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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 03-15-2012 04:03 PM 5824 views 0 times favorited 193 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View a1Jim's profile (online now)


118254 posts in 4820 days

03-15-2012 04:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I guess I’m getting groucher in my old age,is it just me or does it seem like folks post questions and get many different answers and then totally ignore all the answers and go about their original idea no matter how far off base they are.
I can’t help but wonder if they even read the answers people given to their questions. I know that my answers are always the perfect and the most correct answers for all questions (NOT) but it does seem like a gross waste of time to type answer after answer to help some one sometimes day after day and then have them totally ignore all the correct IMO answers from all of the more seasoned woodworkers. I’m not just talking about myself but people that I feel that always seem to be right on with their answers . I know for myself I will put off things I need to do to try and help folks through post or pms and I ask for nothing in return ,it’s just passing it on. Some questions get 60-80 answers and the person who places the post still sticks with there original idea even though they state they have no idea what their doing.
I’m starting to feel that Mark Twain was right when he said” don’t bother to give advise because a wise man doesn’t need it and a fool won’t heed it”
I wonder how others feel about getting and giving advice? I try to evaluate if it’s just me or if people that post questions get confused because of the variety answers they get and just stick with their original idea .
I know this post is whining and if I read it I’d probably think”what’s the big deal either give advice or not.


193 replies so far

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5329 days

#1 posted 03-15-2012 04:12 PM

Hi Jim,
I think people ask questions and then Read the answers, but it is, in fact, a courtesy to acknowledge the answers. We can’t count on that, though. We just try to educate and have an effect. One that comes to mind was a recent air compressor fully insulated inside a tight box. I saw it and thought, “Yikes!” but found the diplomatic answers well covered the situation. The poster (sorry, forgot who it was) was gracious in answering, and I hope thoughtful of his design. One can only hope!


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4163 days

#2 posted 03-15-2012 04:15 PM

Hi, Jim:
First of all, I like the Mark Twain quote. He was a pretty smart guy and had some witty sayings.

In answer to your question – I also get lots of people asking advice on various things about scrollsawing, painting, finishing and woodworking in general. Like you, I find that more so than not, they don’t really heed the advice and do something else. It used to kind of bug me for the same reasons you stated (was I wasting my time trying to help?) but the more I thought about it, the more that I think people come to places like this is not only for advice, but to confirm what they were already thinking. Perhaps they just needed some approval in some way or form from the ‘experts’ to allow them to do what they were going to do anyway. Or maybe they were looking for a better way and after receiving many different opinions, decided their original thoughts were the best after all.

I no longer take it personally as I must admit I used to. I feel as if I gave my two cents in good faith and that they were open to take it or leave it as they see fit. Perhaps because I am getting older and more mellow. :)

Exchanging thoughts and ideas is always a good thing. Not only does it help the person asking the question, but also the countless others who read the many answers given. I know for my scroll sawing classes, there were so many good ideas that came AFTER my lesson in the following discussion and I have had many people tell me how much help they were to them.

Keep giving your advice, Jim. You have lots to offer a lot of us and even though I don’t always comment on everything I read, I still learn from it. There are many faceless, silent woodworkers that you have helped without even realizing it and in my opinion, the time you spent answering questions and offering advice was not spent wasted.

Just my thoughts, Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4417 days

#3 posted 03-15-2012 04:15 PM

I have a saying ….

People that don’t ask my advice … really don’t want my advice.
People that DO ask my advice … really don’t want it, either.


-- -- Neil

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4988 days

#4 posted 03-15-2012 04:16 PM

Someone brought up this same subject several years ago. I guess some folks have already made up their minds on some item or subject, and they’re just looking for someone that will agree with them. Sometimes, if I know the question is going to have multiple answers to it, I will just keep my opinion to myself.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3756 days

#5 posted 03-15-2012 04:26 PM

Jim, just cruious, you state that after giving advise, help or assistance it’s ignored, how do you know it’s being ignored? Any examples?

I have gotten tons of advise and always pick which one that either fits my pocket book, makes best since to me or comes easiest to understand and I’m pretty good about adding a thank you to all that have responded, when I bring something to the table asking for assistance it’s because I have no other option to go with. I’ve learned a great deal on my bandsaw boxes just from two of the kindest people here on LJ not excluding you just that they offered without asking which as helped me tremendously Tony W and Donna M were the two, Donna actually invited me to her house and the 4 hours I spent with her learning so much went by so fast, I’ve had folks PM me asking how to questions on my bandsaw boxes and I am eager to pass on what I was taught.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 5167 days

#6 posted 03-15-2012 04:27 PM

I think they already made up there mind as well “IN SOME CASES” as tenontim brought out. But not in all cases. I for one have learned a lot from other peoples question and weigh which answer is the one I can preform at my skill level and with the tools I have.

