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Some idiots never learn… But I try anyway.

have you ever thought back on your time as a woodworker on all the stuff that you've learned some of it probably the hard way and consider what if you were given the chance you'd share with your younger self it's a fascinating exercise that was suggested to me by a viewer and i've heard it in the past too and i think we could learn a lot if we share our thoughts in the comments below so please tell me what you would tell your younger self about this craft in the meantime i'm going to spend this video speaking directly to my younger self say 25 35 years ago that was when i was between the ages of around 8 to 18. it was during those years that i really started making things with wood and i had no idea what i didn't know so you can listen if you like hey younger jim how's it going i know you think school sucks and grown-ups are lame eight-year-old you is an embarrassment to me you think bullwinkle is a comedic genius frankly 18 year old you is kind of embarrassing i mean i still remember when you nearly peed yourself when your brother took that baseball square in the tenders at 18 really that's because you're an idiot it's not your fault your brain's still growing to fill that big hollow dome of yours but let's try to focus just for a couple minutes because we need to talk about your woodworking now you've made a few projects now and some of them aren't so bad that bookshelf you built that is sucker is like a tank i don't know how you're gonna think you're gonna get it up the stairs to your bedroom but it is definitely not gonna fall apart on the way up like that stool did so that's progress and it took a lot of patience to pull all those nails out of that old lumber that grandpa gave you and then re-straightening them with a hammer so you could use them to make something i know you did that out of necessity but really patience is also one of the fundamental skills every good woodworker needs never be in a rush that's how accidents and crappy projects happen you know how grandpa says sneak up on it that is the best bit of advice he's ever going to give you don't try to get the perfect fit on a single cut slowly work your way to it woodworking isn't about cutting and assembling a bunch of parts it's about properly fitting things together with patience and care i know that's hard to to grasp for the adolescent mind kids are always in a hurry but learn to slow things down when you work it'll make a world of difference all right time for some tough love i know you've been talking to grandma about getting some new tools on credit from our family's hardware store you think i don't know about that miter saw you've had your eye on they're my eyes too you know let me fill you in on what's going to happen you'll work all summer to pay for that thing and you're going to use it to make a total of two cuts because you don't build picture frames or use fancy moldings yet you see that's what happens when you buy tools because you saw them in a magazine or a new yankee workshop instead of because a project actually called for it in the next few years you're going to fall into that trap so many times you'll have a bunch of tools you'll hardly ever use and no money for wood a few years later i'm going to sell those like new tools in a yard sale and use the money to buy a pearl jam album so thanks for that my point is let the project dictate the tool purchases not the other way around and do you know what your tool purchase should be for your next project some safety gear i know you don't want to cover that handsome pimply face with a dust mask and grandpa says safety glasses are for sissies but dad literally sewed grandpa's nostril back on his face and believe it or not he had two thumbs when he was born so maybe he's not the safety expert you think he is i'm not so worried about you you're a perpetual embarrassment to me now i'm worried about myself i don't want to spend my twilight years with a seeping eye patch or endless ringing in my ears because you thought you were indestructible i'll tell you it's a shame they don't make isotunes back in your day you're probably thinking bluetooth means you have to cut back on the purplesaurus rex but these will someday change your life because you'll be listening to music which i know you like to do or what one day will be known as a podcast in the shop and you'll already have your headphones on when you go to turn on a tool and so you're more likely to be protected you won't even have to think about it oh and by the way someday when you have a youtube channel i don't know i know you don't know what that is yet but people are going to give you crap about music being a distraction while you're using something like a table saw don't bother mentioning how open heart surgeons jam out to heavy metal all the time just tell them there's a pause button on the side that's a few years off for you now for now get yourself a set of foam earplugs some safety glasses and a dust mask and stop trying to be cool because you're not chicks don't dig scars that come from stupidity i'm talking about that hand saw incident i still have the scar frankly i'm glad you won't have a table saw for another what is it 15 years or so you're still dumb enough to think you don't need a blade guard or a push stick because only dumb people get hurt i know you because i am you and i used to think paying close attention to what i was doing was all it took to keep my booger pickers attached you've already been hearing folks say things like respect the tool and know your limitations you know who says that really people who have no idea what their limitations are and who don't respect their tools enough to know you shouldn't strip off the safety gear there's no point in arguing with them or with you at your age but someday as you get deeper into this craft you're going to start meeting more and more woodworkers with mangled meat hooks who used to think it could never happen to them some of them will be true masters in this craft with 30 40 years of injury-free perfect experience right up until the day they found themselves sitting in the emergency room with a baggie full of iced fingers because believe it or not we are all humans even you and humans make mistakes no matter how careful we think we're always going to be that safety gear is there for when you eventually prove you are human too like that time you drove the dodge omni 80 miles an hour down i-75 in a blizzard with paradise city blasting on the radio when you stopped spinning into the medium you're glad you had that seatbelt on weren't you my point is it's one thing to think nothing will ever happen to you when you're young and stupid like you are now but don't grow up to be that arrogant who still thinks his skills can completely overcome human fallibility when he's old enough to know better speaking of wisdom from experience this one isn't strictly about woodworking but it's something you need to hear set aside some of that

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