The Five-Minute Dovetail
Joinery practice is a woodworker’s warm-up.
Synopsis: Start each woodworking session with a quick, practice dovetail to work out the kinks and get in tune with your hand tools. That’s what Gary Rogowski teaches his students. For seasoned woodworkers, the exercise will help you practice handskills while easing into the focused mindset required for woodworking. For beginners, it’s a great introduction to hand-cutting a dovetail joint.
What is it about woodworkers?
Baseball players loosen up their arms and take batting practice before a game. Violinists rosin their bows and tune their instruments before a concert. Artists draw big circles on their pads before drawing a portrait. Everyone seems to warm up before starting work except woodworkers.
What hubris tricks us into believing that we can begin sawing right now on that fiddleback maple, without getting ready? Some of us, hell-bent on “getting something done tonight,” only make more work for ourselves in fixing mistakes.…