How to Start a Woodworking Myth


There are such a lot of outdated wives’ tales in our craft that you might
write a whole e-book that lists and debunks them. College students
continually bombard me with them, and it makes me marvel: How do
these start?

After a slip of the tongue the opposite day, I feel I’ve a great

This week I’m assembling a Roman workbench and had a pair
woodworking buddies over as we drove within the three” tenons into the
benchtop and wedged them in place. The wedges had been large
slips of oak that I’d reduce earlier within the day.

The bizarre factor about my wedges was that they every had a skinny
layer of cork affixed to at least one edge.

“What’s the cork for?” one man requested.

“As a result of the highest is so moist and these tenons are so huge, the
springy cork will permit for some wooden motion with out the
wedges splitting the benchtop,” I replied.

I used to be, after all, joking. The cork was there as a result of it had
been caught to the piece of scrap I’d grabbed to make the
wedges. However the response from the opposite woodworkers was heads


Oh crap, I assumed. So I rapidly admitted that I used to be joking.
The knowledge was false. However my bullcrap had sounded good,
and that was the issue.

Numerous occasions, college students ask me “why” I’m doing a sure
operation. If I do know the reply I inform them. But when I don’t
know, I’m fast to say: “I don’t know.” However I do know a variety of
individuals who gained’t say “I don’t know,” and they also’ll generate a
logical however false response. Right here’s an instance that I’ve heard
first-hand many occasions:

Query: Why do you end either side of a tabletop?

Reply: To equalize the moisture alternate on each faces of the
board to forestall the board from warping.

The reply sounds cheap, but it surely’s utterly
the opposite of fact
. And so the data is absorbed by
the coed and handed on. And since the data sounds
logical, it’s nearly not possible to stamp out the falsehood,
particularly as soon as it’s written down.

So if you understand nothing, say nothing.

— Christopher Schwarz

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