Friday, February 26, 2010

Practice Makes Furniture?

Usually one of the first questions by beginning students is " How do I get skilled using hand tools?". Which for someone starting out, dreaming of the day that all of the endless time creating mounds of wood shavings, is the first thing you must do.

I generally try to make it fairly simple. Most of woodworking involves one thing, cutting wood! Simple, right!
OK, now the majority of " cutting" is done with two tools, chisels and hand saws.Still with me? A lot of instructors will tell people to draw straight lines on a board and saw repeatedly, which is great. Exercises such as that are good, but get old fast.

So to hone your skills and not be bored, cut joints! All of the practicing is for what? To be able to do joinery, I start my Fundamentals of Woodworking class with cutting Mortise and Tenon joints, and then on to Dovetails. And most of those students are beginners or novices with hand tools. I continually tell them to " fail miserably" and be proud to do so!

The key to attaining the required skills to build anything is this.
Don't get discouraged and be patient!
Butcher dovetail after dovetail, and blow out mortises, but keep some of them as a comparison and you will be surprised how quick your skills will develop

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