I’m a big book guy. I enjoy books. I’ve learned many woodworking techniques reading books. I have also discovered more than a few pieces that I want to build or have built from books. What I’ve come to realize over time is that the more you thumb through the pages, the more you pick up – books are not a “one and done” deal.
This weekend I sat down with a copy of “American Country Furniture,” by Nick Engler and Mary Jane Favorite. I’ve had a hardback copy of this book for years and picked up a paperback copy a while back – one for inside use and a second for shop work. (See the cover below.)
I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I’ve been through this book. When I first began building furniture I referred to it many, many times.
As I yet again leafed through the pages, my eyes landed on the above photo. I was surprised that I had not noticed the technique in an earlier read-through. It is so simply. I know I’ve seen the setup before, yet I’ve never used the technique.
During the hands-on class we had building a block-front chest, we had to run sliding dovetails on the shaped drawer blades. When you could run a guide block against the squared back edge, it ran great. But when the piece was flip to cut the second side, the shaped edge was toward the block, making the task more difficult; we shaped a guide block to better fit the profiled part to get the job done.
In that case, this technique would have been the answer. I snapped a picture with my phone and dropped into a folder kept on my computer. Every once in a while I look through that folder, too.