Many know the proverb about pride and falling. Let me say that it is applicable in the realm of woodworking, too. As someone who has spent thousands of hours woodworking in my life, I have come to consider myself very skilled. And sometimes (recently in fact) that hubris leads to problems that puncture my ego quite effectively.
A short while ago, I was chopping some mortises through the face of a soft maple board. I used a mortising machine outfitted with a 1/2″ hollow mortising chisel. The catch was that I needed the mortise to be 3/4″ square. Rather than change over to a 3/4″ hollow chisel, I decided just to chop away with the smaller chisel. That was a mistake. Despite my exalted skill level, the laws of physics are immutable. The mortises were inconsistent and amateurishly executed. A sharp bench chisel, elbow grease and a blue cloud of blue words cleaned up the mistakes.
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal
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