I’ve always been intrigued about the history of the way some English-trained woodworkers set out their dovetail joints using dividers. I first learned to use this method – which I love – from Rob Cosman. He learned it from legendary craftsman Alan Peters. But where did Peters learn it from? I don’t know, so I’m … Read more
When I took my first woodworking class in 1993 I was gung-ho to learn two things: through-tenons and through-dovetails. At the time I was intoxicated by Arts & Crafts furniture and exposed joinery. For many woodworkers, I suspect that exposed joinery sends a message: This piece is made well. It’s not made using corrugated fasteners, … Read more
In 19th-century English workshops you could be sacked (fired) for wearing eyeglasses. There are even accounts of how a shop might have a certain phrase that was spoken when the master was about to walk through the workroom. When that phrase was uttered, all the eyeglasses would go into hiding. I would have been fired … Read more
Campaign chests had to take a beating. They traveled all over the British Empire during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. And yet they bore their burden without complaint or explanation. Which is to say: When you look at most campaign chests, it’s unclear how they were constructed. Yes, the drawers were dovetailed. But … Read more
Sooner or later, someone will ask you to make a picture frame. Here is how to get it right the first time. by Robert W. Lang Pages 21-23 From the Summer 2009 issue of Woodworking Magazine, issue 14 Buy this issue now Picture frames are one of those woodworking projects that we all assume we … Read more
Table Saw Blades & The Laws of Physics If you wanted to make a device to throw pieces of wood at a high rate of speed, how would you design it? You could look at the machines used in sports for throwing things and start with a spinning disc, say 10″ in diameter. If you … Read more
Amaze your friends with quadrilateral and rising dovetails.
By Roy Underhill
From the November 2011 issue #193
Buy this issue now
An ordinary day in the shop, but suddenly, you’re dovetailing through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. You’re on a journey into a woodworking land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead, your next stop … the “Impossitails” Zone!
VIDEO: Watch episodes from Roy’s “The Woodwright’s Shop” online.
WEB SITE: Take a class from Roy.
TO BUY: “The Woodwright’s Shop: A Practical Guide to Traditional Woodcraft.”
IN OUR STORE: “The Woodwright’s Guide: Working Wood with Wedge and Edge.” Read more