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A man and his tools

Using tools has been the basis of civilization itself. This relationship has traditionally been understood and respected by all, even those whose work does not require the use of tools.

It is understood that a man's tools are not to be touched without his permission. That permission may or may not be granted but it is never implied and should never be assumed.

Even in this era of computerized manufacturing, makers still have occasion to need a sharp chisel or plane or hand saw. It is still important to know how to use these tools and just as important to know how to get them sharp. There was a time, not so long ago, when every man knew how to put a razor edge on a piece of steel.

I remember one job in which I had to educate a fairly large crew of woodworkers on the fine art of putting that razor edge on a chisel or plane blade. But there was one guy who just did not get it. He would buy a chisel and use it straight out of the box until it became so blunt that it would no longer cut. Then he would go grab another guy's chisel or plane that had just been sharpened. Invariably, it would come back (if it came back at all) blunted and maybe even chipped from having been used to cut through a nail. Needless to say, he was not respected and eventually dismissed.

You don't spit into the wind and you don't grab another guy's tools!


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