View Bothus's profile


443 posts in 4419 days

#7 posted 03-15-2012 04:28 PM

Hi Jim,

I love reading all the replies (even yours ;-). Please don’t stop replying. Just stop getting upset about what the original poster decides to do (that’s my advice anyway, you can take it for what it’s worth).

It doesn’t bother me if the original poster does not heed what I consider to be good advice. I just figure he/she is like me and has to learn by doing.

Unless its a safety issue (Should I remove my riving knife and disable the brake on my SawStop and use my bare hand instead of a push stick to a rip this 8’ length of 3” thick oak? After all, if I stand direct behind it with my back up against the wall I should be able to push it hard enough.)

But even then I understand I have no control over what the person decides to do. I can only hope he/she learns without getting hurt.

Hang in there and take care Jim.

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View Dez's profile


1176 posts in 5320 days

#8 posted 03-15-2012 04:31 PM

I never give advice unless specifically asked!
I would rather not waste any ones time!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


118254 posts in 4820 days

#9 posted 03-15-2012 04:33 PM

Thanks gals and guys
It’s kind of ironic that the first four folks to comment are folks that I think give great advise and that I highly value their opinions
Barbs.You always answers are always insightful and you handled with tack and grace
Shelia your point is well taken ,in short don’t take myself to seriously :))
Neil your always on top of things many times several steps ahead of me. Who needs Mark Twain with you around,now I can quote You.
Tim your were one of the main persons I was thinking of when technical questions come up you always seem spot on.


View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 4638 days

#10 posted 03-15-2012 04:35 PM

Jim, I used to offer advice on the forum on subjects on which I had some knowledge, but with 40k members, I feel there are too many opinions available. Mine would just add to the confusion.
Nevertheless, I think if I have a real gem of information, I offer it it anyway.
What I don’t expect is this: The one asking will take my advice.

What I think may happen though, is that someone else may be happy to have the suggestion. They may not even take part in the conversation, but still they take the advice and use it.
With that aim in mind, as I said, I will offer something if I think its worthwhile.
Please keep helping us.
Best regards,
Jim, you’re my router hero!

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View mpounders's profile


1008 posts in 4138 days

#11 posted 03-15-2012 04:38 PM

Most of what I have learned is from copying the success of others, so i may be taking your advice even when I don’t ask for it!. I have not always had someone to ask for advice, but I do like to talk things out witjh others and try to reach some consensus on what is best. The internet has really made a lot of information readily available, whether it is correct or not, and the trick is to figure out who is the expert and who is the pretender. I have noticed a few people seem to have an opinion to offer on every subject posted, and i have a theory that they are looking for some type of validation or acceptance. You have always encouraged people and offered good advice, and you have experience in different areas to back up that advice. I sometimes share things that I have experience with, but mostly I am a tudent rather than an advisor! That way, people may suspect that I am an idot, but I can reduce the amount of evidence confirming it!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Kernal's profile


29 posts in 3520 days

#12 posted 03-15-2012 04:38 PM

It may be important to note that advice is valuable even if not taken.

Every piece of advice, and every suggested technique, adds to the knowledge of the user (and everyone else who reads the thread). They point out (either explicitly or implicitly) possible modes of failure that can influence the Jock’s actions if not their formal plan. They suggest techniques that the Jock can internalize and use to improve his/her own methods, even if not fully adopting the suggestion.

But perhaps most significantly is how the advice is perceived in retrospect. I’ve many times ignored suggestions because I thought, “why would that be important?” only to experience a moderate failure and realize, “Oh! That’s why!” While I may have ignored that advice on the first round, it’s well appreciated afterwards.


-- A new version of the old adage - "Count twice, buy once."

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 4609 days

#13 posted 03-15-2012 04:44 PM

I just had this video link sent to me yesterday. I think it relates to the topic of giving/taking advice pretty well, especially the consequences of not taking advise from someone with more experience.

It’s a little long and starts a little slow but gets quite funny as it goes along. Warning: The language is only a little salty.

Misusing Dynamite in Spur, Texas

Anyway, it’s good for a laugh.

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow --

View KnickKnack's profile


1099 posts in 4810 days

#14 posted 03-15-2012 04:46 PM

I agree with you Jim – too often the answers aren’t given thanks, which is a shame, but seems to be a way of the (internet) world these days.
I would like to add one request, though, to you and all other responders – please don’t let those “bad apples” (if one could characterise them thus) dishearten you into stopping your valuable contributions – that would be but another flavour of what’s been going on elsewhere here recently.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4678 days

#15 posted 03-15-2012 04:48 PM

I’m with BarbS on this. It is a common courtesy to acknowledge the advice even if they don’t use it. Just a simple input saying “thank you for your advice” is all it takes and gives the advice giver the satisfaction that his advice, used or not, was appreciated.That will make him willing to offer advice to others.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

showing 1 through 15 of 193 replies

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