They must think I'm an idiot

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Forum topic by willie posted 02-13-2013 04:06 AM 1265 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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533 posts in 2422 days

02-13-2013 04:06 AM

Why is it that the people that know the least about woodworking are always the ones to tell how you can “do that better” if you do it their way? I have had more people in my shop lately telling me how I’m doing something wrong or telling me a better way to do something. It’s not that I’m not open to suggestions, it’s that they tend to talk to me like I don’t know what I’m doing. These are the same people that want me to fix their mistakes when they screw up. I’ve even had one try to take credit for the design of one of my projects, I set that one straight! Maybe I’ll just lock the door!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

19 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19597 posts in 2643 days

#1 posted 02-13-2013 04:23 AM

The same way that every driver on the road is an idiot (except me, of course!), that thinks they know how to drive!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2405 days

#2 posted 02-13-2013 04:59 AM

I get that all the time also. “How come you’re doing it like that”. “Why don’t you do it this way”. You really shouldn’t do that”. It really ticks me off!

Oh, by the way, you’ll get a better finish if you do it my way. ;-)

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3405 days

#3 posted 02-13-2013 05:02 AM

Yes, anyone who’s ever pounded a nail knows about how to tell you how to do it. Men are heavily prone to put on the tool user cap know it all compared to women.

I usually try to paraphrase something for them. Say something like “Do you think I’d have better luck with an HVLP sprayer?” Or, “I’ve been thinking about getting an incra guage to make those joints tighter, what do you think?” Then watch them try to figure out how to answer.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View willie's profile


533 posts in 2422 days

#4 posted 02-13-2013 03:51 PM

The worst offender is a friend’s wife who used to work in a florist shop. Since she knows how to arrange flowers, she knows EVERYTHING! She’s always complaining that I make things for everyone but her, but when I do make her something, I never see it again. She either gives them away or puts them in the closet.

One of these days, I’m going to do something “their way” just to show them how little they really know! They’ll still find some way to blame it on me!!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2216 days

#5 posted 02-13-2013 04:08 PM

Everyone is an expert and everyone is an idiot. If it works for you, and it is safe, keep doing it. If not, gather all the other expert/idiots opinions, throw them at the wall and see which one sticks.


View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3253 days

#6 posted 02-14-2013 02:51 PM


Funny thread; I’m surprised more LJ’s haven’t shared stories about their “helpful friends” that seem to know more about woodworking then you do.

My best one for me was years ago when I was displaying some of my furniture at a large Home & Garden show in Raleigh, NC. Two gentleman stopped at my booth and was looking at my furniture, The one was very pleasant and was talking to me about my business and the furniture I built while the other one was all over my furniture like an ant on a picnic basket.

He was asking me a lot of question about “why” I did this and “why” I used that joint, which didn’t bother me that much until he started with; If I built this, I would have done it this way or that way. After about the third comment like that I politely walked up to him, introduced myself and told him he was obviously a professional and I was real sorry I missed his display of fine furniture at the show.

For some reason that really pissed him off and he stomped out of my booth, the other gentlemen just grinned at me and followed behind…....obviously I wasn’t the only one that thought he was a jerk. lol.

-- John @

View Pdub's profile


923 posts in 3148 days

#7 posted 02-14-2013 03:35 PM

I love the people that look at my stuff and then tell their friends that they can do it cheaper. I was at a doll show selling some scroll sawn doll furniture and a guy told me he could do it cheaper. I politely said ” You’re right, as long as you have the pattern, glue, sand paper, finish and a scrollsaw. You could do it cheaper than I am selling it for” He didn’t stick around after that. I will admit, I have told my wife that I can build something cheaper on several occasions, but not where the seller can hear me. I think that is disrespectful.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2811 days

#8 posted 02-14-2013 04:55 PM

This is the Dunning–Kruger effect. If you have a little exposure to a subject or skill you overestimate your proficiency and fail to recognize the expertise of others. Here is a paper on it.
Why the Unskilled Are Unaware: Further Explorations of (Absent) Self-Insight Among the Incompetent -Jack

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 2912 days

#9 posted 02-14-2013 05:15 PM

Pdub, I am with you. I have had people tell me that they can build a name puzzle stool just as good as I can for cheaper. Usually it is a husband talking to his wife. I let them know everything that I do and how I do it. Then when they get ready to leave, I give the wife one of my brochures. I tell her that just in case he doesn’t get around to making the stool, you can contact me and I will have it done within two weeks.

Have gotten a few orders from some of the ladies.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1975 days

#10 posted 02-14-2013 05:33 PM

Pdub and Puzzleman…. I remember years ago the wife and I were at an “Arts and Craps” show and I saw a sign in a booth that I have remembered for over 25 years. It said

”Yes, Your Father, Brother, Uncle, or Neighbor Probably CAN build one for you. Now all you have to do is figure out how to get them to DO IT! ”

Everybody that walked by it laughed. And I thought “How true, How true” :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Gary's profile


9326 posts in 3401 days

#11 posted 02-15-2013 05:18 AM

I just tell people I’ll give them the wood, they can use my tools and build their own doing it their way. Never had a taker

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View oldnovice's profile


6773 posts in 3336 days

#12 posted 02-15-2013 06:35 AM

There are always those people around that are experts on any topic and/or skill!

Topics can be checked with facts and skills can be put to the test. When I am in my shop and someone says “why do you do it that way?” I ask them to show me a better way which usually stops them dead in their tracks.

When I was in college a classmate “knew everything” about cars until one day, unknown to him but known to me, we sat down next to an engineer from Ford, on an educational sabbatical, and he discovered he really wasn’t that well informed!

But the ”know it all” will always exist … which is obvious from my post on this forum!

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

View willie's profile


533 posts in 2422 days

#13 posted 02-15-2013 01:46 PM

Several years ago, my wife’s brother-in-law remodeled his kitchen. It looked like a 3 year old did it! All night at a family gathering, he kept taking cheap shots at me about how good his work looked. I tried to ignore it but finally could take it no more. When he said, “Don’t you wish your work looked like this?” My answer was, “If my work looked like that, I’d get fired!” That shut him up and he hasn’t tried to brag up his work since! He’s one of those people that should have his tools taken from him!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View prattman's profile


445 posts in 2085 days

#14 posted 02-15-2013 02:03 PM

I have a friend who is always telling me how to make my cutting boards better, I haven’t seen him make one yet even though I have offered my shop and tools.

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

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3126 days

#15 posted 02-15-2013 02:48 PM

It works both ways though.

I’m doing some trim work for a friend who is selling his house. He’s probably smarter than me, though not quite as skilled a woodworker as I am. He brought over some boards and we did some of the work together…which is cool because he expressed a deep appreciation for my Incra-outfitted Unisaw once he used it.

“Best table saw setup I’ve ever used,” he said.

After cutting a large sized, irregular shaped piece that required a couple of stopped bevels on the some of the straight edges, he suggested a belt sander. I thought, yeah, but I can do it better with my block plane, finished with a hand saw toward the stops. I worked it a little with slow success. He said, “How about the router with 45 degree bit?”

I slapped my head and said, “Of course. Why am I so stupid sometimes?”

We had it knocked out in about 10 seconds after that.

-- jay,

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