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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceC View Post
    I was only musing last week when needing to cut something, just how handy it is to be able to whip out a back saw and make the cut without needing to set up the table saw, straight and square. They are still occasional oopses, but every cut continues to develop the skill and my incidence of errors will continue to decline.

    So my suggestion would be to forget the saw guides, and allow yourself to learn the skill.
    Lance, you have hit the nail squarely on the head. Exactly what I have been saying for years.

    There are so many people these days trying to make a living selling shortcuts for people who do not have the will to develop the necessary skills. This applies to woodworking courses and woodworking tool manufacturers alike.

    Look at some of the courses getting offered around these days. Make a Windsor chair in a week - no experience necessary. Yes, at the end of the week you go home with the chair, but you probably started with timber cut to length and tools tuned up ready to use, drilled holes using a jig you don't understand etc. You might have heard the term splay angle but you have no idea how to calculate it or set up to drill it yourself. You have actually learned very little but you have a warm fuzzy feeling and $2000 less money to spend on tools.

    Compare that to me starting out with my grandfather at about 10 years old, learning the basic skills - stock preparation, marking out, sawing, planing, then later as I got older he taught me about wood movement and reading the grain - things he used to take care of for me in the earlier days and I was not even aware of until he started to teach me them.

    As for tool makers and sellers, look at all the one-trick-ponies that the likes of Woodpeckers are turning out now.
    "People are too busy to learn a skill properly so we will build it into a tool and they can then buy skill. One tool one skill. Forget the basic standard toolkit everyone used to be able to do everything with. One job one tool from now on and they will have to pay for every new skill we invent and package."

    You can't buy skill - you need to earn it.

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  3. #32
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    Here is a post onto one of the three facebook groups I bother to "follow" (I despise FB).

    The poster asks, with some sincerity, for a SMALL 5 minute task, which machine must be bought to allow it to be done.

    You lot know me to be a cynical, sardonic and sarcastic bastard.... I was SORELY TEMPTED to reply (edited) replied* to this with "a handsaw".


    It is as all here posit - no skills, just tasks. Tasks done by a expensive-single-use-machine, no skill, but look what I did!

    which machine.jpg



    * I could not resist.
    Last edited by woodPixel; 8th Nov 2020 at 02:43 PM. Reason: more information!

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodPixel View Post
    You lot know me to be a cynical, sardonic and sarcastic bastard.... I was SORELY TEMPTED to reply (edited) replied* to this with "a handsaw".
    Evan, You forgot skeptical.

    You could have suggested an extremely complex procedure to do it all on a CNC router.
    That would have given the OP a great excuse to go and spend a lot of money.

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug3030 View Post
    ...You forgot skeptical.
    Many others may have thought other words

  6. #35
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    I bought a pair of Katz-Moses templates. Worked OK for the few Iíve done.

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug3030 View Post
    Lance, you have hit the nail squarely on the head. Exactly what I have been saying for years.

    There are so many people these days trying to make a living selling shortcuts for people who do not have the will to develop the necessary skills. This applies to woodworking courses and woodworking tool manufacturers alike.

    Look at some of the courses getting offered around these days. Make a Windsor chair in a week - no experience necessary. Yes, at the end of the week you go home with the chair, but you probably started with timber cut to length and tools tuned up ready to use, drilled holes using a jig you don't understand etc. You might have heard the term splay angle but you have no idea how to calculate it or set up to drill it yourself. You have actually learned very little but you have a warm fuzzy feeling and $2000 less money to spend on tools.

    Compare that to me starting out with my grandfather at about 10 years old, learning the basic skills - stock preparation, marking out, sawing, planing, then later as I got older he taught me about wood movement and reading the grain - things he used to take care of for me in the earlier days and I was not even aware of until he started to teach me them.

    As for tool makers and sellers, look at all the one-trick-ponies that the likes of Woodpeckers are turning out now.
    "People are too busy to learn a skill properly so we will build it into a tool and they can then buy skill. One tool one skill. Forget the basic standard toolkit everyone used to be able to do everything with. One job one tool from now on and they will have to pay for every new skill we invent and package."

