reductio ad perfectum

  Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery Advertisements

In the books

Thus far in my woodworking adventures I’ve only really tackled single projects one at a time. The current commission marks the first “suite” of pieces I’ve constructed, although it finally feels like it’s moving along at a decent pace and I’m experiencing that as inertia pulling me towards completion. Last week I put the finishing touches…

Workbenches and the fine arts

A staked workbench in the Baroque style. How sturdy it that one Joseph? Does it move around on you when you’re planing? Perhaps this one is for markup and assembly.       And then there’s this sweet leg vise on a continental style bench . There’s a nice raking light although I’m curious as…

Megan Fitzpatrick: Perfect, in 1000 words or less.

If anyone was going to quote Shakespeare, I’m glad that it came from today’s guest blogger. She certainly has the credentials. As the Editor and Content Director of Popular Woodworking Magazine, Megan Fitzpatrick brings not only her love of craft to the table, but also an expertise about culture at large and a teaching spirit.   By asking others…

Heads up.

  The search for perfection continues tomorrow (May, 20) as I hand the digital keys of The Daily Skep over to this month’s mystery guest blogger.    

Insert “hammered” or “nailed” joke here.

I’ve come to love nails in furniture. I can admit that now. When it came time to add fasteners to the current boarded bookcase I’m building I wanted to make sure they were the right nails. After consultation with the customer we decided that these were the right nails and I placed an order with…

So, you want to cut a tapered sliding dovetail…

In building the bookcase for my current commission I have based the design quite heavily on the boarded design presented in ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book” with a few key departures. Obviously, I’m working in walnut and not pine, but the one that is harder to catch is the subtle joinery switch-up with the back rail…

Sometimes, there is a void

There is no “perfect” wood.  It isn’t uniform, consistent or predictable. Even the best examples will have idiosyncrasies. Reversing grain, sap pockets, knots and voids abound. When you come to one of these reminders of “imperfection” you have a few choices. Cut around it if possible hide it celebrate it accept it, stabilize it and move on I generally…

It doesn’t seem like much.

This week I finished dimensioning, squaring, flattening and smoothing all of the parts to the walnut boarded bookcase, and at the end of one evening I stacked the sides, shelves and stretchers all together before calling it a night. I was struck with the thought that it didn’t look like much of a pile of…

Here’s a bit of news…

…that I’ve been waiting to announce. When the August issue of Popular Woodworking hits your mailboxes somewhere around the second week of June, my first tool review will be included. Thank you Megan for the kind words and the opportunity to do work that I absolutely love.