Sunday, 24 January 2010

Columbus Woodworking Show--Part 2

DT Fitting
Part of the reason cutting dovetails with Chuck was a great experience is because he removes all the neurotic crap that makes obsessive people crazy. Dividing your board in half and then figuring out the amount of tails and then half pins, blah blah blah, ad absurdum. And yet, for all the obsessing, the first time i tried to cut dovetails, i forgot some pretty simple steps, such as labelling the tails and pins (and not doing things when overtired and under-nourished). Which is how i ended up with the photo to the left. The omission of this crucial step also meant that i kept on trimming the joints until they fit, but since i didn't know pins from tails and inside from outside, a very snug fitting pair of joints ended up looking like this. Mortifying.Loose DT

So, at the end of the woodworking shows, i accosted Chuck (who was too much of a gentleman to refuse me and even blogged a very gracious version of my stalking him, which you can read here), who gave me a mini-tutorial of how to cut dovetails by hand. Chuck's method took the headache out of the whole process. No math, no formulas. We eyeballed everything and just got on with it. Chuck's a great teacher in that he somehow (i am still trying to figure it out!) enables his student to accomplish the goal without hovering too much or doing the work for him/her.

DTCBAnyway, i think i mentioned before, we were running to get these dovetails done, so they're a bit split, but nonetheless i wanted to show off my infinitely better set of Bender-pins-first-dovetails that i made Chuck autograph (i told you i stalked him!) with the wenge pen that my mother turned. And Uri caught some of the magic on film, including his commentary.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Columbus Woodworking Show--Part 1

CIMG4750.JPGThis past Sunday, my brother, mother, and i drove from Cleveland to Columbus for the Woodworking Show. I thought they were kidding when they said they would come (can you tell i'm used to being mocked for my middle-aged-man hobby?), but they happily accompanied me. Well, maybe not happily. I printed up a 'bring your spouse for free coupon' and made my brother Uri go as my husband. He was most unhappy with this, but he played along. I think they printed 'spouse' because it would have been a bit much to print 'bring your family member who would really rather not attend a woodworking show but is going to put a cap on your spending' or something to that effect. The woman taking tickets gave us a knowing wink as Uri squirmed and gave me a resentful look. And then...we were in! It was magnificent. And a bit overwhelming. It was in a sense too big. But once you narrow it down to stuff you want to see, it becomes more manageable. Not only did i get to see Lie Nielsen tools in person, but as my friend Dave Richards suggested, i got to use them (i thought he was teasing me)! It was phenomenal.

The highlight of the show for me was meeting my Lumberjocks buddy Chuck Bender. I'm aware how dodgy it sounds that i talk about how woodworkers are the nicest people and that i have made many friends online. Though my mother and brother were totally bitten with the woodworking bug (see video below) and had the best time turning pens, they still were quite weirded out when i mentioned 'meeting my friend from the internet'. This all dissipated when they met Chuck of course, and i told him that he proved the claim i always make about woodworkers being the nicest people ever. Chuck understood the concerns though and pointed out the difference between meeting internet friends wisely and foolishly: 'Well, we are meeting in a public place. It's not like I'm telling you to meet me in an alley where i will be waiting with a bludgeon and a garbage bag.' Hmm... good point.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Miep Gies 1909-2010

Miep Gies, holding her son Paul, Otto Frank (left), and her husband Jan, A'dam, January 1951, nicked from here

The famous protector of Anne Frank, and my hero whom i had the privilege to meet is remembered here and here. ברוך דיין האמת.