Dovetailed box

This is the first project that came off the D4 dovetail jig. In the manual that comes with the jig, they take you through a practice run on the jig by creating a small box with through dovetails.

I decided to take it a step further. I added a chamfer on the top, a divider in the middle, and a bottom set in a groove on all four sides. It was a fun, quick project that came out much better than I had expected. I added four stick-on feet to the bottom, and today it serves as a remote caddy for my father.

The box is made out of poplar and finished with a pecan stain and a few coats of shellac. I can’t remember the measurements, its been a long time. One of these days, I should make one for myself.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Lyme Woodworking

I’ve been absent from posting for a while now. I had a recent flare up from Lyme Disease…nasty little bacteria.

After some more anti-biotics, I’m feeling much better. It’s a constant battle that hopefully will go away for good sometime soon.

Its quite difficult sometimes to get through projects when a certain technique can put you out of commission. Sharpening my scrapers did this to me onetime.

I would love to try and use some hand planes to surface a ruff sawn board down to final dimension, however I am not sure what kind of physical pain this will cause me.

I always had an attitude toward athletes when they wouldn’t play through injury, thinking that they were soft or weak. Now I have a feeling I know what that is like. It’s very frustrating to know that you have to hold back when your entire life you’ve had this internal drive to keep pushing on.

Woodworking has become a challenge for me in a way I never thought it would. I’m sure there are others out there like me, and I empathize with them.

I leave them with this one inspiring thought. Many Woodworkers may build the exact same project, and they all may come out looking the same, however yours is of greater value because of what you had to endure and overcome.


Guilty Woodworking

The D4 is the driving force for this post.

The D4 was one of those purchases that came as a result of watching The New Yankee Workshop. Watching Norm cut beautiful dovetails with ease definitely had an affect on me.

It was a huge shock when I saw the price of the D4. However, for some reason, I knew I had to have it. So I saved up the cash I needed to get it. After all, at the time, I knew of no other way to cut dovetails, and I knew I wanted to cut them.

So even to this day, many years later, I have to use this jig. Not because I love using it, but because I feel so much guilt over not using it.

As a result, I try to incorporate dovetails into just about every project, just to get my money’s worth.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the results I get with the jig. Take a look at the banner photo at the top of the main page of this blog. Those dovetails were made with the D4.

So, I have this conflict inside of me that wants to experience the romanticism of hand cutting dovetails, but I’m afraid if I do that, I’ll fall too much in love with it and never go back to the D4.

I have other tools that don’t get used as much as I had intended when I bought them. Some of them only come out once in a while, and when they do, they perform their task well. Ok, maybe not that sign making jig from MLCS.

It’s the expensive items I guess that give me the motivational guilt to use them. I don’t like to use biscuits often in my projects, but I feel I need to at some point to justify buying the biggest bad boy on the market. Every woodworking mag gave it the highest reviews, so naturally I had to go for the high end of the biscuit joiner market. Now I can’t not use it.

Usually I work it into table projects as locations on aprons to attach buttons to secure the top. I tried to use biscuits for joinery once. Never again. They just couldn’t hold up to the stress put on the joint. Granted I used them to attach the legs to a post for a baseball tee, but the batter was only 2 years old. Unless my older son is the next Hank Aaron, I think I will leave them out of joinery.

I could provide an itemized list of tools purchased over the years that have their own guilt, but I think you get the point.

Going forward, a full analysis will be used to select tools. Perhaps someday I will just get over it and label myself a sucker. Or maybe sell something to fund the tools I really need to perform happy guilt free woodworking.

– JR