You know the scene in Star Wars: Episode 4 when Luke Skywalker is flying in the trench to destroy the Death Star and he hears the voice of Obi Wan telling him to turn off his tracking computer and just take the shot using his instincts? I kind of feel like Luke right now.
I love measuring devices. Occupational hazzard I guess. Layout and Marking tools are probably my favorite things to browse through in any store or catalog. Even my 6 year old Nephew this last christmas, when given $1 to buy something for his Uncle at the dollar store and free choice of what to pick out, got me a protractor. One of the last posts in my workbench progress was about how I spent several hours marking out all the legs and making sure I got all the joints pointed in the right direction because if I screw it up I have to wait quite a while for pieces that size to dry out enough to work with.
So now, I get to the stretchers and I start to hear that voice i my head… “Use the Force!”. At this point in my woodworking education I have started to read enough stuff and realize that I need to hide my rulers from myself and mark things off from the project. When trying to figure out how to make the tenons on the stretchers I realized I need to wait until I make the mortises so I can transfer the marks and they will match. This goes counter to everything I do for a living where, as long as each part is made correctly according to my drawings, the parts go together. This is kind of a mental shift for me.
As I pick through my layout tools I hear that voice again… “Put down your ruler”. I am also trying to teach myself to cut dovetails and I am doing ok I guess. When I started I made sure to lay everything out nice and perfect as well as I could. I still transferred the pins onto the tails like you should but everything looked too perfect. I figured if I was going to do all that I may as well use a router. So I put away my sliding bevel and just did the layout by hand and while my joints don’t fit any better I think they look better because they have a slight inconsistency that looks handmade. Once I get them to fit tight (without splitting the wood) they will look great.
I am also planning some cabinets someday and I have read enough to know that I need to mark my drawers from the frames so I shouldnt go and build all my drawers in advance. Some projects I read it seems like people have no idea what size anything is. They just use story sticks and dividers for proportions and everything looks beautiful and fits perfectly even though not a single ruler was harmed during the making of their project.
So we’ll see. My workbench project is on hold while I close and move into my new home and then move all my tools into my new space and get everything setup enough to work. But when I do get started again I think I will learn to use the force.
-- Good Judgement Comes From Experience. Experience Comes From Bad Judgement.