Some poor, deluded fool decided that a “Best of Chuck Bender” would make a good collection in the Popular Woodworking Magazine (PWM) store, and I was asked to write something about it. I still feel like the new guy here in the office, so my first thought ran to: “How much stuff do they even have in the store to be able to put together a collection?”
Shockingly, when I searched on my name in the store, there was a much larger group of stuff than I would have imagined. Not only are three of the DVDs I produced available (“Dovetailing Apprenticeship”, “Down and Dirty Sharpening” and “Dovetail Mastery”), but there’s a bunch of articles I’ve written as well as a handful of DVDs produced by PWM.
I guess when I think back on things now, I have been associated with the magazine (and producing my own videos) for more than six years, which has given me plenty of time to create stuff for a collection. It’s just hard to believe so much time has passed and that I have a “body of work.” It seems like yesterday I was carving Spanish feet and taking pictures of the process for my first article (buy the issue here).
The collection covers a number of different subjects, but my two favorites are “Just Plane Round” (a PWM article) and “Dovetail mastery” (a DVD). The DVD covers more complex dovetailing techniques including Bermuda dovetails. If you’ve been hand cutting dovetails for some time, and you consider yourself reasonably proficient, Bermuda dovetails are a completely different animal. If you weren’t sure dovetailing is almost entirely a sawing exercise, these dovetails will enlighten you.
The article covers a technique I was taught in the early days of my apprenticeship. My teacher, Werner Duerr, taught his students how to use hand tools first then, once we were reasonably proficient, we moved on to the labor saving power tools – “Just Plane Round” is a great little exercise in plane control. The whole concept is to “turn” a dowel at your workbench using nothing more than some layout tools and a hand plane. You’ll learn about how to control the depth of cut on your plane as well as how to apply proper pressure to the tool so you take a uniform shaving – the exercise builds accuracy and it’s just plain fun.
There’s lots more great information presented in the collection. I’m sure I’ll be posting about another of my favorite components in the near future because I just saw that my tool cabinet DVD is part of the collection too. It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever built, and the best part is I got to build it for me. To your order “Chuck Bender Collection” click here.