Curse You IKEA! (And a Dovetail Dodge)
While my kids (and wife) are fans of the IKEA, I remain non-committed to the Swedish meatball and presswood furniture empire.
But today a little part of me died. I fell in love with an IKEA product.
The JANSJÖ is a gooseneck LED lamp that is perfect – perfect – for bench work. It costs $10 (made in China). It works brilliantly (pun intended). And is much less bulky than the Luxo swing-arm lamp on my current bench.
The Port Townsend School of Woodworking in Washington state has these little buggers for the instructors and the students. They are – by far – the best bench lamp I’ve encountered. When I return home, I’m going to buy three.
Laroy is Spinning in His Grave
OK, here is a dovetail trick I’ve been too ashamed to mention until now. Maybe it’s the attendant beer that is making me spill my guts.
When I cut my tails, I always check them with a square to ensure the walls of the tails are 90° to the face of the board. If they aren’t square, I need to fix them.
I used to do this with a chisel. Now I do it with the Starrett square itself.
Yup. I turned a burr on the corner of my 6” Starrett square and use that edge to scrape the walls of my tails dead square.
Yes, I am going to hell on the express train that has Laroy Starrett as its conductor. But I don’t care. It works. The square’s blade is hard and holds that burr for a long time. Yes, I’m sure I’ll ruin the blade in the end. But all I want is tight joints – steel be dammed.
— Christopher Schwarz