Today I was part of a discussion with a group of woodworkers with varied woodworking backgrounds. There were furniture makers, timber framers, finish carpenters and luthiers gathered in a back room discussing the attributes of hand planes that we liked. The conversation was quite spirited at times and at some points it got downright goofy. Discussions of plane weights, styles and blade materials where flying around the room like a forum discussion on the advantages of adding ground unicorn horn to PVA glue to make it a better gap-filler. Except this was a group of real life woodworkers with years of real experience talking face to face not like forums where .... oh never mind.
At one point the conversation zeroed in on knobs. Do you like tall knobs or short ones? Is there room in the world for mushroom-shaped knobs? Why is Vic such a knob? I found out that a friend of mine actually uses the knob on a rebate plane while creating the joint. Seriously? I never use the knob...in fact I don't even know where the knob of my rebate plane is at the moment because my left hand is too busy putting pressure on the the fence to help ensure an accurate cut.
So what do you do when you find out that a friend and respected woodworker holds on to the knob of his rebate plane?
There is nothing wrong with it. To quote Andrew 'My kung-fu is different than your kung-fu....it's still kung-fu'. He's absolutely right and I wish more of the woodworking world (and world in general) got this concept. Being in that group today reminded me that even though we had differing opinions about how we do the wood thing, we always agreed on the fundamentals. You can't take a fine shaving with a dull blade, cambered blades on bench planes are clutch and no woodworker worth their salt would ever cut pins first. (I'm only part joking about the last one) We had great discussions about some of the finer points of hand plane use and there wasn't a single Donny Brook because when it came down to fundamentals, we all got it.
Sometimes discussing how many angels can dance on the head of pin can be fun...maybe the key is being face to face...
...and before someone commments....I did spell rebate correctly...right GH? (winks)
In order to understand, you must do.