Deep Thoughts - Reader Beware #15: Epiphany at the bandsaw

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sandra posted 08-10-2016 02:02 AM 1722 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Body and soul Part 15 of Deep Thoughts - Reader Beware series Part 16: When you finally see the forest through the trees »

I’m notorious for over-thinking, overanalyzing and basically spending too much energy navel-gazing. This blog is intended to get some of it out of my head. I’ll be glib, sarcastic and flippant in my other posts. Who knows how this one will turn out. It may be a train wreck, so reader beware! If navel-gazing doesn’t hold any appeal or distraction for you, move on. If you’re allergic to estrogen, move away quickly.

My own personal rules are to not to spend more than 30 minutes on any one post. I can correct a mistake if I catch it right away, but can’t go back. If I post it, I can’t edit or delete. I tend to edit things to death and have been known to delete my posts before it’s too late.

If anything resonates with you, feel free to chime in.

It’s been a long time since I posted a blog entry, and I’ve been neglecting some of my friends on LJ lately. But tonight I had a ‘moment’ at the bandsaw that I’d like to share. I was resawing maple for my next batch of clothespins and the new blade didn’t seem to be cutting well. Then I noticed how fine the sawdust was and so I stopped the saw. I realized that I had just put on a new blade with too many TPI for the job I was doing.

“No big deal” I thought, and so I took off that blade, coiled it back up, took down another one, installed it, adjusted the tracking and was back in business. In no time I had done about 100 bf of lumber.

And then it occurred to me that what I had just done as a routine part of being in the shop was something just a few years ago that I would have known nothing about. Just reading about it was intimidating to me. Before I bought my bandsaw, I bought a book, read all about it and understood very little. The first time I had to uncoil a blade I was in a long sleeve shirt, wore leather gloves and had safety glasses on. I was sure I was going to sever an artery just handling it.

And I HATED my Rikon that first year. The belt was walking off the pulley, I couldn’t get the blankety-blank thing to track, and on it went. I still would like to trade up, but I’ve learned a lot about how a band saw works and I can usually figure out what’s going on. A new blade fixes a lot of problems….

My shop is now wired for 220 and is lit with 6 glorious LED fixtures. I can tell you about each tool I use and what the quirks are. I can listen to a board going through the planer and tell you if there’s still a low spot by the sound it makes.

Mr refurbed Delta planer hums along nicely and I know when the blades need to be sharpened. Better yet, I refurbished it myself.

Without my LJ buddies, I’m pretty sure I would never have gained the confidence to jump in and learn some of the things I can now do.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I AM WOODWORKER, HEAR ME ROAR!
(Insert manly tool noises and a fist pump)

11:02 pm. That’s all I got. Goodnight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

15 comments so far

View firefighterontheside's profile


21501 posts in 3105 days

#1 posted 08-10-2016 02:26 AM

You go.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3587 days

#2 posted 08-10-2016 02:29 AM

LJs is why I can do what I do. I agree totally.

Rock on my friend.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4590 days

#3 posted 08-10-2016 02:34 AM

congrats sandra

you got it !

let the tools and works tell you what they need

then you can both be right

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3660 posts in 4961 days

#4 posted 08-10-2016 02:48 AM


It’s so good to hear from you again. You are absolutely right! LJs is a good confidence booster. I’ve tried all sorts of things that I never dreamed that I would try . . . like replacing bushings and bearings on the planer, troubleshooting motor problems on drum sander and tablesaw (and buying the parts for hubby to replace—with a little help from me). Fellow LJs have been incredibly helpful in giving advice without passing judgment on our abilities.

As for the bandsaw blade: that’s the one tool that I don’t use very often. I bought it for my husband since he likes to carve and make curvy pieces of furniture. He maintains the tool and changes the blades. Some day I may have to learn how to do it, but I’m no longer intimidated about learning those things—thanks in large part to LJs.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4396 days

#5 posted 08-10-2016 02:49 AM

Well that’s just the natural order of things.

I remember, way back when, watching Norm demonstrate the mortise and tenon joint. I was new to woodworking and hadn’t yet seen this joint—and it looked pretty intimidating….....!

And then my next project called for (gasp…!) an M&T joint. So after I calmed down, I thought, how about let’s try a practice one to get the hang of it. So I did—and it wasn’t pretty. Norm would have been horrified by the thing!

But I thought to myself, hey this isn’t so hard after all. And now that I’ve overcome my intimidation, I’m going to tackle this thing head-on, and make lots of them, just to show ‘em who’s boss, ya know.

Nowadays, I just bang ‘em out, without giving ‘em a second thought…...

Just like you with your bandsaw!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View DocSavage45's profile


9069 posts in 4091 days

#6 posted 08-10-2016 03:11 AM


Good that you have arrived! I do remember the shelves and building projects that you started doing , progressing on to the shed and then to being a clothespin entrepreneur.

Congratulations on your determination and commitment and to your supportive family. Home and here.

LOL! I know what you’re saying re: the bandsaw, and my own ineptness in translating what I saw. Still the case. I call it Murphy.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3862 days

#7 posted 08-10-2016 05:22 AM

74 i can relate. well said

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Boxguy's profile


2901 posts in 3516 days

#8 posted 08-10-2016 05:26 AM

Sandra, go and be fearless. If you talk to your wood and listen to your tools you have arrived. There is also thinking thorough your tools as you work and following your bliss as you dream up projects. Thanks for sharing.

-- Big Al in IN

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3324 days

#9 posted 08-10-2016 09:12 AM

Thanks for the comments folks.

Dean – good chuckle on the M&T comments. My workbench drawers called for (horror) box joints…

I used to spend more time on LJ when I was dealing with health issues and was off work. Now that I’m working full-time again, I’m not on the site as much, but this place is as much a part of my workshop as my tools are.
Wait, did I just call everyone tools?

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View albachippie's profile


773 posts in 4284 days

#10 posted 08-10-2016 09:41 AM

What a great blog! I think many can relate to this. Nicely shared!


-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3255 days

#11 posted 08-10-2016 12:53 PM

’Nuff said …

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View CFrye's profile


11362 posts in 3088 days

#12 posted 08-11-2016 03:51 PM

Very well said, Sandra! AND un-deleted!

-- God bless, Candy

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12402 posts in 4677 days

#13 posted 08-11-2016 04:56 PM

Nicely done 74. You should blog more often….weekly even. Your writings are interesting and engaging. I’ll bet that you got all As in English classes.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26816 posts in 4354 days

#14 posted 08-11-2016 05:05 PM

Sandra, that is what I love about Lumberjocks.Iit is alike a big family and everyone is always ready to help one another!!

Great job, girl!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3324 days

#15 posted 08-24-2016 01:47 AM

Aww shucks

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics