This is about woodworking. You’ll just have to wait for it.
When I edit a book or a magazine article, I always feel shame during the process. Despite all the electronic tools available to me, I have to print the entire book at several stages of the process and work on what we call the “hard copy.”
It is a wasteful process. For example, Matt Bickford’s new book, “Mouldings in Practice,” is more than 250 pages. I think I’ve printed it out at least five times in the last six months. The printouts will get run through the printer again, and then they will be recycled. But still, that is a lot of paper, energy and waste.
I make these printouts because it helps my editing. Changing the format – from electronic to paper – makes me see the words differently. I always find things that I just couldn’t see on the screen. It could be the gestalt of the elements on the page. (You hear that Clem? He said “gestalt.”) I find things that don’t line up. I find enormous errors that I’ve been blind to for months – last night Megan Fitzpatrick (also a dirty paper waster) found a doosie in Matt’s book that everyone has been looking at for three months.
Plus I find more typos and little stuff. For me, paper is magic. I’ve tried changing the format to a tablet or a different computer, and it doesn’t help as much as printing the sucker out and going at it with a pen.
What does this have to do with woodworking? Lots. As I’ve mentioned before, “The map is not the territory.” Your scaled drawing is not the same thing as a full-size drawing, a mock-up or the real piece of furniture. You will see things – problems and triumphs – at every stage you choose to go through. But nothing – nothing – compares to the final product.
Which is why there are still typos in books after 20 people edit them. Because the territory is the territory. The book is the book. The secretary is the secretary.
— Christopher Schwarz