Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why a woodworker should be ambidextrous!

I don't know about you but it always seems that when I get towards the finishing stages of a project there are a multitude of details that must be done. Kind of like running a 50 mile race I guess, the last 10 seem to take much longer and require more concentration than the first 40.  Doing work like hand planing the chamfers on the dust check, is really enjoyable. I suppose many would hook up the router and be done with it much quicker but something about hearing the plane make these curly shavings is soothing and calming.  No real chance of burning the wood, splintering that wild section of grain, or spewing dust and chips all over the shop.  So, why be ambidextrous? -- you always have to plane with the grain of the wood so that will determine which way your hand has to travel --- maybe that's what folks mean when they say " I just let the wood talk to me when I design things"! I like to plane about an 1/8 - 3/16 chamfer on the outside edge of the dust check to allow the lid to close easily and make a seal.  I'll ease the sharp edges during the final assembly.

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