Messages Archive

Re: drawer lube and a dovetail editorial

Hank Knight
Bill, why are you on a tirade about dovetails? You seem to be focused on saving time in the construction process. Why? Are you running a production shop? Your output, compared to mine would indicate that you are. ;) I do this for a hobby. I don't care if it takes me a year to complete a project, which it often does, as long as I'm happy with the end result. I like to make "flauntable dovetails." They give me a great deal of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, even though almost no one opens my drawers to look or comments on them. I was not intimidated by the fear that someone might criticize my dovetails. I like the look of well made, hand cut dovetails, so I just dug in and learned how to do it. I tossed my Leigh jig when I was satisfied that I had the process down pretty well and I've not looked back. Hand cutting them is faster, even if I take my time to make them well. (I kept my small 12" Leigh jig in the unlikely event that I decide to redo our kitchen and need to make a bunch of drawers.)

Finishing is my weakness. I like the making much more than the finishing. I don't take finishing shortcuts; I spend the time to try to do a good job, but I don't enjoy it. I admire your finishing results. I need to suck it up and learn the techniques that produce the kind of finishes you produce.

By the way, I agree that one's work should be judged with a holistic view, taking into account all of the elements: design, materials selection, construction technique and finish. Interestingly, of all of these, a poor finish can wreck the end result faster than any others.

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