Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Getting Beyond Our Mistakes

"A few years ago, I picked up a hobby: woodworking. I watched a few television shows featuring master craftsman making furniture and it caught my attention. I figured I could learn that art form and began to invest in some tools: table saw, routers, drill press, bandsaw, and other denizens of the woodworker's shop. Turns out, it’s a tough hobby. The guys on television made it look easy. That’s the advantage of filming retakes until it turns out the way they want. One host did an episode of his mistakes. He’s my favorite.

The thing with woodworking is the number of ways a worker can mess things up. The possibility for mistakes is endless: the wood drifts a little to one side when going through the table saw, the hand plane digs a little too deep can removes more wood than desired, a stain doesn’t take . . . okay, now I’m just depressing myself.

When a mistake happens, and it will, the craftsman must decide if the piece of wood can be salvaged or needs to be tossed. The thing about woodworkers, especially the master craftsman, is they can see every mistake in a piece, especially if they’re the one who made it. An experienced worker can see if a joint is off by as little as thirty-second of an inch."

Read the entire article by Alton Gansky here.

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