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Thread: Learning Curve

  1. #1
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    Learning Curve

    Well this aint something new. But I am finally beginning to accept it as a "fait accompli' in life. For my entire life i have denied its existence and fought the rule that you WILL go through a learning curve when you tackle something new.

    Its been the bugbear of my life and i have tried over and over again to beat the learning curve but unless you were right up at the front of the queue when the brains were dished out, seems to me no matter what it is you Will go through the curve to acquire the know how.

    I thought i would post this admission so others, woodworkers or not can ponder for a moment and decide how they going to tackle something new they want to learn and decide if they first going to have a go find they don't succeed then give up or going to accept that it requires persistent determined plodding in the direction you wish to go in.

    I always equate this to kinda flying at different levels up a staircase. You go at it for a while and never seem to make progress. Then you get to the next level suddenly and a few things click into place. Then it seems forever before you conquer the next level and suddenly the repeat euphoria of getting through the clouds. and so on until you reach the level of competence that satisfies your needs.

    Yeah there are times one can cheat a step in reality you just go up to that step very fast and don't notice the curve involved. Other times it seems to take forever and really can test ones determination and tenacity to stay the course. But when you do it enough you finally get used to the process.

    Yeah there is nothing new here for most of us, and its not something i have suddenly discovered, but boy the delight of getting to a point where you "grasp" or understand something is sweet and when one gets to the point where one can execute that learning well that's the icing on the cake.

    For most of us we have been through this in a number of facets of our life, and that helps when it comes to having the drive to tackle something new, knowing we can do anything we want if we put our minds to it like we have done in the past.

    But it sure dont get easier as you get older. I was always sold on this concept that we only use a tiny portion of our brains. But now i am beginning to think they fill up and dont wish to hold more that easily.

    I still think the greatest revelation i had in woodworking has been learning to sharpen and what sharp means. Sure its an old bone thats been chewed over so many times. But its key to every tool that needs to cut.

    So whats been your biggest revelation and learning curve you have tackled and conquered in woodworking. Share a few it might just help keep someone thats on the fence going at it and succeeding.

    My latest revelation that had me post this is not woodworking related but it took me back to woodworking, and i was thinking back to a post Toni in Spain did about hand cutting a dovetail every day for a period to get the hang of cutting dovetails properly.

    If we can teach a kid this "learning curve aspect" in life I think many would be way better off. My own sons favorite words are "i know i know" when in fact he really does not and has only really followed what is being explained. At that point i hand him the tool and say ok show me. thats when the fun begins.

    Whats that old saying, "you never too old to learn". What should go with this post is the aspect of not being to proud to ask a question. Still my weakness.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    the more i try to do the more mistakes i make.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    the more i try to do the more mistakes i make.
    If we ain't makin' mistakes, we ain't a-doin' nuttin'.....
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    If we ain't makin' mistakes, we ain't a-doin' nuttin'.....
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  5. #5
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    To fast forward through the learning curve, teach. Trust me, your students will make mistakes you never thought possible! Definitively will make you think in terms of cause and effect.

    Here is another thought to add to Rob's Ramblings.

    What is our fascination with perfection? We were never created to be perfect. But smelling the roses along the way means we are enjoying the journey. Like as not, mistakes are often the things we laugh most about later in life.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  6. #6
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    Specifically for woodworking - everything is a chisel!

    Specifically I recently realized that using the gouge to cut the inside of spoon bowls is the exact same thing as cutting a mortise with a mortising chisel except I'm taking slightly shallower and more slicing cuts but the mechanics are exactly the same. Most of the cuts I make on the lathe are functionally the equivalent of "paring" cuts with flatwork and so on. Sounds silly but sort of changed how I approached a lot of tasks (how would a chisel want to cut here .. hrmmm) - even true on the table saw

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    Specifically for woodworking - everything is a chisel!
    Here I thought it was "Everything is a hammer", explains a lot.

    I'd agree with you on sharpening and what sharp really is. It's a huge difference of have a sharp tool and having a correctly sharpened tool that is a pleasure to use.
    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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Here I thought it was "Everything is a hammer", explains a lot.
    Yeah those claw things on the back of the hammer? Chisels!

  9. #9
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    Quick Story Rob. When I was in college my 1st class in painting 101 , Alan Marsh who because a close friend and mentor started out the class by saying we learn through our mistakes. I think that was the only thing I heard him say the rest of the class. The next class we started painting a still. I was painting up a storm , I mean my brush was Smoken ! Alan saw this and from across the room he said: David , Yes sir [ I just got out of the army ] I popped up from behind the canvas.. Alan; You need to slow down , your making to many mistakes. Alan had walk behind me and didn't say anything till he was at the safety of some distance. I spoke up quickly: Alan you said at the 1st class that we learn from our mistakes and since I am so far behind in getting into art I need to make as many mistakes as I can. Well the class erupted in LOL
    That day I cut my learning a new tail. Gaining a great friend. It was like he had a look on his face of ; We haven't had that spirit here since 1964......

    Through my carrier my learning curve has been on the fast track. I use to buy my paint for faux and murals when I was a house painter from this Danish guy Jen's. Who also because good friends. Jen's once told me I was one of the only guys he knew that could take any material and master it in the shortest time of any one he ever meet.

    Good mentors can be great encouragement for young up starts.
    Last edited by Dave Hawksford; 01-27-2014 at 06:16 PM.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    To fast forward through the learning curve, teach. Trust me, your students will make mistakes you never thought possible! Definitively will make you think in terms of cause and effect.

    Here is another thought to add to Rob's Ramblings.

    What is our fascination with perfection? We were never created to be perfect. But smelling the roses along the way means we are enjoying the journey. Like as not, mistakes are often the things we laugh most about later in life.
    so that is why my folks laugh when i drop by????

    and dave, well i need to find a mentor soon i am running out of time and dont know of any close by..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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