Closing the class came too fast

Autumn comes with mists of mellow fruitfulness

The class came to an abrupt end somehow and time slipped so quickly by. We all had dovetails Shaker candle boxes, made a Paul Sellers dovetail template in oak and learned how to make drawers using half-lap dovetails.

I say it every time but it’s true. These classes still amaze me because that’s exactly what they are. Whether it’s a first time box or one of many, everyone leaves with real working knowledge and all confusion gone. They will probably never cut pins first again, never cut the pins off again and never feel intimidated by dovetailing boxes and drawers by hand. I never heard anyone say that they were going back to their router and jigs after a class and most of them feel overwhelmed at the fulfilment they feel having not turned on a machine in three days of working wood.

I made the box and I also made a different Joiner’s toolbox for my new book, replete with a Shaker-style pillow panel raised by hand with the #4 as usual. The frame is mortise and tenoned and covers door making by hand and the dovetails of course hand done for multiple thousandth time.
Tomorrow is a full class Part  I followed by a Part II and a Part III. That will be a great close to the season here in New York and then I will be in the UK for a month-long workshop that is totally full with a waiting list for any cancellation. I am so looking forward to that.

We are presently working on our 2013 schedule starting after my USA tour with The Woodworking Shows here in the USA. I will see many of you as we pass from state to state. I will keep you posted on the new happenings there so check out The Woodworking Shows for details of where we will be going here.

2 thoughts on “Closing the class came too fast”

  1. Dear Paul – “Shaker-style” furniture doors often have a decorative groove running across the end of the top and bottom rails where they are jointed into the style. In the photograph you haven’t spoiled your perfect joints with this gimmick, but for reference, how is the groove made? Thanks,

  2. I think if you are referring to modern makes and machine made cabinets, I can answer the question from the industry standard. mass-made products have assembly issues where the discrepancy between the rail alignment is visible if the connecting surfaces are not perfectly aligned. Assembly workers usually have no skill in this area. They are paid on production and levelling surfaces is not in their skill sets. A step that separated the surfaces to create a natural break mine is added by chamfering or coving the inside corner of the stile and chamfering or coving the end-grain corners where the rails meet. Tenoners, machines that use a rotary cut with two adjacent cutter-heads, are tooled up with cutters that are capable of cutting the tenon, the cope and the corner round or chamfer in one pass. This literally takes 2 second to load, 2 seconds to slide the workpiece into the cutter-heads and 2 seconds to retrieve and release. The door stiles and rails pass through a multi-head machine and usually these machines have 4 or 5 cutter-heads that are capable of planing S4S and moulding the stock with profiles, tongues and grooves all in one pass depending on the number of cutter-heads. Included in all of this is of course the ability to add coves or chamfers to the corners. Of course in a lot of mass-making, mortise and tenons are eliminated and dowels or cope and stick methods are used.

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