A Woodworking Miracle

The crowd hushed as our hero announced that he would slay the beast.  They knew that the hero, though confident, wasn’t nearly as experienced as the others who had come before him.  All around there were murmers.  Mostly they wondered, could he win?

It just seemed so unlikely.  The sky started to cloud over and everyone felt this was the gods casting their own aspersions on the battle to come.  This caused more murmers from the crowd.  A woman fainted.  The previous year a confident young man had made a similar boast, and he had left the arena, with his feelings sorely hurt, after his failure.

He grabbed his weapons.  A try square hung from his belt, a marking gauge in his right hand, a pencil in his left, and several saws lay at his feet, and two chisels were held in a band across his chest.  The gates at the far end of the arena opened and out strode three pieces of hard maple, gnashing their teeth.  The hard maple quickly sized up their opponent and gave a collective scoff.

The hero circled to the left, as did the three pieces of hard maple.  The arena floor was dusty and as they moved clouds of shavings were kicked up, then suddenly is a flash, the hero grabbed one of the pieces of hard maple.  Quickly he used the marking guage and deftly drew two quick lines.  The crowd cheered.  A few moments later he had one of the other pieces and marked it as well.  The third piece retreated to the far edge of the arena.

The try square and the angle marking tool were used with the pencil and the first battle was won.  The hero quickly moved towards the spot with the saws and deftly cut into the first piece of hard maple.  It struggled but eventually gave in.  The second piece, looking defeated, put up very little fight.

With two tails cut, the hero grabbed one of the pieces and began chasing the third piece around the dusty arena floor.  After a brief chase the third piece became winded and soon was marked up.  A couple of quick angled cuts with the saws and the hero went to work with the chisels. 

When the half blind dovetail was cut, narry a sound could be heard from the crowd.  The hero took the first piece, with the tail, and inserted it into the third piece.  A collective groan from the crowd rose above the arena floor.  The joint was loose.  It didn’t fit.

The hero was dissappointed.  Perhaps he had been too agressive with the chisels.  It was so close.  The King stood and was about to give a thumbs down, which would banish the hero to a life of cost accountant, a fate worse than death, when the heavy thunder clouds parted ever so slightly.  A ray of sunshine piereced the dust and shown down onto the other piece of maple cowering by the side of the arena.

The hero jumped up, he ran across the arena and grabbed the other piece.  The crowd, many of whom had started to file out, hushed again.  All eyes were on him.  He slowly pushed the tail into the half blind piece.  It fit perfectly.  It was a woodworking miracle.  The crowd cheered and the King smiled.

Sadly this great point in history wasn’t captured by any cameras, as the batteries in the royal photographer were uncharged, and he had left the charger at his parents place.  Still, it was a great day, and will be remembered by all.

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