Friday the 13th - Woodshop News

Friday the 13th

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I'm not a superstitious sort, and nothing bad has ever happened to me on Friday the 13th. Knock on wood, nothing ever will. But I am curious if you have any particular woodworking superstitions or good luck charms. Like I said, I'm not superstitious, but it's kind of fun and traditional to engage in a few things that bring us good luck and ward off the bad.

For example, my wife and I have done a particular good-luck thing for decades – say "rabbit" as the very first word on a new month, and you get good luck all that month. You can say it a few seconds after midnight, or the first thing when you get up … if you can remember. Silly? Yes. Fun? Yeah, it is. And who knows? We said it at the beginning of March (woke up at 3 in the morning on the 1st, remembered, and nudged her awake to say it too, although when she said it, it came out kind of like, "mrubbthh") and we've had two lucky things happen so far this month.

There is one thing I do in the shop that probably qualifies. Whenever I drop something, and it lands in a truly odd, gravity-defying position, I've always considered it a sign of general good luck. It can be anything, like a screw that rolls off the workpiece or bench and bounces down to the next flat surface and lands standing upright on the screwhead. I was band-sawing thin disks from a dowel a few weeks ago, and one rolled off the band saw table, hit the floor, bounced and continued rolling across the shop floor. It finally came to rest on the other side of the shop, still standing on its edge.

When those kinds of things happen, I pick up the screw or wooden disk, and place it on a shelf somewhere in the same standing-up position to just hang on to for a while. Kind of like pinning a four-leaf clover to your bulletin board, or picking up a pin, or whatever.

Like I said, these are all kind of fun, and even though I don't really believe in them you could probably find a few examples in my shop right now. That wooden disk is standing upright on top of my shop radio right now. Who knows, maybe it's radiating good luck over my shop right now. Although I'm not superstitious, I'd like to feel that it does.

Still, I think I'll stay out of the shop till the 14th.

Till next time,

A.J.

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