I’m off to the airport in a few minutes to head to Metten, Germany, the headquarters of Dick GmbH. I’ll be teaching a class called “Classic Joinery” and we’ll be building a small Shaker cabinet using only hand joinery.
I’ve built a few of these cabinets and they are great fun. If you mess something up, replacement parts are always available in the scrap bin because the cabinet is so small (only 432mm high). The challenge of the cabinet is you really have to get the details right. On small projects, even small errors are noticeable.
The class itself is going to offer new challenges for me. This will be the first time I’ve had to work in the metric system, I can only bring a few tools with me, and I don’t speak a lick of German.
I only had room in my luggage for 11 hand tools and the little cabinet. I wanted to bring tools that I couldn’t work without, and I was surprised by my choices.
The first thing I put in my bag was my Tite-Mark gauge. Then my Starrett 6″ square, small dividers, my Lie-Nielsen 60-1/2 block plane, my small router plane, my Blue Spruce marking knife, my Bridge City shoulder plane, a mechanical pencil, and a couple chisels (1/4″ and 3/4″).
Then I chose one final tool. And I’ve forgotten what it was.
After packing things up, Megan and I continued to work on one of the benches for Woodworking in America, and it was a real pain without those 11 tools.
I’ll be back Sept. 20. I wouldn’t recommend robbing my house while I’m gone. My wife and her coterie of attack cats will mess you up.
- Christopher Schwarz