Basic skills

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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.

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No such thing

I have a lot of pieces of wood that are too good to throw away but too small to really be useful. We sometimes call pieces like this scrap, but I have always maintained that there is no such thing as scrap.

It takes work

Every time I see a video or read a tutorial about how to do something, I think again about what it takes to really master a process. There are two parts to learning. One is the acquisition of knowledge. The other is the acquisition of skill.