I’d like to thank Art Falcone for his Veneering demonstration at the June meeting of the Brandon Woodworkers’ Club. He made veneering look relatively easy and far less complicated than I had expected – now all I have to do is try it.
While referencing for a topic for this months message I came across an article written by Dale Neff, president of the the St. Petersburg Woodworkers’ Guild in their newsletter where he referenced an article written for Fine Woodworking magazine from the October 2002 issue by Mike Dunbar. I found the article so informative that it needed to be passed along to as many open minds as possible. Mr. Dunbar wrote: Except for beavers woodworkers are human and therefore tend to seek the path of least resistance which almost always leads to trouble. There are 10 unavoidable truths of woodworking. They are the pillars of good work and most are based on common sense. Ignore them at your own risk.
1. Don’t rush. Rushing causes more injuries than any other bad habit. It also results in more mistakes.
2. Learn to sharpen. Most tools do not work well if they are dull and some not at all. Knowing how and when to sharpen your tools is a "Gateway" skill. Don’t be intimidated by sharpening – it’s not that difficult.
3. You get what you pay for. Most of us have budgetary constraints that cause us to think twice when it comes to spending big bucks for tools and materials. Quality in new or used machines and tools always has been and always will be expensive. Don’t cheap it – you will regret it.
4. Finishing is half the battle. When you’re finished with the woodworking your only halfway done. A lot of woodworkers dread sanding, picking, sanding and sanding some more, but these steps is where you can make your project standout.
5. Practice makes perfect. Hone your skills and scraps and small projects. Build a prototype to work out the bugs and then have fun and build a mess of them.
6. Dry-fit before you glue up. This is your chance to make adjustments in fit – which components to fit first and what clamps to use and how many you need. It can keep you from getting glue where you don’t want it.
7. Glue won’t fix poor joinery. Things go wrong, and while there tricks and techniques to fix mistakes, they should not be mistaken for good workmanship.
8. Your router won’t do everything. While the router and router table are very versatile tools and handy, they are not always the most practical tools for every application.
9. Use both hand and power tools. While most woodworker tend to be either hand tool aficionados or power tool pros. A skilled woodworker know when and how to use both.
10. Keep your shop clean. A messy shop is dangerous and inefficient. Clean up as you work is a habit you should develop. Keep your tools put away when not in use – they’re easier to find the next time you need them.
Now if I can only follow these rules! Special thanks to Dale Neff and Mike Duncan.
The July meeting of the BWC will be on July 8th at 7:00 pm at the Brandon Junior Women’s Club at 129 N. Moon Ave. The program is on Lathe Basics.
Look forward to seeing you there.