Real router usage
We us the router plane substantially in my classes, they are associated more with dado depth removal of waste and to ensure a perfect level to receive the inserted board. For four decades I have used this extraordinary tool on the faces of my tenons, so as to guarantee equal depth, for cross-grain rebates at the ends of boards for joints and also for cross-banding inlays and so on. I also use it for marking gauge and a cutting gauge in a wide range of situations but especially superfine and delicate work. In my next book I am covering much of this. The accuracy of the Veritas router and the width of the 1/2″ cutter really gives me a pristine cutting edge that slices with and across the grain so perfectly and of course the advantage is that the gauge/router combination is set in the same tool so there is no discrepancy and no wasted time at all.
Behind the scenes work
There is so much behind-the-scenes help here at the school I would be remiss should I not mention it. Milling the stock for so large a class is a major undertaking because tolerances are tight and there are sometimes hundreds of pieces that must be made ready to minimise wastage and guarantee the exactness we need as to thickness and width. Our main thrust is of course joinery and hand cutting that joinery. With each piece we make we surface plane every facet to the final size from either machine planed or sawn stock, but prepping wood, wood selection and so on for 10-20 students (depending on class limitations) means much critical assessment to minimise disappointment in the classes and also wasted work. So too with the hand tools. Dozens of chisels and planes and spokeshaves must be sharpened and fine tuned before every class we have even though we train our students to sharpen them throughout the class. We have waste bins full of shavings and of course millwork shavings too. At the end of this past week we will have removed about 200 gallons of pine and oak shavings, sawdust and chunks from joint making and hand planing and that doesn’t include machine work. We like to mill the wood as close to the day it will be used as possible rather weeks or even days ahed so that the wood is as undistorted as possible. This often means evening and weekend work for some of us. So thanks go to Mark and Jim, Jacob and Arien, Tom, Gary Daniel and several others who supports the work from behind the scenes with book keeping and administration, website work and much, much more. I know in many organisations there are team workers, which is critical to the work done, but working with my friends here has been such a pleasure it makes my load so light
More on the class
Many units are glued up and clamped in part or whole or are are fully jointed and ready for that critical stage when you shut and bar the doors, refuse the cell phone’s ringing and get the clamps at the ready. Eric has his top glued and his table in clamps to dry over the weekend. Others are closely following and are about within one day of being at that point. So it looks like we start the Craftsman rockers on Tuesday. There will be twelve rockers on the go, which makes me think that I am off my rocker for even attempting to do this, but in times past I regularly had sixteen students making rockers so this should be a breeze, right!!!