Benchmarks: Dave Fisher — The ‘read-and-try’ method of learning, as guided by Fine Woodworking
The 'read-and-try' method of learning, as guided by Fine Woodworking
I built a coffee table for my first apartment. I used oak boards, reclaimed from kitchen cabinets. Most of the boards were shorter than I wanted, but I had plenty of glue. The result was an ingenious pattern for the tabletop with several linear feet of cross-grain glue joints. One winter evening, my roommate was shocked from the couch by a loud cracking pop and a release of energy that sent the TV remote to the floor. We were both stunned to see a new gap as wide as ⅜ in. through the coffee table top. I realized I had a lot to learn.
Thankfully, people that knew a lot more than me had written articles about wood movement in Fine Woodworking magazine. With each issue I learned all sorts of things about wood, tools, finishing, and joinery and made the lessons stick by putting them to practice in my shop. Even articles…