I Cheat At Everything

A few weekends ago I was lucky enough to attend the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event they Hosted at the 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. I was able to talk tools and woodworking with many old friends and I made some new ones too. An old friend I met there was Matt Kenney of Fine Woodworking. Matt was there for the magazine. He spent his time working behind a bench and chatting with people as they came by.
Matt chats with an attendee while cutting dovetails.
Apparently, after I left Matt was called out for Cheating by an event attendee. For, Matt had committed the infraction of using a paring guide while cleaning out the baseline of the tails he was cutting.

Cheating? No. As Matt told the event attendees, “There’s no such thing as cheating in Woodworking.” He does a great job of elaborating his point in a blog entry on the Fine Woodworking site.
Caught, red handed.
Cheating? Really? I don’t get the commenter. What makes woodworking so wonderful is that there’s no right way to do anything. From how we cut a dovetail to what joinery method we choose in the first place, there are almost as many ways to accomplish the task as there are woodworkers. I’d hate to hear what the commenter would say of my drawers, jointed with 5 mm Dominos. And yet, they somehow work wonderfully.

Thankfully, it’s not just me and Matt who think this of woodworking. From Todd Clippinger sharpening his scrapers with just a file to Shannon Rogers making everything by hand there is no correlation between the method a woodworker chooses and the results. Just practice the method with care and skill, and the results will be a wonderful piece.

Want to see Todd cheat? Check out how he sharpens his card scraper.

Do you folk cheat?