    You can't buy skill - you need to earn it.

    But you could class as being with your grandfather as a class.But $2000 cheaper.Some people aren't that lucky and may choose to learn new skills later in life. I don't think i have ever earned a skill in my life but i have been lucky enough to be shown a few. As one of the fishing rod builders I knew said share till you bleed.

    cheers....Roy

  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by royflatmate View Post
    But you could class as being with your grandfather as a class.But $2000 cheaper.Some people aren't that lucky and may choose to learn new skills later in life. I don't think i have ever earned a skill in my life but i have been lucky enough to be shown a few. As one of the fishing rod builders I knew said share till you bleed.
    Roy, the point was that my grandfather was teaching me skills over an extended period which were useful over a wide range of projects. The commercial classes like I described guide you through a particular project while teaching you as little as they can get away with and still complete the task.

  9. #38
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    There are so many people these days trying to make a living selling shortcuts for people who do not have the will to develop the necessary skills. This applies to woodworking courses and woodworking tool manufacturers alike.

    "People are too busy to learn a skill properly so we will build it into a tool and they can then buy skill. One tool one skill. Forget the basic standard toolkit everyone used to be able to do everything with. One job one tool from now on and they will have to pay for every new skill we invent and package."
    Doug, I agree. I don't know about you, but I feel that it is somehow "cheating" when someone comes along and posts their first project, and it is built entirely using mechanical joiners, such as biscuits or dominos, and does not take the time to learn and practice traditional joint-making (such a mortice-and-tenons, etc). I am sure that long-established traditionally-trained cabinetmakers probably feel the same way about those lacking formal training, such as myself, attempting to demonstrate/teach woodworking skills on forums.

    "Pay your dues" translates to "practice, practice, practice ...". Instant results are the norm of our society, and few seem to be prepared to take the time. The Internet is instant, and Youtube builds take 20 minutes. And, as you say, lots of work-arounds and short-cuts to joinery without developing the underlying skills. The Katz-Moses jig is a prime example. Having said this, I have developed similar for others, such as my guide for sawing tenons, so I should be the last one to speak. I do not include my Blue Tape dovetail method in this category as all it does is improve marking out, not the sawing.

    I am reminded by others that not everyone has the drive, the go-for-it attitude to develop hand skills. Nor do those who have motor difficulties. Many just want to build something and do not take the "hobby" as seriously as others.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    Doug, I agree. I don't know about you, but I feel that it is somehow "cheating" when someone comes along and posts their first project, and it is built entirely using mechanical joiners, such as biscuits or dominos, and does not take the time to learn and practice traditional joint-making (such a mortice-and-tenons, etc). I am sure that long-established traditionally-trained cabinetmakers probably feel the same way about those lacking formal training, such as myself, attempting to demonstrate/teach woodworking skills on forums.
    Well yes, it's cheating. but it does not really bother me that they cheat really. If they feel good about creating something for themselves or for others and want to pay the big bucks for the expensive courses to build something without developing skills or buy every Woodpeckers One-time-tool that comes out, at least they are doing something constructive in their spare time. Like you, Derek, I have no traditional or formal qualifications but the dovetails in my workbench have received very favourable comments from traditionally trained woodworkers. Something I have always enjoyed through my working life was teaching and training people when the opportunities arrived but that is not the primary focus of my woodworking. For me it is about keeping this old soldier active in mind and body to help me live with the physical and mental toll of my military career.

    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    I am reminded by others that not everyone has the drive, the go-for-it attitude to develop hand skills. Nor do those who have motor difficulties. Many just want to build something and do not take the "hobby" as seriously as others.
    A friend of mine who I have not seen in many years lost both of his arms in an industrial accident. To rehabilitate himself he took up woodwork and modified some tools with the help of some insurance and government money. He set himself up making boxes of various types and selling them at markets. He developed all sorts of non-traditional methods that he could work with despite his disabilities and worked hard to master and perfect them. The items he made were well proportioned, functional and well finished and he was doing very well selling them. He was a clever man who took what started out as therapy and developed it into an independent income. I certainly admired his determination and desire for independence.

