I decided to combine two topics today because…. Because errr well…..Becasue I just felt like it.
Progress is slow but steady on the Two Hours a week student project. Once again, I am simply amazed at how much young men like using power tools. During the first part of the session he needed to drill a shallow, but accurate, hole so I suggested that he use the manual hand drill. You would have thought I asked him to hold a big fat spider! But later, when we did need to use the power drill, his face lit up like a boy who had just been given a pony. Any time we use hand tools, the eyes glaze over like I am about to give a lecture on life insurance. All my other students don’t use power tools and they are perfectly happy, why does electricity have such sway?
Speaking of power tools, when I was at the Art Fair last week, an older couple was admiring the “Chai-boy” and asking me questions about it. Out of the blue, the lady stated that since the piece was so well made, that it must have been completely made with power tools. But when I told them that a lot of hand tool work was required, their faces fell and they looked at me like I farted in a crowded elevator. What the?! Oh the times they are a changin’.
First time for everything
I normally use my router and a dovetail jig for dovetailing, but for my Hand Tool School homework, I decided to hand dovetail the drawer for scrap wood project. It took me almost 3 hours to dovetail all four sides and put the bottom in. For some reason I could not do each side in three and half minutes like Rob Cosman. (Be sure check out the amazing video).
They were not too hard to make and I guess with more practice it won’t take me as long. They aren’t perfect, but they are pretty good for the first time. Armed with my Robert Wearing “The Essential Woodworker” book, the steps were pretty easy to follow. I purposely did some extra steps mind you. I did not want fuzz and tear out from the fret saw, so I made the cuts like a first class saw cut. I think that made my first attempt look much better.
The next time I make a chest of drawers, I’ll still use my Dovetail Jig, but on small projects like this, I think I will use hand dovetails for that extra bit of the FbY craftmanship.
This is the basic shape of the hall table, without the drawer inserted and without the lower shelf. I am going to reduce the space between the top and the top of the drawer. The proportions just don’t look quite right to me. I used the “Golden Ratio” to layout the placement of the drawer, but it just doesn’t quite match my mental image.
More to come….