Monday, January 14, 2013

The more I learn...

.....the more I realize how very little I know.

In my two most recent posts, readers corrected me on a few points. As well they should.

Point one: when viewing the side of a handplane, the grain should run downhill from toe to heel.
Point two: always use quartersawn stock when making a handplane if you want to avoid seasonal movement (across the width).
Point three: blokschaafs do not have horns. (Hence the name change to my project)

This got me thinking about whether or not I should write about my handplane project since I am not an expert and might mislead someone who is thinking about making a plane.

And then I remembered a conversation that went around the blogosphere many months ago about the misinformation that is sometimes provided to the public through blogs, podcasts, and other venues that are used by those of us who are not professionals.

I mainly steered clear of that conversation because I believe that both sides of the argument are correct: yes, there is misinformation "out there" and yes, non-professional woodworkers do provide a worthwhile service to our community. If nothing else, we keep the conversation going.

I have been called out on a couple other occasions and because of that and other suggestions from readers, I've altered a few ways I do things in woodworking. And I'm grateful for it. I do not have a big ego and welcome criticism.

Writing this blog has made me a better woodworker. You guys have kept me on my toes and your support, advice, and enthusiasm have been the catalysts that have prodded me to try new things. I never would have made a number of things in the last five years if not for you.

Folks over the years have emailed and said very nice things about my blog. Their perception is that I give a lot to the community. The reality is I get a lot from the community—friendship, knowledge, advice, and encouragement.

So for selfish reasons, I'll keep blogging.

And now, here is a picture of my dog in order to make an otherwise dreary blog post a little more "Rosie."


Robin Wood said...

keep blogging Kari, the only way to avoid mistakes is to do and write nothing. It's so much easier to pick faults in what others do but truth is none of us are perfect and I don't think there is any difference between a dedicated amateur who after all has the luxury of time to research and do things right, compared to a profesional for whom time is money.

Sgt42RHR said...

Kari, we learn from experience--our successes and our mistakes. When we share our reflections on either of these outcomes, it benefits those with whom we share and contributes to our own learning as well.

Kees said...

I check in often to read your blog, like it a lot. So I am glad I could educate you a little bit about European planes :-)

Bob Newmyer said...

Information is important, but the truly rare thing is to inspire and motivate others to find their own answers. You do that. For me the "Why" matters as much as the "How" and you provide both.

Ethan said...

Rosie is adorable.

Also, keep writing. You inspire.

Vic Hubbard said...

I agree, Kari. It's the feedback in the form of constructive criticism that makes blogging worthwhile for me. I learned so much from my woodworking compadres. Not having time and easy access to hands on training are what make blogs like your?s and so many others so valuable to me. I think most of us know that each person is on their own journey and and doing the best work they can within the boundary of their current knowledge. Thank god, I don't have to only rely on my own knowledge! Hug Rosie!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog very much and I believe there is an important role for non-professionals writing about their experience. It is their experience that other non-professionals can most identify with. To me, the most important thing is being up front about your experience. Kari, you do a great job with being humble, being upfront and providing a great insight.

Doug said...

You present great information and often share what you learn from others. In my opinion this is the best the web has to offer.

There are those who write as "know-it-alls" and those like you who share their love and passion and love to hear about others love and passion.

Illegitimi non carborundum!


EestiBear said...

Please continue your blogging Kari! I very much enjoy your blog, and think that blogs are a tremendous inspiration to all of us. Feedback is a great way to continue learning and growing. Every time I do a woodturning demo I try to learn as much as the people I demo for.

To quote Jogge Sundqvist "Continuato creatsio! -- Continuous creation"

xoney said...

Please keep going! I've learned a lot from your blog, and your images and descriptions are very well thought through...thanks!

Kari Hultman said...

Thank you, guys. :o)

Philip Edwards (Philly Planes) had this to say on my facebook page, "You can read until your teeth fall out, it is having a go that makes the difference."

Jason C said...

Please keep blogging. I read a lot of woodworking blogs, but I can honestly say I look ward to yours the most.

You seem to always be advancing your skills and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. This alone has caused me to do the same and my skills have jumped by leaps and bounds over the past year because of you. Thank you!

Martin Schwarz said...

What I've learned from all the blogs I'm reading is that it's a two way street, an exchange of information. I think as many bloggers get information from their efforts as much as dispense it.

I have a pretty long list of woodworking blogs in my "favorites" list. Every night I make the rounds of several of them. There are some I check every day and some not. This is one on the every day list.

Admittedly, there are some blogs I visit so I can shake my head and say, "What is s/he thinking?!" Those blogs are as important to the community as those that have great and valuable information. This is not a headshaking blog.

Keep it up, Kari. I'm sure there have been instances where you had a "I didn't think of that!" moment and I've picked some bits from you as well.

Byrdie or ... the other Schwarz.

Anonymous said...

Keep on woodworking, blogging and learning, and through that process, we all benefit. Your missteps were acknowledged and corrected within days; thoroughly explained and detailed. Do you think professional journalists, in particular the press, can make this claim?

Jozef BABJAK said...

I personally appreciate the human aspect of your blog so much. Just be yourself and keep going.

Kari Hultman said...

Thank you all for the kind words. :o)

I didn't mean to give the impression that I was going to quit blogging altogether—only that I was wondering about this particular project. But seeing as how you guys don't mind my errors, it's on with the show!

Antti Nannimus said...


What? You made an error (according to someone)? Someone was wrong on the Internet? Okay, well then that's it. I'm turning this thing off for good now.

Have a nice day,

Jozef BABJAK said...

An expert is someone who already did any possible error in the domain. Or do you think that Christopher never ever had any gaps on his tenons? :-)

The Village Idiot said...

Don't think for a second that pros in any field don't mispeak or make mistakes. Also, somtimes they aren't mistakes, but different ways of doing or seeing something. How many times have we seen pros not agree on something? You do excellent work in all your endeavors, you're a good person and friend.

The Village Idiot

George J Constance, Jr. said...

Nothing dreary about your posts! I'm always amazed at your tenacity. You'll conquer any project.

Love the dog. Looks like a Westie. I had one years ago in NOLA. Ole boy lived 16.5 years.

Kari Hultman said...

Oh I'm sure I'll make more mistakes on this project, especially since I've never built a horned plane before. I'm not the least bit afraid to mess up a project; I just don't want to help someone else make the same mistake(s).

Scott--we need to get together for dinner with you guys. Wanna go see The Hobbit with me this Saturday?? "Someone" in this house is not interested.

Thanks, George. Rosie is a Cairn terrier (which is the same as a Westie, only a different color). I hope our little girl lives as long as your boy. She's 11.

Mark Hochstein said...

Yes Kari, we all make mistakes - if you ever wonder about that just take a look at the latest goof-up from Fine Woodworking over their plane re-hab article. It happens. We learn more and that makes us better bloggers. Keep up the great work!

Kari Hultman said...

What was the mistake, Mark? I haven't seen the issue.

Adrian Sims said...

Love the pic your dog, certainly made me smile. If you're not making mistakes then you're not learning and moving forward. Love the blog, please keep writing.


PS Really nice photos too!