Good Day in the Shop

Yesterday was frustrating, but it has passed.  Today was better.  I struggled to get going today, but when I finally decided it was time to do some woodworking, I was filled with optimism.  Today would be the day when I would try a two tailed half blind dovetail.  My last attempt, with just one tail, ended with tears.  Well not tears so much, but a shrug of the shoulders, as the front of the drawer was split because of my hubris.

My normal modus operandi would be to try the one tail again, and avenge my failure.  But I felt that I had learned from my mistake and was ready to move on.  I cut the tails first and tried to gert a really nice clean set.  I think I succeeded.  Then I marked the front of the drawer and went back down to the shop.

Donna said, “You did a nice job on the tails, now lets get to those half blind pins.”

Manfred chimed in, “I don’t think I will be much help, as you need a smaller chisel.  I suggest you call on Irwin.”

Irwin perked right up.  He is a 3/8 inch chisel, made by Irwin, and all the other tools have taken to calling him by his brand name.  He likes it, so there didn’t seem to be any reason to change.  Last week, he got a tune up, and thanked me for including him in the sharpeing session.  I like Irwin.  He was my first chisel and will always be special.  He knows that he can’t hold an sharp edge, quite as well, as Manfred or Donna, but he has a great attitude.

“I would love to help.”  He said, with a slight jump of excitement.

“You will be perfect for this job.  With that super sharp edge we gave you, I expect we should have great results.”

He agreed and took his place next to the vice.  The small Japanese hand saw helped by making a couple of quick diagonal cuts, then Irwin came into the game.  We really took our time and removed the waste, careful to leave a little bit extra past the line.  I have learned that it is better if the tails don’t quite fit in, the first try.  Then the chisels and I are able to pare off enough to get a good fit.  That was the case today.  As I expected, two tails is more time consuming than one tail.  It also provides more opportunities to screw up, so I would rate it a slightly more difficult task to complete.  When it was done, the fit was tight, the chisels and all the other tools, cheered at our success.  It was a good day in the shop.