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Forum topic by live4ever posted 01-18-2012 01:33 AM 2099 views 0 times favorited 49 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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983 posts in 3932 days

01-18-2012 01:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question humor tools wood learning

I was recently reflecting on how steep the curve is in woodworking when you’re getting started, and how forums and online learning sites really accelerate our knowledge of techniques and tools.

I thought it would be fun to share some of our misconceptions, misinformation, and naiveties from early in our woodworking careers.

I’ll start:

I thought that a cabinet saw was for making cabinets, and since I didn’t really plan to make any of those, a cabinet saw was largely useless to me.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

49 replies so far

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4478 days

#1 posted 01-18-2012 01:39 AM

I thought wood from the big box store was straight and square. I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought just because I bought a brand name tool it would last forever (several DIDN’T). I thought I was going to get really good at woodworking (but the projects I see here prove that I have a LOOOONG way to go). I thought I’d only buy what I needed (OK, that one worked out for the most part). I thought Craftsman made SOMETHING I could use.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 3572 days

#2 posted 01-18-2012 01:40 AM

i thought that when you put tilt the blade to the 45 degree mark on the saw it would make a perfect 45 degree joint…ha not so much.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3690 days

#3 posted 01-18-2012 06:41 AM

I thought Oak, Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Pecan, Ash, and Poplar were all the hardwoods. That Craftsman made the quality tools. That a block plane was for small blocks of wood. That New chisels were sharp and ready to use right out of the package. That 400 was a super fine grit.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View widdle's profile


2073 posts in 3920 days

#4 posted 01-18-2012 07:05 AM

As a carpenter for twenty years….I thought woodworking would come naturally…barely any of my construction tools are even allowed in the shop anymore..

View a1Jim's profile


118145 posts in 4499 days

#5 posted 01-18-2012 08:08 AM

I thought oak was the most expensive wood out there. :))


View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 3254 days

#6 posted 01-18-2012 08:11 AM

I thought a Panel saw was called a European saw and a Cabinet saw was a Panel saw. It was all me reading something wrong though.

I have too many to list, that was just one that popped into my head.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12264 posts in 4350 days

#7 posted 01-18-2012 08:46 AM

I thought I could make anything.

-- 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 Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3397 days

#8 posted 01-18-2012 09:16 AM

C`mon you all fess up, you thought (I thought) I could make it faster, better and cheaper than the stuff at the store…. :)

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3757 days

#9 posted 01-18-2012 09:33 AM

Sorry JGM, so far I have made everything better and cheaper then the store, that’ll change on something I’m sure. The idea of faster was never remotely in my head; I’m fast on a bike, driving, running and doing math. In everything else I’m slower then a snail.

My misconceptions:
Oak was an expensive wood that would be priced beyond what I could afford, unfortunately it isn’t but the woods I really like are. There also wasn’t much else beyond oak, maple, cherry, and mahogany and that mahogany would be so expensive it wouldn’t be possible to make anything out of it. Now it is my second most frequently used wood and in small blocks(>2’x8-10”x2.5” is the cheapest wood I can get easily.

That a table top saw would be good enough, wasted 100.00 on one that didn’t make it halfway through the first project.
Handplanes were outdated and useless, so were chisels unless you needed to install a door hinge and even then they sucked.
That I could get by with a rickety table and no workbench. The bench is in progress and the table is ready to collapse.

-- A posse ad esse

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3932 days

#10 posted 01-18-2012 10:51 AM

I thought one sandpaper grit was all you needed.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View wood_rat's profile


22 posts in 4299 days

#11 posted 01-18-2012 11:50 AM

I thought I knew it all-was my attitude at 18 years old,and my Dad didn’t know anything.He tried to tell me,and I learned the hard way.He sure learned alot 30 years later.

-- Pancho

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 3303 days

#12 posted 01-18-2012 12:39 PM

I didn’t know you were supposed to wipe stain off before it dries. That a hybrid table saw was half gas/ half electric. Just kidding about that last one. I don’t remember what I thought a hybrid table saw was before I found out what it was.

View Nighthawk's profile


557 posts in 3278 days

#13 posted 01-18-2012 01:06 PM

I thought I would have enough room…

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5140 days

#14 posted 01-18-2012 04:04 PM

I thought I would have all the tools I needed one day.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3764 days

#15 posted 01-18-2012 04:11 PM

In agreement with Charlie, I thought that one day I would have every tool I could possibly need.
Luckily, a few years and a lot of money and hard work later, now I do have every tool I need.
Oh, wait.
I gotta go look at a tool on Craiglist that I don’t have.


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