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The worst habit

Of all the shop habits I wish I could change, there’s one that leads the rest.

I have lots of bad habits, but fortunately most of them are outside of the woodshop. But of the ones that are shop-based, there’s one that I can’t shake. After all the times I’ve proven to myself how bad it is, and all the times I’ve promised to change, I just can’t seem to learn.

I’ve spoken a couple times lately about sharpening, due to an article on the subject I just finished. Not surprisingly, in working on the article I sharpened a lot of things. And every time I did, I’m completely blown away at how it improves my work, both in efficiency and the end result.

You’ve read here more than once about how, immediately after changing out a band saw blade, I solemnly vow never to let that task go. And, of course, I do. Then the next time I change a bandsaw blade, the incredible improvement in performance makes me take the vow all over again. Same thing with putting a freshly sharpened blade in my table saw. Those are two blades I can’t sharpen on my own, but that’s no excuse. Especially when there are plenty of things I can sharpen but procrastinate doing so.

Lathe tools, plane (and planer) blades, bench chisels, even kitchen knives – you name it. The dulling process occurs slowly and I just don’t notice the deterioration in cutting ability, but you’d think that after the dozens upon dozens of times I realize that sharpening is something that should be done automatically every so often that the lesson would sink in.

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