Manual labor

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Tool manuals are getting out of hand. And I mean that literally, since it now takes three hands to read one.

Woodworking tool manuals used to be cool: Everything you’d ever need to know about a tool in a nice, compact package. The little booklets were easy to reference, easy to handle, and easy to store in the shop. But there seems to be an annoying trend among manufacturers lately, and I’m not sure what’s behind it. Where before they were all actual booklets with pages – and page numbers! – now they all seem to be single huge sheets.

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These things could double as tablecloths. They’re enormous, difficult to handle, and it’s nearly impossible to find whatever it is you’re looking for. Logical table of contents or page numbering? Forget it.

What’s going on? Have staples become scarce? No one at the printer knows how to use a paper cutter? I mean really, you take one look at these things and the only thing I can imagine is that the manufacturers are now subcontracting these things out to Rand McNally. I’ve had road maps that were easier to read, and a lot more useful.

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