Messages Archive

Interpreting advice from professionals

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
The first place I look for advice on how to do some woodworking operation is a shop doing it to make a living. If the shop is successful then one can reliably conclude what they do is quick and reliable. But questions remain. Are they doing exactly what I need to do and if not are the differences significant? Will my skill level and available tools enable me to do what they do? If not, is it worth learning?

In the case at hand, the person builds from cherry and poplar using conventional Period Correct construction. Check, check, check...we are building with identical construction. His pieces sell in galleries for $4000 to $8000 (wholesale $2 to $4K). A partial check. He is building to a higher standard than I am. I'm willing to sacrifice refinements in places that don't show to save labor and dovetails is a place for me to employ what he referred to as "journeyman" construction (in contrast to "master").

I am not willing to dismiss what he does as easily as you are. But as I like to say....the proof is in the pudding. Waste removal is a slow and for me an unenjoyable part of building with dovetails. I am going to try what he does.

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