Skip to main content

Gotta be this or that

Trying to remember things in the woodshop often comes down to a case of opposites.

I have a good memory, but for things I don’t use or do often, a note or reminder can help. I’ve talked before how I have notes on measurements and angles scattered around my shop whenever I need a reminder to get it right.

It’s understandable when what you’re trying to remember involves how many degrees in a specific angle, or the exact length of a component you want to repeat. But sometimes, it’s just a simple case of one thing, or the other.

AJBLOG-1033 image

My band saw blade, for example – is it old or new? Exact opposites. Either/or. That should be easy to remember, or at least infer from the blade’s performance. But for me, it’s not, so I write down the date inside the upper wheel cover whenever I change the blade.

Speaking of blades, I have my table saw blade sharpened whenever it needs it, but eventually you have to get a new one. But should I get a combination blade, or an all-purpose blade? They’re similar, but I have a definite preference based on years of use. Darned if I can remember which it is when it’s time to order, so, I wrote a “C” down inside one of the miter slots with a marker. A quick glance at that miter slot keeps me from having to crank the blade up and check.

And I just don’t do electrical work often enough to remember – which is the hot wire and which is neutral? So, a Post-it note right on my box of electrical supplies keeps me from frying myself or burning the house down.

These are just three examples, but I have a dozen more in the shop, maybe two-dozen. One or the other.

Related Articles

Cheat sheets

Some things are so simple that they’re impossible – in my shop, anyway – to remember.

Errant behavior

How do you deal with an error in a project? To my way of thinking, there are three things you can (try to) do.

AJBLOG-1068 image

Blowback

Remembering to open a blast gate is a pretty basic first step in effective dust collection.

Order of danger

What’s the most dangerous thing in the woodshop? The list is a long one.

What if

When it comes to woodshop accidents, you don’t want close calls. However, a close call is always better than the real thing.

AJBLOG-1066 image

Perishable items

Using things while it’s fresh is always a good practice, whether in the kitchen or in the shop. Glues and finishes come immediately to mind.

Tool tryout

It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while I try a tool I’ve never used before. This time, it was a pneumatic sander.

AJBLOG-1031 image

One last piece

You know the feeling when you come to the last piece of a wood in a special stash? I’m feeling that now.

Frustrating search

Ever spend half a day trying to find one seemingly simple piece of hardware, only to be met with frustration?