Visiting the Woodwright School
What an honor to participate in Roy Underhill's dovetail joinery class alongside my grandfather. These two men, who in different ways, have done a good deal to cultivate a love of woodworking, desire to learn, and willingness to work hard. I am especially thankful for my grandfather, who on numerous occasions took the time to teach me and encourage curiosity. One of the most precious gifts ever given to me.
I was encouraged to achieve functional pieces on the first try. The artistry will come in time, but I am glad to know that I can construct functional pieces straight away. The pain of practice is tempered a good deal by achieving a useful result straightaway. My wife needs a small box for her knitting supplies, and I need a new chest for my timber framing gear. I reckon those two projects will serve as decent exercises. Kill two boxes with one dovetail.
Roy introduced us to a couple of different methods of creating dovetail joints. His "gonzo" method in particular resonated well with me. In many ways it resembles the techniques that us French-scribe timber framers employ. Only a few, essential numbers are considered. Relationship and ratio drive decisions, not preconceived degrees or measurements. Wood pieces are laid upon each other, and their scribe lines inform the layout. Considering the French-scribe and "gonzo" methods in such a light, I imagine that Hunter S. Thompson would have enjoyed this approach to woodworking.