Mar 21, 2010

Know-it-Awl Parents

Everything I needed to know about parenting I learned in Grade 11 Woodworking class. Things like:
-Measure twice, cut once
- Put away your tools when you're done
- Use the right tool for the job
- Once you start a cut, commit to it
- Wear your safety equipment - it looks cooler than a sawed off finger
- Cut a bit bigger than you think you'll need. You can always cut again later, but if you don't give yourself enough it's hard to add on again.
-The rough cuts are quick, but the quality is in the finishing
- Keep your tools sharp
- Go with the grain for a smooth finish; cut across the grain when you need to expose a rough edge.
- Use local, sustainably harvested wood (OK, Mr. Mills didn't say that in 1984, but he would have if he were still with us today)


  1. Doesn't point 6 directly contradict point 1?

  2. Craig, in the grand analagous scheme of things, hopefully our children will grow into that extra space we leave them, so we won't need to cut again.

    How's that for a save?

  3. hello Rick

    Shauna at Cap University gave me your blog information.
    not sure how to contact you other than leaving a post, so here goes.

    I'm a documentary filmmaker making a film on fatherhood and wouldlove to interview you if possible.

    Shauna mentioned you come to Vancouver on occassion. If you would be willing to be interviewed, would you please drop me a line at

    thanks so much

  4. What another great post, Rick!
    And it means more than you know, as you refer to my partner's late Uncle Jim (aka: Mr. Mills).
    Thank you.