The last day of the tool chest class at Dictum workshops was supposed to be all about the lid.
One lid in one day. Easy.
Well as it turned out, the last day of the tool chest class was about visitors. Toshio Odate stopped by on his way to Passau to see the workshop and examine our progress. He’s teaching two classes at the Dictum workshop this week, including one on shoji.
Odate, always the gentleman, stopped and talked with every student. He asked them what they were working on and joked about their micro-adjustable marking gauges.
Odate picked up a hammer and said, “This is my micro-adjuster!”
The students were charmed.
Then we had some more visitors from the monastery who were interested in what we were building in the shop. And then owner of the restaurant stopped by to say hello. We’ve eaten at his place every night during the class – the food is incredibly delicious and inexpensive. And they made us feel very much at home, even when they should have called the police instead. (Sorry about our singing.)
So then we got to work on the lid and learn the most important lesson of the class: dovetails are easy; mortises are hard work.
As a result, no one finished their lid, but they all got close to completing their tool chests.
If I ever teach this class again, I’ll do a lot of things differently. I’ll have to. I don’t have a soundtrack of Danish military songs to sing in the background like I had at this class.
— Christopher Schwarz
See the other videos in this series:
• We’ve published two good books on designing and building workbenches: “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” and “The Workbench Design Book.” Both are available in our store.
• Roy Underhill’s tool chest from the June 2009 issue is pretty awesome. That issue can be downloaded from our store here.