Sharpen This, Part 10: Oh, Stewardess! I Speak Jive


Some days I wish there were a Google Translate filter for woodworking forums and podcasts. It would allow people to understand what is really being said. Below are some actual quotes I’ve heard through the years and my rough translation of them.

Statement: “As soon as you pick up a hand tool you are losing money.”

Translation: “I can’t sharpen.”

Statement: “Some of my students went down the hand-tool route and became frustrated when the tools didn’t do what was promised.”

Translation: “I cannot sharpen, and I encourage my students to skip it.”

“With reverent pause, I turn on the switch
And submit to the roar and the sounds that bewitch.
Abrasion, vibration, my only sensations
My art I pursue of instant creations.”

Translation: “I can’t sharpen or write poetry.”

Statement: “To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

Translation: “Wanna find out if I can sharpen, whale?”

Statement: “When tools were rude, great precision and nicety of finish could not be expected. To return to the crude joints of our ancestors would be a distinctly retrograde move.”

Translation: “I cuddle with my Kreg Jig.”

Statement: “Let machinery be honest – and make its own machine buildings and its own machine furniture; let it make its chairs and tables of stamped aluminum if it likes: Why not?”

Translation: “Sharpen this.”

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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