Bucking trends - Woodshop News

Bucking trends

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I am not a contrarian. And if you call me one, I'll argue the point. However, there are a number of ways that I've always tended to go against the norm.

I've always been the cook in our house, for example. For that reason, I've always done most of the grocery shopping. When it comes to clipping coupons and recipes, I outdo my wife. When local housewives throw a Tupperware party, I'm the one who goes. (I recently went to a huge one that was in a rented meeting room at a local hotel. Just me and about 50 women. They treated me like royalty.)

I also don't like being told what to do. Sticking with a food example, when, according to the TV commercials "choosy mothers choose Jif," I choose Skippy. When warned "don't try this at home," you can guess what I do. Editors' deadlines aren't deadlines, they're suggestions.

It's no different in the shop. One of my favorite finishes is wipe-on polyurethane, but I have never wiped it on (or off). I like it best exactly the way it comes out of the can, applied with a brush. I like the brushing consistency, flow-out and drying speed.

When others usually toss out sandpaper and replace it with fresh, that's when I feel it's finally been broken in properly for my tastes. Then I use it until it literally falls apart, because I like the results I get.

Don't get me wrong. I wear seatbelts, check dates on produce, use sunscreen, cook meat thoroughly, obey Walk/Don't Walk signs, and wear sensible shoes. But when making a difficult cut on the table saw where the guard keeps me from properly seeing what I'm doing, you'd better believe that guard comes off.

Sometimes you should follow the rules and the norms because it's the best thing to do, and sometimes you shouldn't because that works better. The key is knowing the difference.

Till next time,

A.J.

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