No good deed goes unpunished …..

… and two good deeds can conspire against you.

Good deed #1: I completed the woodworking phase of a project over the weekend, in which I had badly banged up two chisels–close encounters with nails. I was expecting this, and was using my rough duty chisels (intended for nasty jobs like this), but the experience was too much even for them–large ugly nicks in what was left of the edges. So I carefully reground them, using a hand grinder so as not to overheat the steel and ruin its temper. I have a very nice tool rest for the grinder so this went OK. After grinding came the honing. Some effort on a coarse oilstone, then three diamond stones of successively finer grit, and the edges looked good.

Good deed #2: This morning our son James was a little late getting ready for school. In fact, mia_mcdavid and I realized that he would not get to the bus stop on time. Not being under severe time pressure I offered to drive him to school.

So….James is taking his own sweet time. I start the car, figuring I might as well warm it up while I wait. Then I get out of the car and go into the family work room. Looking at my workbench I wonder where I had put a couple small tools. I reach out to sort a small pile of stuff. Then …. a sudden pain in my thumb. I had touched one of my newly sharpened chisels. Yes, I did put a good edge on it….. Blood starts dripping out, and I think about going inside for a bandage. I open the door to the main body of the house….

….And there is James, putting his jacket on and finally ready to go! Well I hope the cut is not too bad. So I sigh, and we go back out to the car. I start driving, then look at my thumb: Big, and growing, drop of blood there. I take him to school, occasionally sucking the blood off my thumb, and otherwise pressing it tightly against the steering wheel. James being James, he probably did not notice anything. I was wondering if I would need stitches, but the bleeding did stop about 10 minutes after I dropped off James.

Much too exciting a way to verify my sharpening technique. Tonight in the shop: Blade guards for those chisels. Trivial (scraps of leather held on by rubber bands), but definitely worth doing.

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