They say ignorance is bliss. I guess, but I don’t know. When I find an area in which I’m ignorant I cure it as quickly as possible. Takes so little time and effort to sharpen it up so you’re not so dull. God help me, I find ignorance in others entertaining and amusing. I’m sure I’m going to go to hell for that foible. I’m not malicious about it, but I don’t think it’s very nice, even if people go out of their way to advertise their ignorance and boast about it.
I’m in the process of making a joiner’s mallet out of white oak. It’s hard wood, really hard wood, which makes it hard to work. Hard to cut, hard to plane, hard to shape. It will make a great mallet though. I’m using all hand tools to make this and it’s killing my back so I can only work on it about one quarter to a half hour at a time, once a day. At that rate they can use it to make my coffin when it’s finished me. What to do? Amazon to the rescue. They sell a mallet made in Sheffield, England that is traditional beech wood and beautifully made by a company that takes woodworking seriously. And it’s under twenty bucks to your door.
Some people go to the mall to watch people. I used to do that when I could tolerate a mall and people. Now I read Amazon product reviews and alternate between laughing MAO, saying Awww, and wondering where people so stupid found someone to write their idiot reviews for them. I like to read the one star ratings first because that’s where the boxes of hair hang out. My favorite was a guy who bought the joiner’s mallet, used it as a maul and broke it the first time he hit a heavy iron froe with it. Duh. I nearly wet myself laughing. He blamed the mallet for his stunning ignorance. You’ve got the links. All you have to do is click on them and read a little to banish ignorance.
I was amused to find how many people bought the mallet to crush ice for their mixed drinks. They were always happy and gave a good review. Go figure.
You wouldn’t believe the whining about the mallet coming unfinished. Under twenty bucks and they want an indentured servant to come with it to do all their woodworking for them while they, what, cursh ice?
Boo hoo, the handle is rough and hurts my hand.
Yes, but does it slip out of your hand? No? I wonder why.
The handle comes out of the mallet.
Yes, it’s designed with a tapered mortise so you can take the handle out and store both pieces in your tool box. No, you idiot! Don’t glue it. Use it properly.
The edges are sharp and hurt me.
You’re not supposed to hit yourself with the mallet. It’s for tapping chisels and tapping joints into place. What to do? You’re a woodworker for God’s sake. Use a plane and break the edges. Finish the mallet with your favorite oil. Use a spokeshave or card scraper to get the fit and finish that works for you. It’s a hand tool. Make it fit your hand. Work the wood!
If mine comes all finished and perfect I’m going to be crushed. I want to work the wood. I love working wood. I want to make it mine by personalizing it with the oil finish that will bring out the rich tones of the wood, make it more durable and generally enhance it’s beauty and functionality. I want to use a scraper to smooth any areas that are rougher than I’d like. Everything about which they complained are good things. Why complain? Ignorance. Will Strunk once said,
If you don’t know how to pronounce a word, say it loud. There’s no sense in adding inaudibility to ignorance.