Pride and Woodworking

Many know the proverb about pride and falling. Let me say that it is applicable in the realm of woodworking, too. As someone who has spent thousands of hours woodworking in my life, I have come to consider myself very skilled. And sometimes (recently in fact) that hubris leads to problems that puncture my ego quite effectively.

A short while ago, I was chopping some mortises through the face of a soft maple board. I used a mortising machine outfitted with a 1/2″ hollow mortising chisel. The catch was that I needed the mortise to be 3/4″ square. Rather than change over to a 3/4″ hollow chisel, I decided just to chop away with the smaller chisel. That was a mistake. Despite my exalted skill level, the laws of physics are immutable. The mortises were inconsistent and amateurishly executed. A sharp bench chisel, elbow grease and a blue cloud of blue words cleaned up the mistakes.

Lesson learned…again.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

Video: Sawing Through Dovetail Pins

Ernie Conover explores how to cut through dovetail pins by hand. You’ll learn how Ernie likes to clamp the work pieces to the bench, how he saws the sides of the pins and how he sets up to chisel out the waste.

Explore more of Ernie’s dovetail making process with his Premium Video Series. This series is free for subscribers of the Woodworker’s Journal print magazine.

Ian Kirby Turns 90

Ian Kirby slices his birthday cake
Master woodworker Ian Kirby marks 90 years and still going as we take a look back at some of his time with Woodworker’s Journal.

Premium Project: Hideaway Bed

Murphy bed installed on cabin wall
Hardware from Create-A-Bed makes this twin-size sleeper both easy to build and stow against a wall. This project is free for magazine subscribers!

Premium Project: Old-Fashioned Music Box

Xylophone-style music box
This hand-cranked music-making machine taps out a short tune on a xylophone. This project is free for magazine subscribers!

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