Well i saw a post on a blog that i cannot find again, so i have to try to repeat the concept so bare with me i dont think i can be as concise as the guy who wrote it.
The issue that was brought up on this blog was one of "being to geeky" in woodworking and getting too deep into the detail.
The blog attracted me to read it because i am particularly one for detail to a certain extent and it has been known to be said to me by more than one person including SWMBO (yeah that is who she is today) that i have this habit.
The blogger concluded that if this helps your woodworking do so and there is nothing wrong with it.
Well that was not enough for me. I felt the need to defend this approach more than ever before, not because i want to be right, be seen to be right but for the evidence that i have stacked up in favor of my view.
See i like to look at the facts and have facts rather than heresay govern thinking. I am willing to change just about anything if the facts demonstrate the benefits and i am incentivized by those benefits.
Yesterday my son came home from school (he is currently taking a year of construction techniques...new word for shop) and started telling me with great excitement about the way lumber is cut. Yup he used a big word lumber as opposed to wood. Then he got into the detail of the merits of the different cuts, man he even sprouted out about quatersawn wood and its merits. I was speechless to say the least. I thought this guy was lost to the world of football, hockey and video games. None of which are my fantasies.
But the point reinforced for me the neccesity to get into that detail.
I set up my shop at around age 48/9 I am now 52/3 and for the past few years have not really put out that much from my shop. I have learnt a great deal in the past years. I have a lot of fun out there, learning.
See i plan on doing woodworking as a hobby for as long as i can. So I am in no rush to have output, not that i would not like to finish a project or two.
But i came to the conclusion some time ago that if i merely continue to wing it, I will never achieve the kind of woodworking i desire.
To me its not about the precision of our gauges that today approximate what i saw used in an engeering tool room of a plastic molding company when i was 15, its about the comprehensive understanding of the "art" of working wood.
If we go back as Christopher Schwarz of popular woodworking does into the 18th century, we find that an apprentice did not just come into the shop and start out making furniture. They did not have fancy tormeks or worksharp jigs to sharpen their tools and they certainly did not have any fancy router lifts or INCRA aids and accessories.
Now i dont believe we have to go back to the stoneage to enjoy woodworking and i like gadgets probably more than the next man.
But i have come to believe that there are things we to take the time to trully understand if we are to do more than the diy fix up or struggle through a project.
So if you are like me, and enjoy working through the detail of specific facets of woodworking, the wood, the tools and how they used "properly" feel at ease that you are not a woodworking GEEK with geek used in the socially negative way that it was when i was at school.
Think of yourself rather as an apprentice working through a curriculum which will one day result in you being able to take on any project and make a success of it.