Saturday, March 1, 2008

You've GOT to be Kidding Me...

You will probably think that I'm rather strange for starting this post this way. I think that the Irish have a great pronunciation of the word "idiots". It comes out as "Eejits.." This post just makes me think "Eejits."

At the school where I teach my canoe building class, they have a pretty nice shop with a decent set of power tools and some hand tools. Maintenance is sort of hit-or-miss sometimes. Generally, the instructors keep the tools in good repair and replace things as necessary. I also take a class in fine furniture building as a student. When I arrived at class, my instructor recounted his arrival in the shop for his first class of the day.

Apparently, a student came into the shop to find this instructor in a state where the instructor wasn't sure if he should be laughing or crying.

Next to the bandsaw on the floor were several pieces of wood. (The picture a the top of the post is a bandsaw - not ours, but a similar tool.) They were off-cuts from the saw. The edges were black. Burnt, really. On the base of the saw there was a pile of blackened sawdust. Closer inspection showed that the blade that was in the saw was installed with the hook of the tooth pointing up. Anyone who knows anything - anything at all- about the tool, knows that the the hook points down towards the saw's table. Basically, the blade was installed upside down.

For those of you who think, "Yeah, so?", think on this - the last person to use the saw made multiple cuts. While they were using the saw, I'm sure they had to push much harder than normal. All the while they were "cutting" their stock, they had to have been generating a significant cloud of blue smoke, and perhaps making a nasty squealing noise. They were doing this in a room full of other students and an instructor. Nobody noticed?


Always know your tools. Know how to use them, and know how to maintain them. If you don't know - go learn!

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