The Blood Moon

Last weekend, I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the eclipse of the moon. Part of that event had the moon turning to a deep red color. For me, it was worth it — the whole event was both beautiful and a little bit spooky. If I was a wandering tribesman, as my Scottish ancestors were, I would have totally freaked out and probably come up with a superstition to explain the whole thing.

Speaking of superstitions to explain confusing events, in my opinion, there are a few that have a prominent place in woodworking. I am going to share a couple here. First, the smile/frown end grain glue-up pattern purported to keep plainsawn wood from distorting a panel. I know a lot of people believe it, and I did at one time, but I think it is mostly myth. Wood is either stable or it will move. Period. Second, always place your hand plane on your workbench on its side to protect the blade. But a wooden bench surface is not going to harm your plane iron.

Well, I hope I have poked the hornet’s nest a bit and got you thinking about woodworking myths. Let me know if you’ve got one to share, and if enough folks respond in kind, we’ll publish them as feedback next week.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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