    Then other able-bodied people started copying his designs and going into competition with him at the same markets. Because his competitors were able bodied they could produce more in the same time and sell them cheaper,forcing him out of business.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug3030 View Post
    Roy, the point was that my grandfather was teaching me skills over an extended period which were useful over a wide range of projects. The commercial classes like I described guide you through a particular project while teaching you as little as they can get away with and still complete the task.
    Doug there are courses or classes that do go beyond building someting in a weekend.If you choose and have the time you can be shown the proper way if that's such athing.There are plenty of master craftsmen and women around and you cannot begrudge them charging for their time to teach for what they have spent a lifetime learning.Maybe i have been lucky and have met people who love to share. And yes I have paid to do some courses to learn skills and none of them have tried to teach me as little as they can far the opposite they have gone above and beyond.

    cheers......Roy

  12. #41
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    As to the original OP's question a bevel gauge will give you everything you need.

    cheers......Roy

  13. #42
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    Roy, a bevel gauge is excellent for marking dovetails, however it can only show the angle and not the line at the top of the board. Many gauges do just the angles. A marker ideally needs to do both to reduce possible error.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  14. #43
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    Doug3030, that's one of the sadest things I've read in a long time. What soulless bastard would compete against such a man by stealing his ideas, work, livelihood and underpriced him. It gives me dark thoughts.

  15. #44
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    That little jig by Mr Sellers is a clever little doodad.

    I think such a thing could quite easily make it into my collection.

  16. #45
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    Those of us who are "self taught" (which is a bit of an oxymoron because we've all learnt from each other, books, magazines, etc.), develop our own quirks & habits. When you find what works for you, you tend to stick with it.

    We were shown how to lay out dovetails with dividers & bevel gauge at school & I followed this cumbersome method at first. Then I saw the type Derek uses (I think in a very old FWW magazine) & thought they were the answer. As he points out, it makes perfect sense to be able to mark both the angled & square lines without moving the gauge: .Brass DT gauges.jpg

    But they just don't suit my way of working. The sides of the gauge need to be long enough to suit thick pieces as well as thin, which means on the majority of boards I work on, the square part hangs below the end of the board. This makes stacking drawer parts to mark simultaneously awkward. So the several sets I made just sit in a drawer for years on end.

    I ended up making this very simple tool, with my two most-used angles included: Original marker2.jpg

    This (or something like it, I lost the very first one in one of my moves!) served for many years, & I would still be using it except that I went overboard & made a fancier one with inlaid brass 'wear' strips (How many D/Ts would I have to set out to wear the bull oak face of that marker!? ):
    New marker.jpg

    I just find these a very convenient thing that makes it easy & intuitive for me to space by eye. And the stock fits on even a shallow board sitting on the bench top, with good registration against the board end. Yes, I do have to square the end lines afterwards, but it takes very little time, and in fact probably only seconds more than doing both at once, since you have to make two deliberate lines each time. They don't need to be micrometer accurate to the sloped line, they are simply a guide for squaring your saw & if they are 0.1 of a mm either side of the sloped line it's neither here nor there.

    Simple & home-made is ample for a dovetail marker, you don't need moon-rocket accuracy. Make them as accurate & symmetrical as you can, but no-one on earth can see a quarter of a degree difference between the adjacent slopes, you are more likely to introduce a larger error in your tails when sawing than when setting out. It's far more important to get a very close fit because the eye picks up any gaps first. You minimise mis-fit by scribing tails onto the pin side, but the saw cuts have to be squeaky clean & accurate, or you waste a lot of time paring to your lines, which introduces an even greater chance of errors.

    As already discussed, it's practice wot makes a good D/T (& a clean-cutting saw that you find comfortable to use & easy to place accurately!). I remember how I struggled with the damn things 40 years ago! I feared them, but felt compelled to use them, & would use the minimum number I thought I could get away with on any drawer or whatever. Now I wonder what I fussed about (unless I haven't cut any for months & find myself a bit out of practice..... )

    Cheers,
    IW

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