"I can go thinner"

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Forum topic by RVroman posted 11-19-2012 07:35 PM 1361 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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163 posts in 1987 days

11-19-2012 07:35 PM

Yeah, you know where this one is going. I was basically done with a small hollow form that was destined to be an ornament. Getting inside a 3/4” hole to determine depth can be tough, and I thought it felt a bit thick.

We all know the unbreakable rule that as soon as we say “I can go thinner”, or “just one more cut”, it is time to put the tool down. In fact, all such phrases are modern English interpretations of the Latin phrase “Utpay ethay ooltay ownday upidstay!”

This is exactly what was going through one half of my mind, “stop, put it down, you know the rule, so follow the rule”. However, the other half was saying “you can get one more cut out of that!”. Unfortunately, as evidenced below, I listened to the wrong half, and what I think makes it more bitter is that as I was turning I was literally thinking about the rule. And the kicker is, it was indeed thin enough!

What a waste of a nice burl piece over sheer stupidity. :-(

This leads to the question, which is perhaps more philosophical than skill related, why do we do it? We know better, yet we do it anyway. Is it to push the envelope? Some intrinsic need to break rules? Do we get lucky enough sometimes that those successes make us try again? Whatever it is, I get to do it all over again…..

-- Robert --- making toothpicks one 3x3x12 blank at a time!

5 replies so far

View Tennessee's profile


2860 posts in 2478 days

#1 posted 11-19-2012 07:51 PM

Well, you now have a bowl with a nice top, if you put a handle in the original hole!
What a bummer…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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2655 posts in 3496 days

#2 posted 11-19-2012 08:17 PM

You can’t make the inside bigger than the outside. I’m not a real fan of thin, anyway. They are too easily broken, things that get used get dropped.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2110 days

#3 posted 11-19-2012 08:18 PM

Lack of confidence in one’s gut instincts. If you don’t have one, I’d strongly suggest one of those figure 8 shaped set of calipers. Let’s you just the thickness of a wall without being able to see it.


View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3089 days

#4 posted 11-19-2012 08:25 PM

IF we didn’t push the rules and the methods we wouldn’t be doing this at all. We do it for the challenge as much as for the results.. but mostly if we do not allow ourselves to do the stupid things, we’d not understand in a deep intrinsic way which makes us stronger and better craftsmen… those that play it safe will never know the joy of those times we push it and get success. I love that you pushed it.. wood can be replaced… just do it again… and again… and again.

-- " '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."

View RVroman's profile


163 posts in 1987 days

#5 posted 11-19-2012 10:27 PM

Good points all, and thanks.

Rich, you mean the set hanging along side the inside/outside calipers right behind my lathe? :-( You are right, I should have used them to check rather than the “feel” method.

-- Robert --- making toothpicks one 3x3x12 blank at a time!

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