Tuesday, September 25, 2007
A New Idea?
This last week I have had a whole bunch of what you can only call "epiphanies". You know, those moments when the light bulb flicks on?
I've been building a plane for a friend and it involved compound angles. Skew blade, skew bed, angled sole - you know, a real brain bruiser. I've taken a couple of goes at it and I keep sitting awake at night working out how I can make jigs to make production of these features easier. And I have made various clever little gadgets and sliding jigs. But minor errors have made setting these jigs up a costly in time and materials.
So I gave in the other day and made some "Old Timer" jigs - skew floats and wooden blocks to guide a back saw. An hours work, and not a fun hour - how the hell "The Wenz" files saws all day without going blind or mad I'll never know ;)
But with the correct tools it took only a minute to make all the important cuts and then correct any minor errors. A minute!!! And no machinery, no dust extraction. And no brain ache from working out compound angles........
It really humbles me when I have experiences like this - every woodworking problem and situation has been tackled and solved, then refined to its most simple and effective method by our forefathers. And this happened over a hundred (sometimes two hundred) years ago!! Amazing!
So get in that workshop. And when you hit a problem don't reach for that woodworking catalogue to buy the new router jig. Reach for your trusty hand tools and just go for it.