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I don’t text, but spend enough time online to know most of the common acronyms. One, DAMHIKT, pops up a lot on the woodworking forums.

Anytime a woodworker writes a post on a forum that deals with either safety or with warnings to avoid doing something that can have an adverse effect on your work, you can always tell when the woodworker is speaking from experience because it ends with the ominous DAMHIKT. While if you spoke it out loud as a single word you might expect it to sound like a combination of a curse and a hiccup, it stands for – in case you didn’t know – Don’t Ask Me How I Know This.

Typical usage might go like this: “Don’t ever put pressure on that side of the chisel, or the lathe could rip the tool out of your hands and send it rocketing out your shop window and across the street where it could impale your annoying neighbor while mowing the lawn. DAMHIKT”

The thing of it is, is that whenever I see a post like that, the precise thing I want to do is ask how he knows that. I want details, man! I want to know how it happened, how fast it was, what were the initial signs, did he sharpen the chisel thoroughly first, what his reaction was, did he end up serving time and, most importantly, exactly how do I reproduce the results accurately?

Now, I don’t mean to insinuate that I’d ever want anything to happen to my annoying neighbor – I’ve grown rather fond of listening to the relaxing four hours of lawnmower and leaf blower every single day – but if it ever were to happen accidentally, I figure I could blame it on the original guy who told me not to ask him how he knew this. If he hadn’t told me not to ask, I might have been better prepared.




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