How to Fix a Book


“d” is Wrong. And Where’s segment “f”?

After over six years and umpteen thousand copies sold, sharp-eyed reader Bernie Vail noticed an error in the second illustration on page 102 in my book, The Perfect Edge, the Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers.

Now I know there are typos; we’ve found a couple and have had some pointed out. But they’re mostly minor things like commas, and such. And while I know that an errant comma can start a war or vacate a verdict, none of ours are that serious, I assure you. (Okay, I renamed Henry Bessemer “Charles” in the first edition but we changed it for the second printing. Sue me.) But this boo-boo renders that illustration useless.

So, what to do? Well, go get your copy of The Perfect Edge and a fine-point Sharpie (I used red), turn to page 102 and do as I did here:

Entries in Red Correct the Error

Entries in Red Correct the Error

That’s right, write in the book! It’s yours, after all, and if not you’ll be doing the owner a favor. You don’t even have to use red. In English: Arc “d” should end at the dashed line that denotes the back bevel. The arc that continues to the sole should be “f”, the clearance angle. We’re missing two arrowheads and an “f”. Make sense?

I hope you’ve not spent too many sleepless nights over the last six years wondering where the “f” is. I apologize for any confusion we may have caused. It’s still a pretty darned good book* and if you don’t have a copy I’d be happy to sell you one. I’ll even sign it for you (if you buy it here.)

Thanks Bernie!

*Unsolicited praise from one of my readers:
Wow! I must say that you have done a masterful job of tying together an enormous amount of technical data. Your sense of humor comes through as well without distracting from the flow. The book is also a visual treat — clear large images leave no doubt as to what you mean to illustrate. There is plenty of hard data to keep the controversies going. I think you have given a very balanced view of the great variety of methods available. In my opinion you have the absolute top book on the topic — period. Congratulations. — B.B.

About Ron Hock

Owner of HOCK TOOLS (.com) and author of "The Perfect Edge, the Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers"
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3 Responses to How to Fix a Book

  1. bgilstrap says:

    This is an example of how wonderful the Internet can be. The author of a great book isn’t shy about making it even better thanks to the help of a reader.

  2. Ron Hock says:

    The Internet and woodworkers make a great combo. Thanks!

  3. Paul Murphy says:

    I like practical ways of thinking. “Here is an error in the book. Correct it this way with a felt tip pen.”
    Every time I suggest a simple solution of this type in real life, it seems like somebody there is horrified that I would make any changes to the item.(Whatever it is) My standard reply is, “This isn’t the altar at The Vatican.”

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