch to take to the Eprom burner. Even did some serious Forth. Nope, I’m not a youngster…lol

“Real programmers don’t document their code. If it was difficult to write, it should be difficult to understand.” Words to live by.

Fun thread. Take care.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10634 posts in 2218 days


#6 posted 08-11-2017 05:08 AM

...but is this really craftsmanship?
- BustedClock

Look, some variation of this discussion comes up all the time. Build things the way you want to build them and don’t worry about defining what other people build. They probably have different priorities than you. Everyone gets something different out of woodworking. For some it’s a way to relieve stress and keep busy on the weekends. For others it’s a passion and they want to do good work. Some do it for profit and have to balance time and money. And a small percentage choose it as a way to excel and be among the best or at least work towards that goal. Do your thing and let your work speak for you.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#7 posted 08-11-2017 05:15 AM

Here’s a grey area. Is this guy building fine furniture? No. Is he skilled? I’d have to say yes. He’s nailing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbE5CGJABz0

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Rick_M

10634 posts in 2218 days


#8 posted 08-11-2017 07:43 PM

Technically he’s assembling precut pieces not really crafting as the main skill is using a staple gun quickly so yeah, kind of grey in that regard. It’s factory work. By definition plywood furniture is disposable and is always built to a pricepoint. It’s the world we live in. If they had plywood in 1717 they would have used it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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