Manual labor

Author:
Publish date:

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.

AJBLOG-956 image

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.

Related Articles

Lazy, or just too busy

Is there ever an excuse for taking the easy – read: lazy – way out on a project?

Stupid is as stupid does

Sometimes I can be a knucklehead, even when I’ve planned things so as not to be one. And you’re asking, What stupid thing has he done now?

Unused assets

There are multiple ways to achieve a single result, and in woodworking that means favoring one method while others go unused.

Safety’s sake

Safety is paramount when woodworking. But some of the safety warnings in tool manuals leave me scratching my head.

Is bigger better?

I have more than three times the amount of room in my new shop as my old one. Generally, that’s wonderful, but not for everything.

Every little bit helps

Taking care of pest infestations threatening forests is a state job, right? Yeah, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things the little guy can do.