Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Following my speech evaluation it was recommended that I organize mock tasks such as parties and events to work on various parts of my brain. After designing countless "mock timber frames", generating the joinery and timber lists (I did stop short of engineering the frames, but tried to draw them with in accepted standards), I grew tired of the futility of it. But, in another effort to stimulate my brain I have decided to teach myself to cut dovetail joinery by hand.

Dovetails are the key joints in fine drawer making, and there are any number of jigs for various machine to recreate them. In my Dad's shop we had a dedicated dovetail machine. Nothing is quite as pretty as the hand cut dovetails you see on Shaker furniture and or in other styles from days gone by. The dovetail locks the joint together when pulled in one direction in addition to being beautiful.

While this exercise doesn't really help my speech (unless you count swearing), it is forcing my executive functions to be stimulated in a big way. First the tablesaw needed some tuning, the chisels needed sharpening, and so on with all of the tools needing to be found and evaluated. I have brought them into usable shape, but they need work.

Yesterday I did try to cut my first joint and it was a disaster, not even coming close to fitting. But it was close enough that I'm challenged. I recently subscribe to a free trial of Fine Woodworking Online, and have since devoured every article and a few video's on dovetails. We will see how today's effort goes.

No comments:

Post a Comment