09 April 2008

(Short) Train of Thought

Today as I walked to work I started thinking about Don, who is busy crafting the end pieces for the shelves in the AMBS Library. The panels in each end piece are supposed to be 1/2" thick, and Don is starting from 5/4" stock. Apart from being a handy example of why kids should learn common denominators and fraction subtraction, it got me to thinking about something else.

I thought to myself that when run a 5/4" thick plank of wood through a planer to remove 3/4" (see? fraction subtraction) from it, you don't set the planer to remove 3/4" all at once. Rather you set the planer to remove a little bit of wood and run the piece through several times.

Then I thought to myself that I knew that a person did not remove all 3/4" at once. How I know this I do not recall, precisely. Probably my father told me at some point. But the point is, I know it.

Then I thought about how difficult it would be for me, or for anyone, to convey to someone else everything I know. Sure there would be some obvious things, but some things I know, like the fact that you don't use a planer to remove 3/4" of wood from a plank in one pass, I cannot even conceive of remembering to convey. And most of the things I know are like that, I suspect. Where would a person even begin?

I know that when you use a planer to reduce the thickness of a plank of wood by more than, say 1/8", you make several passes removing a small amount of material each time rather than attempting to remove the total desired thickness in one pass.

There, I've started.

3 comments:

John David said...

A good argument in favor of mentoring. Whether it is a parent mentoring a child, an experienced professional mentoring a younger person in his or her field, or a Christian mentoring a new convert, there is a lot of knowledge that can be gleaned simply by exposure and "teachable moments." No one would tell you about planing unless they were teaching you how to do it or you just happened to be watching them do it, etc.

J. Blessinger said...

Did you learn it while making furniture in Parsons?

I'd have guessed you were going to use fractions to demonstrate the incredible waste of planing 5/4 down to 1/2. But no. You go a write a homily on the in-transferability of 25/33 of all epistemology.

J. Blessinger said...

Also, praytell, why on earth would anyone want to make their wood LESS thick? Who do you think you are? Glenn Rice?