Gwurst Started IT!
Gwurst started a forum about a tv cabinet that he is designing and building. Here is a fine example for all the newbies to see open source woodworking knowledge in action. His ideas of construction have changed dramatically. You can check it out here.
What I really want to feature here is joinery.
One intimidating factor of construction is the joinery. The thought of tackling all that traditional old world joinery can be a bit overwhelming.
It’s Pocket Science
Now I love traditional joinery and apply it as appropriate. But as it turns out, modern joinery such as pocket screws and biscuits are quite sufficient in many applications and very affordable.
Many beginning woodworkers have great ideas or desire to build a piece of furniture but procrastinate due to fear of the joinery aspect.
What I am suggesting here is that you should take a look at these methods as they do have a legitimate place in the furniture world.
Take a basic design like the entry table I built. I had to slam this thing out and I used pocket screws for attaching the apron to the legs. This allowed me to focus on the taper of the legs, top, and doing the finish. It is a light piece of furniture and with the appropriate length screws it will hold up for years. Total construction time for this was 10 hours from beginning to end in one day. It would have gone into a second day with M&T construction.
The set of modern furniture that I made is all biscuit and pocket screw joinery. These are very fast and reliable methods of joinery that I use as a professional, and I have to warranty my work.
Here are a few shots during the construction of the corner table with the insides exposed for you to see the joinery “secrets” that were employed.
The finished set can be seen in the projects gallery here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/3172
Set Yourself Free
There is no shame or embarrassment for using these methods. They are not cheating, they simply have not been around as long as dovetails or mortise and tenons. I think any historical craftsman with business sense would have recognized the benefit of the efficiency and would have used them appropriately, as well as modern glue.
By using pocket screws or biscuits you may focus on getting the project done and start understanding basic construction. With these methods the parts are cut to exact length, butt jointed and attached with the screws or biscuits.
With traditional joinery, extra length is figured for the tenon and much more labor and skill is required to make it all fit properly. Even with nice equipment this takes much longer.
I promise as you build some furniture and see results, you will not lose interest in learning the traditional methods. I still love traditional joinery myself.
Peace, Love, and Woodworking
-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com