A few years ago a contributor to Fine Woodworking, Jeff Miller, made a horrendous blunder in stating that in-line tenons were commonly used in chair making by furniture makers because they were stronger. His assertion was untrue, and I felt I needed to help balance out the issue at the time. It’s this kind of flawed comment that shapes people’s thinking in the wrong way. From time to time I feel it is important I take points like this to task. The strength factor he presented as a logical fact was so marginal it was inconsequential to the whole but the methodology and logic!!!?? Aargh! His methodology and contribution actually increased the complexity over that of developing simple angled tenons and shoulder lines. But then I thought it was funny here a couple of months ago when he came up with a new article stating the exact opposite. This time he compounded (pun intended) the failure by spending hours making his not-so-simple “simple jig” to use a power router to put shoulders onto the angled tenons he was previously steering people away from.
He made out that it makes the complexities of angled tenon cutting simple when the angled tenons are not in the least complex or difficult to cut by hand and are simple to do until he comes along expounding on his complex jig-build. To the uninitiated, good writers have a way with words. They can indeed make the simple things woodworkers have done for centuries seem, well, just plain complicated. Rarely can they deal with their inherent ability to create ever more confusion and difficulty.
Review what comes into your mind and try to filter out what often informs your decision making. It is worth considering whether something someone says is simple really is.