Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I bought a new bookcase yesterday, put it up today. Looks pretty good. It came in pieces so it was up to yours truly to put the thing together.

I did woodwork in High School. I can honestly say it has never been of any practical use in my life, ever. And I've made wooden models of ships.

One thing that made woodwork so useless was that the woodwork teachers insisted that you use handtools for everything, and that nails were strictly verboten. Have they not heard of the industrial revolution? Who hand saws, hand drills and hand sandpapers anything these days? If you needed to join two pieces of wood you built a type of join, then you glued it, clamped it and screwed it. Now, who the hell makes a dovetail join in the real world? Cabinetmakers, and when was the last time you saw a job advertised for one of them?

So I put the bookcase together. The only tools required, an allen key and a hammer. I never saw an allen key in woodwork class, that's for sure.

If you want to teach teenage boys useful, practical construction skills, forget woodwork.

Introduce IKEA assembly. Because that's the closest most will come to woodwork for the next 50 years.


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