One of my recurring dreams is that I’m demonstrating during a woodworking class and everything goes wrong. I have the wrong parts on the bench. Nothing fits. Things split. I am missing parts.
I had that same dream today. Problem was, I didn’t wake up.
I’m at David Savage’s woodworking school this week teaching how to make a traveling tool chest to 18 students. Today about lunchtime I showed how to assemble the carcase with hot hide glue.
I knocked it together. The joints were tight enough that I didn’t need clamps. Nice. One of the joints split slightly at the bottom of the skirt. Grrr. That was unexpected (and unwelcome). But I was happy that it would be covered by the chest’s lower skirt.
I stepped away from the chest and one of the students said, “Chris, I think you assembled your chest wrong.”
She was right. My pin boards were rotated 180°. I thought I had checked my cabinetmaker’s triangle, but obviously I hadn’t done a good job.
On one hand, I was relieved that the carcase had gone together despite this major disaster. But that error was what made the corner split. And it caused a couple odd gaps that I had to fix with “the Bishop” (a ball-peen hammer).
So tonight I am drowning my misery in a Sharp’s Doom Bar and thinking it’s a good thing that I’m not teaching next year.
— Christopher Schwarz