Not what you think it means…

I was talking about dumping conventions and preconceived notions.  What did you think I was talking about?  Maybe this?

But how this idea of going your own way appealed to me was that sometimes you just have to try things.  Maybe that’s because there isn’t really another option available, or perhaps it’s just a streak of cussedness that makes you want to be contrary to what everyone else says.  As long as it doesn’t involve uttering “Hey, y’all, watch this!”, you should be fine.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.  The literature says that, unlike the various hardwoods, you can’t scrape softwood.  The only thing you can do if it tears out is to break out the belt sander.  Well I recently had a problem with some quartersawn yellow pine that would not settle down.  It should have been fine, but it kept ripping up.


So I tried sharpening a fresh edge on my smooth plane and setting it as finely as I could.  No luck.  Then I tried to sharpen a small back bevel onto the iron.  No luck.  Now, some smarmy fellow is going to sneer “Well, that’s what happens when you use softwood”.

Choice words apply here.

Faced with having to sit and scrub a crater into my board with sandpaper, my eyes fell upon my card scraper.  I’d simply taken it as doctrine that softwood could not be scraped, up until now.  But with nothing to lose, I gave it a shot.


Ha!  I pulled shavings (not dust), and the gnarly spot was resolved in short order.  How about that?

So on occasion, you too might tell the powers that be that you’re off to Texas*.  You may be surprised at the results.


*coonskin cap not included.