Woodworking Chat on Twitter

I cut a couple of more practice dovetails tonight.

My Japanese hand saw cuts are easier now, in part, because of the practice, and also because I think the saw has been used enough that it is ‘broken in’.  The saw cuts for the tails were the closest I had tried to the lines.  I have been giving myself a wide berth and then using the chisel to pare down the excess.  This of course adds time to the process, but means I won’t go over the line accidentally, so it let me have some success.

If I want to become good at these hand cut dovetails, then I need to get brave and make the cut as it is supposed to be made.  And you know what?  It worked.  When the waste was removed and I slid the the tail into the pins, a strange thing happened.  From above me, the ceiling seemed to open, and a bright light shone down upon my joint, angels were  singing, and the joints went together.  I held the snugly fitting joint up to the light, to look for gaps.  The joint wasn’t perfect, so the light disappeared, the angels stopped singing, and I head a voice, “Eh, you almost nailed it.  Better luck next time, Bub.”

It was true, they weren’t perfect.  But they were pretty close, and the gaps can be fixed.  A little paring here and there, and they will be just fine.  I spent a lot of time just standing and looking at the fit.  Turning it over in my hand.  I haven’t cut too many sets yet, but the ones I am now making are serviceable.  They aren’t like the ones that are in the woodworking magazines, but they are good enough that I like them.

Last night on Twitter, a bunch of woodworkers were hanging out and chatting.  Twitter allows one to use a ‘hashtag’, which is a pound sign.  The tag for last nights discussion was #woodchat.  It was started by someone last week, so yesterday’s chat was the 2nd one.  At 8:00, someone asked, in under 140 characters, a question for discussion.  The general topic last night was ‘going pro’ and a number of woodworkers who make their living in their shops, answered questions from those of us who don’t.

I am not sure how many people exactly were participating, as the tweets fly by fairly quickly, but I would guess there were 15.  I believe there were three ‘Pros’.  I am miles away from making furniture, let alone making it for a living, but it was still very interesting.  I was curious about the education that they had.  One pro, Adam King, of (@AdamKingStudio), who I have followed for a while on twitter, said he was an avid woodworker for 8 years before he went to school for a couple of years.  He went pro after 10 years of woodworking. http://www.adamkingstudio.com, is the link to his website.  I encourage you to check it out, for a couple of reasons.  His work is first rate.  His site design is also wonderful.  And if you have a twitter account, you should follow him too, as he is incredibly friendly.

If you are on Twitter, please stop by at 8:00 Central time, on Wednesday, for the next #Woodchat.  It is fun.  Also, if you are on Twitter, you can find me @ExtremelyAvg.  Look me up, I would love to talk with anyone who reads my daily missives.  You can even mock me if you like.  I do love a good mocking.  Until tomorrow, take care.

11 comments
Adam King
Adam King

You're too kind sir. I'm glad you were able to be at #woodchat.

The process you described for your dovetails is what it takes to become very intimate with the joint and how it works/doesn't work with certain materials. Study each saw cut, each paring of the chisel, and each mistake. These are your greatest teachers, so that one day, all of a sudden it all comes together with no gaps!

Keep it up.

Adam King
Adam King

You're too kind sir. I'm glad you were able to be at #woodchat.

The process you described for your dovetails is what it takes to become very intimate with the joint and how it works/doesn't work with certain materials. Study each saw cut, each paring of the chisel, and each mistake. These are your greatest teachers, so that one day, all of a sudden it all comes together with no gaps!

Keep it up.

OutPutter
OutPutter

Hi Brian,
I want to see the joint after the first dry assembly before anything is done because I'm confused. When my joints fit together, unless I've pounded them together with a 3 lb. sledge (which I've done on occasion), there is no more paring to do because at that point paring can only make it looser. Right?

BTW, (sure sign of a mocking on the way), I used to feel an urge to correct your typos and there/their type transpositions (because I care) but now I really get a laugh out of most of them. Take the angels for example. They weren't making a beautiful noise - singing - they were using, apparently, inter-dimensional sign language. Twice. LOL I like to think you do some of these things on purpose just to twist the mental images we get while reading your blog. Too funny.

Jim
12

OutPutter
OutPutter

Hi Brian,
I want to see the joint after the first dry assembly before anything is done because I'm confused. When my joints fit together, unless I've pounded them together with a 3 lb. sledge (which I've done on occasion), there is no more paring to do because at that point paring can only make it looser. Right?

BTW, (sure sign of a mocking on the way), I used to feel an urge to correct your typos and there/their type transpositions (because I care) but now I really get a laugh out of most of them. Take the angels for example. They weren't making a beautiful noise - singing - they were using, apparently, inter-dimensional sign language. Twice. LOL I like to think you do some of these things on purpose just to twist the mental images we get while reading your blog. Too funny.

Jim
12

Torch02
Torch02

How about some pictures of the joint assembled? It can't be any worse than the gouged joint I posted a few months ago ;-)

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Thanks Adam. I am sure you are right. I feel I am improving and the problems I had a few weeks ago, have been replaced my less severe issues. Each gap or bad cut does make me a little bit smarter.

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Thanks Adam. I am sure you are right. I feel I am improving and the problems I had a few weeks ago, have been replaced my less severe issues. Each gap or bad cut does make me a little bit smarter.

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Yes, you are right, they fit really well now, but after I correct the slight imperfections, the tails will become slightly more proud, and as such, fit just a little bit less well. You are always welcome to point out typos. I didn't see the sing vs sign typo. Admittedly, some nights I proof read, other I don't. Even when I do reread it, I still miss some. So you may always feel free to point them out. :-)

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Yes, you are right, they fit really well now, but after I correct the slight imperfections, the tails will become slightly more proud, and as such, fit just a little bit less well. You are always welcome to point out typos. I didn't see the sing vs sign typo. Admittedly, some nights I proof read, other I don't. Even when I do reread it, I still miss some. So you may always feel free to point them out. :-)

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

They pretty much look like the last set I did. So I didn't think anyone would be interested. I guess I was wrong. I will take some tonight. They are fair, but as Outputter points out, they will loosen up when I fix the gaps.

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

They pretty much look like the last set I did. So I didn't think anyone would be interested. I guess I was wrong. I will take some tonight. They are fair, but as Outputter points out, they will loosen up when I fix the gaps.