I stumbled upon this gem of a post from rec.woodworking while visiting over on woodcentral.com (thought they should know about my new shop too). Originally posted way back in '95


In the "Re: Wanted: Stanley #7 plane body" thread,
lit...@eden.com (Scott Little) writes:

> I'm looking for a replacement body for my Stanley #7 jointer.

> One fateful day recently I was doing the edge of a long board
> with good old #7. I had clamped the board to the railing on my deck.
> At the end of a pass, I somehow lost my grip on the plane and over it
> went. I watched in horror as it tumbled 20 feet to the rocks below
> and broke in half upon impact!

Scott, you definitely have my sympathy; I cringed just reading about your
air-plane. So realize this is not to rub salt in a wound; just an
appropriate place to bring up this reminder once again.

My grandpa was a carpenter. (Why does that sound like a song title?)
Although I was too much of a typical scatterbrained kid to learn a *real*
lot from him -- just some basic skills was all I had the patience for --
one of the most valuable lessons he taught me was this:

"If it slips, where's it gonna go?"

As I write this, I can still hear his voice saying it. He must have said
it to me a thousand times, which was about five times more than really
necessary. His point, of course, was that when working with any tools,
it's always good to visualize the accident that's going to jump out and
gitcha when something slips (chisel, handplane, knife, hammer, et al).
Estimate where the tool's going to go when it goes too far or veers off
course, and then make sure there are no parts of your body (or a 20-foot
abyss, or power cords, or children) present in that location. Don't
assume nothing will slip, because the cosmos are watching and the cosmos
have a sick sense of humor and as soon as you make that assumption, guess
what's gonna happen to you?

If it slips, where's it gonna go? Very simple concept, actually, and
after early on forgetting it two or so times to my extreme physical
detriment, discomfort and inconvenience, I've learned to make it my mantra
whenever beginning a cut or any other process. It sounds simple, even
silly, I realize; still, it's saved me grief many times so far.

So, repeat after me: If it slips, where's it gonna go? If it slips,
where's it gonna go? If it slips, where's it gonna go? ...

Thanks, Grandpa.

Your ten-fingered, two-eyed, not-too-badly-scarred, still walking/talking
and fully sentient grandson, Steve.

-- Steve LaMantia [Gutknife users are exempt from this; you
Seattle, WA have no choice. Try a Kevlar t-shirt.]


I'm not much of a galoot, but thought that our resident knuckle-draggers might enjoy it.