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Little secrets

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After last Friday’s blog about putting a table saw blade on backward, I heard from a few other folks that I’m not alone. Not that they’d admit it publicly, of course.

You’ll notice that no one posted a public comment on that blog to the effect, “Yepper, A.J., I’ve done that before myself. Boy did I feel like a maroon! Yuk-Yuk!” On the other hand, I received a few private e-mails that pretty much said exactly that, although there were some variations in the usage of the word “Yepper.” The incident of the backward blade was truly something that could happen to anyone… as long as, publicly speaking, that anyone was someone else.

It got me to thinking that we woodworkers do a lot of things in the shop we’d just as soon be kept secret and not made public. For example, I could – but won’t – name a few well-known woodworkers who never use the guard on their table saw. Ever. At least one even admitted that he simply threw his out.

I may as well admit now (since I’ve already discussed this topic several times in these blogs) that on occasion I – gasp! – don’t use the guard on my table saw. Sometimes, because I’m a writer and do all my own photography, it’s necessary for photographic reasons. Other times, depending on the cut I’m making I’ve found that the guard so adversely affects my vision as to make its use for the cut more, rather than less, dangerous. You can bet, though, that anytime that guard is off the machine that I am very, very aware of the fact, and increase my level of vigilance and care in using the saw by a factor of about a hundred or so.

OK, so there’s my dirty little secret and I’m publicly sharing it with you. But as you can see, I have a very good reason why I do. And since you guys are serious woodworkers, I can share it with you and know that you understand (if not agree with) my reasoning.

But would I mention this to anyone else? Nope, I’d just keep it secret.

I’m betting you have a few secrets just like this.

Till next time,


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