Lengthy rambling -- if you bore easy -- you might want to skip this one.
Someone once said --
If Americans REALLY wanted a simple to build - easy to maintain - durable - dependable automobile -- we would still be driving the Model T.
We say that is what we want -- but when we go shopping - we want speed - comfort - sound systems -- all kinds of bells and whistles - different sets for different folks -- but all - extras -- AND we want DIFFERENT ones every few years.
What brings that to mind in a ROUTER forum ?
The constant harping on the importance of keeping it simple
Which is NOT a bad idea
btw -- in woodworking - or in any part of life.
But -- when you get right down to it -- I doubt if any of us REALLY BELIEVES it 100% -
If we did -- we would just drill a hole in a scrap of 1/4" plywood - run some screws through our router base to hold it to the board and prop the whole thing on saw horses -- That's about as simple as you can get.
Heck -- you could argue that if you were SERIOUS about simple - you wouldnt be using a router at all - but a hand shaper and a drawknife.
We sure wouldnt be hanging out in a forum like this where so much of the talk is comparing the latest and greatest whizbang tool or method. Truth is
-- we like bells and whistles
We dont all like the same
ones and some like them more than others - but we all like them --
for some it's dust collectors
for some it's soft start this or variable speed that
for some it's inserts with fancy gimmicks for raising and lowering the router
for some it's fancy jigs and what nots
for some it's nice wood trim on the cabinetry
etc etc etc etc
What intrigues me is how so often - if the other fella's favorite set of bells and whistles are different from ours -- he is automatically wrong
and he needs to be reminded to - keep it simple
Back to my car analogy -- Which is 'simpler' -
an electric window - that I can open and close by simply pressing a button - but which relies on several support systems -- a motor - a battery - an alternator to keep the battery charged -- wiring - a switch
a hand crank -- that takes longer -- but relies on nothing but my arm and hand? You can make a case EITHER way.
A guy on one forum was concerned that his setup was 'ugly' or somehow not up to par because he had used rough simple materials he had on hand -
It wasn't --- it did what he wanted done in a way he was comfortable doing it --- that made it good -- for him.
Other people like to develop complex systems that to many of us make little or no sense -- BUT - -for THEM -- it accomplishes the job in a way that fits THEIR style. BOTH
people are - in their own way -- keeping it simple
Then there is the guy who spends hours trimming out his table with nice wood trim etc - To him - having something that is attractive - even decorative - in addition to being functional - is important - -and he finds using that type of tool more enjoyable -- and isn't enjoyment what it's all about anyway?
Who's to say he's wasting his time -- if he enjoys the time he is spending and finds the end result makes other projects more pleasant.
Admit it -- - appearance matters - on some level --
Tool makers know it -- or they wouldnt spend tons of money on cosmetics -- (like those gawdawful green slashes on Hitachi)
And there is NOT necessarily a conflict between appearance and functionality-
If you really think the two are in conflict -- look at some of the better of the early hand tools -- no one would deny they were meant to be above all else FUNCTIONAL - they were often the user's way of making a living --
but many of them were and are also works of - for lack of a better word - art with thier polished brass fittings and wood handles --
tend to be 'enthusiatic' about our favorite way of doing something --
or even MORE enthused about the new way we have just learned --
This is human nature - and it is good -
Another thing that is ALSO human nature but NOT as good -- is to conclude that because someone else is enthusiastic about something that we aren't -
one of us has to be right and the other wrong.
Please know I am NOT being critical of ANYONE -- I've learned something from almost every post I have read
Sometimes the guy who is the most adamant that his way is the way is the one who either convinces me to explore something new - or makes me think harder about why I do what I do.
and on things that I have enough background to have an opinion -- I am as opinionated as anyone.
So -- I guess - I am reminding myself -- that people can
disagree with me -- and sometimes
still be right-
And keeping it simple
-- for them -- MIGHT mean - getting on with the job the way THEY like to do it -- and not stopping to waste time trying to wrap their head around mine.
The congregation will now rise as we sing the first 20 verses of - - - -