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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.

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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.

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