The Good, The Bad and the Ugly


So this Cherry box I am making…

Here is a question: How do I know I am still an amateur woodworker?  The answer: Amateurs learn a skill until they can do it and professionals keep working at it until they can’t do it wrong. That is why I am making this box and will keep making pieces until I am happy that I am as close to ‘right first time every time’ as I can be. But then, as Salvador Dali said ‘Don’t worry about perfection – you will never reach it’.

Let’s look at one of the corner joints.  Right now, it is just press-fit together (not quite home), there is no glue yet and it looks reasonably good but wait…look at the bottom pin: Nice on the pin side (just!) but on the tail side there is a nice big shadow showing a gap.  The question is; What to do about it?  Being positive, it is the opportunity to practice a fix using a sliver of Cherry cut in the same orientation, inserted into the gap. On the negative it is an opportunity to practice some short Anglo-Saxon invective…

So what did I do wrong?  I cut the last two tails the following day after being interrupted. That gappy tail was my first cut of the day and that’s when it all turned to r%ts p!ss (as I believe folk say in less salubrious circles). Sigh.

More to follow as it comes together…Go on now; get back to your bench. More Dovetails! I am not doing this all on my own!

– Paul Mayon


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