Fair Woodworking

April 20, 2012

And then you fall

Filed under: Fair Woodworking's 7 Deadly Sins — fairwoodworking @ 2:05 pm

Oh but the sorrow that pains me so

To see we are fallen, it’s true, I know

That evil can grip us, will we ever win

As we wage this war against deadly sin

The seven deadly sins of Fair Woodworking

I’m not so sure how I got on to this line of reason here, but the more I thought about it these past couple of months, the more it seemed to fit. You may find some of it is semi serious, and other parts down right goofy, but I do hope there is a kernel of truth in it all, and that I somehow avoid offending anyone in the process…


Pride is a bad one, and particularly dangerous to those of the Neanderthal persuasion. It’s better that we keep our heads down in our galootish shavings lest we start turning our noses at our Normite cousins. How many times do we forget ourselves, and harp about how silly it is to spend all that time building some fancy jig just to make one cut. Or put on their safety equipment (especially their respirator) and walk around saying, “Luke. I am your father”.

Then we boast about how we work in our shops listening to the philharmonic because it just get’s so quiet in our hand tool shops without it.

But as annoying as our prideful little hearts are to the “unwashed”, I dare say we can annoy each other. It’s easy to get caught up on how much we know, how well read we are on historical accuracy, and what the great modern minds of hand tools are saying about bevel angles, and wood selection. I’ve noticed that I get unbearably prideful when my woodworking hours are entirely at the computer, and not in my workshop. An active workshop helps keep me humble. They say hand tool woodworking is a craftsmanship of risk, and I make enough mistakes in a day to keep me aware that I am more of a slack-jawed yokel than an aristocrat.

Taking pride in our work is a good thing, but being prideful?

It’s down right un-anarchistic.

So get back to work



  1. Just found your blog and am enjoying it very much. This entry in particular. I too have noticed certain “anarchists” who are now climbing their own ivory tower. Dangerous business. Your opinion is tactfully said, humorous and right on the money. Let’s hope it’s heard.
    Best regards,
    Ken B.

    Comment by Ken Bangham — August 30, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    • Hi Ken, glad to hear you appreciate my thoughts. Not to backpedal, but I should say that I have no beef with the anarchist movement or any other of the popular teachings in circulation. I agree with almost all of what Chris wrote, and value what he stands for. What drives me crazy is the bandwagon jumping that happens. I’ve done it more times than I care to admit. Blindly accepting what others say as gospel from the comfort of my arm chair. Too many of us forget to test in the shop, what we have read on the web.

      It’s good to be well read, but simply regurgitating what Ron Hock said about sharpening without trying it lacks context. There is too much of that going around.

      I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll do it again here. A while back I posted a thing about a hotdog (handle) I made for my Low angle jack plane for use when using it for Shooting. A well meaning person piped up that I really didn’t need it when using the LAJ referencing the Lee Valley website description that they made it with comfort in mind.
      “With sides machined square to the sole, a specially shaped lever cap, and the machined thumb recess on either side of the body, it provides both comfort and excellent control when shooting.”
      The description is absolute truth, it is much more comfortable, and more stable than either a bedrock or bailey style plane, but it’s obvious to me that he had either done very little or no shooting with a hand plane whatsoever. The LAJ is a solid improvement in comfort, but still with long use, can become very uncomfortable. I know this as a result of literal hours at the shooting board, not from the pages of any book. Knowledge based on context.

      Anyways, others can go ahead with climbing their towers, or climbing trees. No skin off my nose so long as they are enjoying their hobby, and not misleading others.

      Comment by fairwoodworking — August 30, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

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