It’s getting close to Christmas, so it’s time to start thinking about making a few presents. It’s dicy whether I’ll have the chevy operational and the marquetry process sorted out well enough to incorporate that into any presents, but that isn’t really what I want to talk about today.
My son, now 14, usually makes presents for relatives. I had him make a list of who he needs to shop (in either sense of the word) for, and what he might buy or make for them. I suggested a dovetailed candle box as one possibility – but he’d need to know how to dovetail first. So off to the shop we went for a dovetail lesson.
I had him first make a series of practice cuts with the dovetail way, following the tail layout lines I drew. He did really well. So we dived right in, I had him layout a pair of tails on a board and saw them out. He used a fret saw to cut out the waste, then chopped to the baseline without bruising them. Wow.
Short story long, we went through the entire process with him doing all the work and me coaching, and he made a sample joint that was very, very good. It fit snugly with almost no fine tuning, and he did it all himself. When I think back to how I struggled trying to learn how to do this — although to be fair he did have an excellent instructor (grin) and the right tools.