Declining Digits

Declining Digits

“Where have all the fingers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the fingers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the fingers gone, gone to table saws everyone
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

I have a new hobby. Finger cutting. Okay, given the squeamish nature of some folks, and the opening lines of this post let me pause. I would like to say that I have never in my life cut myself with a power saw. I have all my fingers and no gruesome tales to spin here. Honestly.

That being said, my new hobby has my certain hazards that never existed with my other pastimes. Computing is a rather safe use of your free time. I have never, for instance, worried about safe mouse handling, or what horrible things I could do to myself if I left my attention drift.

August for me, was the month that I acquired a table saw. Life will never be the same. I now can demolish an unsuspecting piece of wood in a spectacular display of flying sawdust, whirling blades of carbide tipped steel and the added potential of severe bodily harm. All in the name of ‘fun’.

Is it dangerous? Absolutely, but so are many hobbies. Motorcycling, and then there’s…birdwatching? Okay I’m drawing a blank, but I know there are others like, shark petting or something. Sure it might not be as interesting as being a gongoozler, but it sure ranks at least second best.

What I find most rewarding is the potential. Potentially I could be building stuff. Currently I’ve spending most of time getting my shop setup. It’s very self serving at this point. I’ve only build a couple of items, but I’ve spend hours in the garage. I always feel busy, but I’m not sure how productive I’ve been. For instance I spent an entire afternoon pretending electricity was never invented, as I used a hand saw and chisels to make dovetails. After two hours I had chopped through an unreal amount of wood yet still unable to get a really clean fit. All the while an expensive dovetail jig sat weeping under my workbench. There is a whole branch of these fanatics in woodworking. They call themselves hand tool users. It’s like a freaking Neanderthal cult.

It’s that sort of total time sucking ability that really draws me to woodworking. It takes time to plan, design and then build jigs to help you build the real stuff you intend to build. Honest, this is a normal woodworking practice. I’ve spent my last two weekends building jigs for my table saw. These are setups that help me do things like, cut clean 45 degree angles, crosscuts, splines and other exciting ways to cut away at your expensive planks of wood. It’s like hanging out with your doddering grandpa for the whole day. I’m totally loving it. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to go and wax my table saw.

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