Thief

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I'm a woodworking thief. A bandit. Burglar. Robber. Brigand. That's me. No, I don't steal wood or tools. I steal something better: I steal ideas.

As a woodworking writer, I have the privilege of working with countless other woodworkers from across the country. Some of them I work with on my articles and books, others I interview for articles, and still others I write profiles about.

They all have great ideas; some of these ideas are their own, coming to them in moments of genius or necessity. Some of these ideas came, in turn, from other woodworkers. No matter their original genesis, a good idea is a good idea.

And when I hear these good ideas, by golly, I grab them whenever I can without feeling a bit of remorse. (When I die and go to heaven, I doubt seriously they'll hold it against me. Heaven is filled with woodworkers, and they'll all understand perfectly. That Other Place is filled with people who pursued other activities, like becoming telemarketers, DMV workers or mimes.)

Woodworking is all about improving our skills, bettering our craft, and becoming more productive, and nothing does that better than a good idea that we can put to use in the shop. Naturally, I don't advocated claiming "authorship" of these ideas, for lack of a better word, but I fully believe that once I've stolen a good woodworking idea, it is indeed my property. My precious. Mine, all mine.

However, unlike all my other worldly belongings I have no security system on the ideas I've purloined. Any time you want to steal one of "my" ideas, you'll find that the doors are unlocked.

And once it becomes "yours," please treat it the same way.

Till next time,

A.J.

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