Before we begin: My apologies for the terrible photos from my phone. The battery in my regular camera died and I am without a charger.
For someone who is now unemployed, I sure have been working a lot.
Saturday was the fourth day of teaching the class on building the chest from “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” and my sixth day of teaching at the Dictum workshop in Bavaria. I think I might be more tired than the students — and I am rationalizing that by telling myself that’s because I am building a chest along with the students, and teaching at the same time.
Or perhaps I’m drinking too much weiss beer.
Either way, I’m ready to curl into a refrigerator box beneath a highway overpass like a proper hobo.
Today we put the dovetailed skirts on the tool chest, which were a cakewalk for the students after they cut 44 dovetails for the carcase of the chest. Sunday — the final day — we’ll be making the lid and the dovetailed dust seal around it.
Then I ride to Munich Sunday night, catch a plane Monday morning and fly back to Kentucky.
Whenever I teach, I learn things. One of the most educational parts of teaching this course has been getting intimate with the wood we are using to build the chest. It’s Scots pine (pinius sylvestris). It’s a common species in Europe that is sometimes available for sale in the United States as a Christmas tree.
It is quite similar to our Southern yellow pine. It is heavy, resinous, tough and smells fantastic. The wood we are using doesn’t have the big differences in density between the earlywood and the latewood. It planes beautifully and is not terrible to dovetail.
As I was working with the wood this week I kept thinking that it would be an excellent material for making a workbench. So if you have Scots pine in your area and it is reasonably priced, I think it’s worth a look.
It’s time for dinner now. I still cannot read the menu at the restaurant at the monastery, but everything I’ve eaten has been great. As one friend put it about German food: By the end of the week I might have some blood in my porkstream.
— Christopher Schwarz