I have been spending so much time working on my router table that I haven’t done any pure practicing. So I set a goal to cut two sets of dovetails. Previously I had cut a set of tails, but have been way too much of a Wimpy McWimperson to try the pins. I wanted to live with the joy of the tails for a while, before I had to face the cold hard reality that the pins and tails don’t really fit together that well.
Tonight reality slapped me around and called me a sissy. But that is ok, I needed it. The mental thrashing I took, from my poorly fitting joints, was somewhat motivating. When I cut the mortise and tenons, they weren’t pretty, but I practiced and they got better. I am confident that my dovetails will improve too. Were I to assess both sets, I would say I made a marginal improvement from the first to the second. The first pair was pretty loose, while the second was much tighter.
The wood is oak. I used my Japanese hand saws for the cuts. I think that the main issue was with the quality of my saw cuts, especially the angled ones. I have made a fair amount of straight cuts with my saws, and the angled cuts are of a higher difficulty level. Not as high a difficulty level as the triple salchow, but I digress. Of course, cutting dovetails by hand, isn’t a requirement for quality woodworking, but like the chisel work, I believe the skill will help me with my understanding of joints.
Before today I hadn’t thought about the pins and their relationship to the tails. It seems the tails need to be on the side of the drawer. If it were the pins on the side, I imagine the drawer would come apart. I enjoyed my dovetail practice and it might be nice to do a small drawer and somehow graft it onto my router table. Will it look out of place? Yes, probably, but I can live with that, if it actually works and can hold my router bits.
So tonight I practiced, I chose a skill, which I don’t have, and began to develop it. I believe that progress is to be celebrated. The imperfections that one creates along the way can be looked at lovingly, down the road, as sign posts on the journey taken.
On an unrelated note, my friend Steve is a financial backer of a band called, ‘Hello Dave’. They are really quite good and have recently released a video on the CMT website. Apparently, if enough people go to the site and listen to the video, it is possible, that it will get elevated to the status of being played on TV. Steve has been a good friend for a long time and he has put a great deal of time and energy into ‘Hello Dave’, and I wanted to take the opportunity to plug them. If you would like to help Steve and ‘Hello Dave’, to maybe have their dream come true, all you have to do is click on the link and give it a listen. I think you will enjoy it, and I would appreciate the help. http://bit.ly/94CrCi
-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com