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With the last weekend in November on tap, we give thanks for many things right about now. I have a few that are woodworking related.

If you’re like me, you’re probably thankful whenever it’s merited. The thanks can be for anything from everyday mundane stuff (like dropping a workpiece and having it not fall, for once, glue-side down on a nearly completed project), to the truly important things (like when you’re driving a load of lumber home, your mind on the shop work ahead and a ball suddenly comes bouncing into the path of your car… and it’s not followed by a running child).

I’m thankful for lots of things in the shop. The last piece of plywood in my rack turning out to be exactly enough to finish a piece without going out for more is a minor thankful moment. So was running out of a particular stain I had planned to use on another piece, leading me to use a different stain that worked better. I made a mistake on a simple project a few weeks ago, and as a result had to do a bit of on-the-fly redesigning. The result turned out much nicer than what my original design would have been. Things like that.

But I’m most thankful that I’ve never had a serious shop injury. Sure, I’ve messed up a few times in the shop where an injury could have occurred. In those cases, an injury would have been my own fault for carelessness or whatever, but I’m still thankful I dodged the bullet. And there have been times when carelessness on my part did lead to an injury, albeit a minor one. The time I dropped a (not-plugged-in) router on my head springs immediately to mind.

But it’s the times when something was genuinely accidental and unexpected – like this past summer when I had a power blackout and was plunged into total darkness just as my fingers were scant inches from a spinning table saw blade during a rip cut – that I really have to stand back and think long and hard about what could have happened.

I haven’t had a lot of moments like that, but I’m thankful in every case that nothing serious happened. If you’ve had similar experiences, hopefully you had the same result I did. If so, then as we approach Thanksgiving weekend, I’m guessing that you have similar reasons to give thanks.

Till next time,


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