Athens, OH, US
I'm seeing a similar thing (in 7.1.6087), and I'm wondering if there's been a change in the code, because I know I've been able to orbit and zoom inside a solid before. Now, it looks like no matter how close I get, when I orbit I'm still beyond the "near end" of the model.
I've created a SketchUp model of the chair. You can download it from:
There's a discrepancy between the drawings and the photos: The drawings show the tops of the seat rails flush with the tops of the front legs, whereas the photos show them moved downward about 3/8". In the model, I followed the photos.
Well, I was in Peru this past July, and it's back to South Africa next August. I don't know yet what's in store for 2011--maybe Brazil?
I was in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México just last week, and saw something similar: Picture bumper-to-bumper traffic weaving back and forth between narrow lanes, and a load of lumber precariously balanced sideways on the roof of a car, extending out about four feet on either side.
Why does one choose any joint over any other? It's always a juggling act: fitness of purpose, aesthetics, etc. If you're a beginner, then skill certainly factors into the equation as well. And aesthetics do play a big role; if aesthetics weren't an issue, we'd all be making screwed-together butt joints for everything.
But dovetails are an excellent choice for drawers (and other four-sided boxes); they're strong in the direction they need to be strong in. Machine-cut dovetails are just as strong and very easy to make, but some people find them to be lacking in aesthetics.
I guess I just don't see the fetishism that you speak of. There is certainly a lot of hype surrounding dovetails, but that's more out of (misplaced) fear than fetishism: Hand-cut dovetails do require a fair bit of practice. But so do hand-cut mortise-and-tenon joints, hand-cut half-laps, etc. People aren't afraid of those other joints, though, because they can make them by machine and no one will be able to tell the difference. You can't fake a hand-cut dovetail, but a well-fitting hand-cut mortise-and-tenon is probably harder to accomplish.
The reason I say that the fear is misplaced is because dovetails really aren't that hard. In the time between my previous comment and this one I cut a three-tail joint; I posted some photos here: http://www.dendroica.com/Scratch/dovetails.jpg.
I didn't time myself, but apart from the initial stock squaring, which was already done, I spent somewhere around 45 minutes or so, including fitting the joint together (it's not glued) and planing the surfaces flush.
The joint isn't perfect--you can see a couple of divots here and there--but it's not too bad. And it's not like I'm some kind of dovetail expert, either. The total number of dovetail joints that I've cut, including practice pieces like this one, is somewhere in the low double digits.
The wood I used in the joint, by the way, is an unknown species, salvaged from a packing crate from Tanzania. It's pretty soft and compressible, with workability something like a medium-density pine. It's a mixed blessing as far as cutting dovetails is concerned; the compressibility means that fitting the joints isn't too arduous, but the softness means that it's easy to screw up, and paring end grain is an exercise in frustration.
Of course, if you avoid them for too long, you'll never master them. ;-)
Hand-cutting dovetails on scraps has the same effect on your skills as hand-cutting dovetails on "real" pieces, except that the stress isn't there. Over time, you get better. Eventually, you gain enough confidence to use them on real pieces. Until then, you stick with other kinds of joints; hand-cut dovetails are just one in a range of joints that you'll want to master.
Whenever I'm milling up stock, I look for cutoffs that would be appropriate for use as "proxy drawer corners," and I set them aside for dovetail practice. Anything 2-4" wide and at least a couple of inches long will work; it helps to have a matching pair of pieces.
From a photo I took in South Africa last year.
How about some real investigative journalism? Rather than Yet Another In-the-Shop Review, give it a little more oomph. Someone else mentioned air cleaners. Well, there has been some discussion, here on Knots and elsewhere, that the remote control on the Jet air cleaner is incompatible with fluorescent lights. That seems like a pretty signficant limitation to me. Do other air cleaners have the same limitation? What does Jet have to say on the matter? The FWW editorial staff ought to have enough clout to get the real scoop from the manufacturers. And if the manufacturers aren't willing to talk on the record, well, that's real news, too.
Seems to be okay now. It must have been a temporary glitch.
Something has gone wrong with the hyperlinks on the thumbnails next to the main photo--they don't go anywhere any more (not just on this post, but on the others as well).
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