The Slightly Confused Woodworker

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All work and no play

I always like to think there is a method to my madness, and this weekend that method will be revealed.

The ‘arctic blast’ is finally upon us, and now the lovely and oh so intelligent weather people are predicting that we may receive more than two feet of snow this coming weekend. A few weeks back I oiled and wrapped many of the woodworking tools I use most often to store them for the next few months until the cold weather breaks. The winter weather in my region is either cold, damp, or both, and even in my garage the woodworking tools tend to take a beating unless they are stored properly (which holds true no matter what the weather when it comes down to it). I used DampRid in my garage, which helps, but otherwise I need to keep those tools under wraps. But,

A few weeks back I did break out a few chisels to use for practicing dovetails, which I’ve been trying to do at least four nights per week. I’ll say two things about the whole ‘dovetail a day’ practice regimen: it is a good way to keep up your skills, and it is a good way to drive yourself crazy. I’ve said before that the worst things you can ever do as a hobbyist woodworker is build stuff you don’t need and practice stuff you’re never going to use. And for the record, I’m not averse to practice. For years I played music and I played baseball, two activities that require a large amount of practice to be any good.

So to my mind practicing dovetails solely for the sake of practicing them is not necessarily a good idea. So that is why I actually did have something in mind from the get-go, and it comes from the Paul Sellers web page.

Examples of dovetailed boxes…

Last month I watched a series of videos that Sellers presented detailing the construction of several different styles of small dovetailed boxes. The boxes are basically skill building projects, which is a good thing, but I can also use them, which makes them worth building. I have enough scrap laying around to build at least two of the boxes. Once could hold pencils, small fittings etc. And considering that I’m one of the few people (at least that I know) who still shines his shoes, the other box could hold my shoeshine brushes. An added bonus in all of this is that Sellers saws his dovetails ‘tails first’, so it will give me an excuse to work on that aspect as well.

So I’ll get to practice; make a few useful items, use up some scrap wood, and most importantly, have something to do while the temperature is frigid, the wind is howling, and there is two feet of snow on the ground.

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