Skip to main content
Publish date:

Basic skills

In my junior high shop class, the instructor insisted that we begin by planing the edge of a board. The edge had to be straight and square. I spent most of the semester trying to accomplish this.

I later realized that the plane was not sharpened or adjusted properly, making it almost impossible to accomplish that most basic task. There were some even more basic skills that needed to be taught first.

I’ve always told students or apprentices or anyone wanting to make things out of wood that basic skills were important but were only mastered by “time on task”. In the meantime, it was still possible to enjoy making. But frustration will occasionally rear its ugly head.

So, get to work on mastering those basic skills.

Related Articles

Lacking the basics

I came across an interesting question the other day. The poster said he had no woodworking experience but wanted suggestions about what tools were needed to build a project he had in mind.

Do we still need basic skills?

These days, a prospective employee is more likely to be asked about his knowledge of computers than about how well he can produce a smooth surface with a hand plane.

Back to basics

Technology has been creeping into how we do business for a long time now. Obviously, CNC machines have taken on an increasing role in cutting, milling, shaping, carving, etc. And hand-held tools like routers and sanders are a lot smarter than used to be.

Back to the basics

It is amazing how many people engage in an undertaking without first acquiring the basic skills needed to succeed.