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Thread: What would our forefathers say?

  1. #1
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    What would our forefathers say?

    I just recieved an email from Popular woodworking, advertising Woodpeckers precision rules and stops.

    Precision that makes me wonder aloud.

    As much as i love tools and am a tool junkie i could not help but think of being reminded of how wood moves. Just the other day Drew posted in the spinny section the images of movement on his bowl.

    Seems to me the tool manufacturing industry would like to get us to think like a bunch of metal machinists with precision approaching that used in the manufacture of militrary hardware when we make up a set of draws or some other project for our hobby.

    Dont you think our woodworking forefathers would think of us as sissys given our digital this gauge and fine precision rulers and precision adjustable router tables when they worked with their hands, head and relied on their skill to do woodworking.

    Whats the point of measuring to such precision when one is going to have to make allowance for the movement anyhow. Are we not starting to go a little overboard.

    Great woodworkers like Sam Maloof surely did not produce works of art with a digital gauge or precision rule finely etched in anodized aluminum.

    Are we loosing it ?????
    cheers

  2. #2
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    our forefathers would say, you need 2 boards held together, here, heres a hammer and nail. dont complicate things
    Last edited by allen levine; 05-28-2010 at 06:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    Does take some of the fun out of it, but they make us untalented guys look good.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    Woodworking does not demand the precision as metal, especially for the high tech stuff we see today.
    But even 'back then' some amazing results were achieved without the precision tools available today. I have seen guns, and other items, made with mind boggling precision. It was done by eye and the use of shadows with tight strings, cross light and simple feel.
    For woodworking, the use of wood for measuring goes back a long time as well. And, not all woods move equally. And movement along the grain is near non-existent with some woods. Popular woods for measuring instruments are boxwood, lemonwood, Osage Orange and, I'm sure the Rosewoods were used. Ole Noah used his hands and arms.
    You do make a good point though.
    Here's a couple wood measuring devices. One is an antique, the other nearly so. I think they are Boxwood.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails rules.jpg  
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    but they make us untalented guys look good.
    Photoshop makes me look good!
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  6. #6
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    Oh don't get me started. Well you did. I love how some people post on some boards about .0001's Why in the world are you chasing numbers you can't ever get with wood? Here today, gone tomorrow. Look at all the antiques that are still around, been moved across the seas in some case. Still solid and still going strong. I just don't understand all the hoopla.

  7. #7
    I built a project for a client and he would E-mail me mesurements in Thousandth of an inch measurements, Wood changes according to the weatherman's predictions, more than that. Finally after almost 6 months of bickering he surcomed to 1/16" tolerances but lately he has graduated to 1/32th of an inch and 1/64ths . I can do that... but still the weather challenges the measurements, had to invest in a Digital Vernier Caliber that converts fractions and decimals.

  8. #8
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    thousands of an inch?

    wow, must be a tough guy to please.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Seems to me the tool manufacturing industry would like to get us to think like a bunch of metal machinists with precision approaching that used in the manufacture of militrary hardware....

    I AM SO HAPPY TO HEAR SOMEONE ELSE SAY THAT! I have about given up saying anything.

    I think one of the big issues is that woodworker have absolutely no clue just what kind of precision they are talking about. Most are really ignorant on the subject. And before anyone says anything, Ignorance is the lack of Knowledge. Stupid or stupidity is a totally different word! Coming from a machine shop background I actually do understand. Most woodworkers don't have the tools or knowledge to measure a that their fence is parallel to the blade withing .001" but you regularly see them claiming they set it that tight. They can not measure that closely! They think they can but they can't. The fence is not that flat to start with.

    We designed most fixtures. jigs, machines, ect with tolerances of +/- .010" or a .020 range on not critical parts. Mating items like screw holes were +/- .005" Dowel pins where you were lining up two parts that had to mate precisely were held to +/- .0005".

    If I had specified that something 24" long had to be parallel with another piece within .001 over the length I would have had to have one EXTREMELY good reason because that is going to cost dearly.

    When I see people saying they have their fence parallel within .001 I have to laugh. Unless they were a machinist I serious doubt they know how measure that close and I would be willing to bet that the face on the fence is no where near flat to within .001 so they can't possibly measure to that accuracy off the fence to start with.
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 05-28-2010 at 11:47 AM.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
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  10. #10
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    I do all my woodturning to the thousandth of an inch. Now exactly which thousandth, I couldn't tell you, but it's one of them for sure.

    My tablesaw fence is an Incra, so it's real easy for me to make repeatable measured cuts in 1/32" increments. I do sometimes try for closer tolerances than that if I need parts to match, but if I do, I'm not measuring the differences, I'm using a previously-cut piece as a set-up aid instead. It seems that anything less than about 1/32", I can feel with my fingers better than see with my eyes.

    I do see value in having instruments that can measure to 0.001" (or a reasonable estimation) in the woodshop, but primarily for setting up and tuning machines, not for measuring wood.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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