When The Light Goes On

I recently had one of those moments when the light suddenly goes on and I finally understand. I get it! Now it makes perfect sense. I donít know why I didnít see it sooner. Well DUHHH! What an idiot Iíve been.

Folks had been raving to me about a particular item and I just couldnít see the value in it. It made no sense to me and surely it wouldnít work better than the way I was already doing it. Then someone close to me took the time to make me actually watch and listen. I felt like an idiot, really. My understanding was 100% backwards. No wonder I didnít like it; I didnít understand it. Now I do and I love it! Iím going to do it that way because it is so much better than the way I was doing it before.

Many things in life are like that. I see this all the time these days in turning wood. With the advent of carbide scraping tools, folks get used to roughing down a spindle or a bowl with a square edged scraper. Carbide tools make getting started turning very quick and easy. Beginners can do a respectable job scraping so they get used to it. Then someone takes the time to introduce a properly ground and shaped High Speed Steel (HSS) spindle roughing gouge or a properly sharpened bowl gouge and they are amazed at the difference. Learning to sharpen HSS tools is a skill worth learning.

Cuts are cleaner, require less effort, donít tear up the wood and make dramatically less noise. What a difference in technique. Slicing wood is better than scraping wood 7 days a week. There are times when scraping is the best method such as certain hollowing cuts, or final finishing cuts for a bowl, but whenever it is possible to cut you will almost always get a better result with less effort.

Skew chisels are a prime example of this phenomenon. A skew is one of the most useful lathe tools of all time. It can also be one of the most frustrating. The key is in understanding bevel contact. As long as you donít lose that contact you will never get a catch while using the skew and it can make certain cuts much better than most other tools.

Iíve told this story before so here is the Readerís Digest Version. I was at a wood show and a customer who had driven 2 hours just to see me asked me to teach him to use the skew chisel. I couldnít because I hadnít taken the time to learn it myself. I went home and made myself understand the skew until the light went on and I finally understood how skews work. Donít get me wrong, it took more than a few minutes and more than one Band-Aid. But with the help of good old YouTube and five or six 2X4ís I figured it out. It was well wort the effort and now I love using skew chisels.

Is there something you canít see, donít understand, doesnít make sense (insert political joke here)? Keep after it until the light goes on. It will be well worth your time and effort because wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this weekís message:

Acts 9:18 KJV
And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

John 9:25 The Message Bible
He replied, "I know nothing about that one way or the other. But I know one thing for sure: I was blind . . . I now see."



This Week's Sale

Memorial Day Sale 2016

Memorial Day is Monday 30, 2016

In appreciation for all of those who served and gave all, we are having a site wide 20% off sale, your choice.

This sale is valid through Tuesday June 1st, 2016

New Item!

Edge Lit Signs


I am also taking this opportunity to introduce a new product line. I made a bunch of them for my own use and got so many comments on these signs out on the show circuit that I decided to offer them to my loyal customers as well.

These signs are clear acrylic with very bright LED's along one edge which make the message glow like NEON!

Perfect for display on mantles, desks, shelves, wherever you celebrate service. These are suitable for commercial applications as well as retail, craft fairs (electricity needed)

I think it is appropriate to offer seals for the major branches of military service for this Memorial Day introduction especially at 20% off regular retail prices.

Click HERE for more information

If you are interested in something special, I can probably make it just for you at very reasonable prices.

Drop me a note HERE

A Few Still Left

Amazing Flat Compass $10 ea.

I have a limited supply of these handy items. I am discontinuing them for now. This is a close out price.

More info HERE


In case you didn't already know, I have posted tons of "Free Download" stuff on my web site.

"Free Downloads HERE"

Including Bottle Stopper Designs - 50 Plus classic designs. Free PDF