I've done several workshops with the "masters" and their instruction always emphasizes jig making as a means of optimizing the quality of your work, especially where details require exactitude. To say the use of jigs is 'cheating' would go a long way toward disqualifying the use of many tools. A simple example would be the use of a bearing-guided router bit, or even the use of any machine when building a project. Why would any aid used to assist handwork be considered cheating? Are there rules in woodworking which say a given work is authentic only if produced solely freehand? I'd have to agree there is no such thing as cheating in woodworking when it comes to turning out finely crafted, qualitative work.
What are the on-center dimensions for the grid you used and the size of the grid members? Total depth front to back and overall span?
I did a two week workshop with Phil in 1996 on carving a ball and claw. He is an excellent teacher, totally immersed in the craft, with hand skills that amaze even seasoned woodworkers. He is very attentive to the needs of his students and shows a warm, genuine interest in their learning.
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