Monday, September 2, 2013

Sins and Beezdiks

It is not a good idea to make a blog post without original photography, but here I am. Also, here is a beezdik, an Australian term meaning about 3 thousandths of an inch:

This week I am helping some guy named Christopher Schwarz with his class on building an "Anarchist's Tool Chest" at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. While he is plently capable of running a class and getting 16 students to get their chests together, it is a lot of fun to take part helping the students realize what sharp truly is, suggesting local restaurants, and providing cheerleading service. Really, their dovetails, go dovetails, nice dovetails, are great! RAH!

There are 12 and a half or so chests being built. There are 10 students, one of them is also making the "travel" version, and Christopher is making one as well. I am not sure, maybe  that is eleven and a half. Anyway, it was 1200 lbs of poplar stock, hand-milled using machines (sideways glance here) by the always amazing Abel Dances. The students showed up, had a quick orientation, and quickly succumbed to Christopher's generously-oiled iron fist approach. Tears were shed, boards were broken (ok, one was broken), curses were uttered (ok, a lot), and a very good time was had by all. I believe everybody had reasonable tailboards done by the end of today, day one of five very long ones.

Back to the beezdik... this is the unit of measure which one should observe when placing the kerf of a cut onto the waste side of the line defining a pin. It is very precise. Puts the metric system to shame. Half a beezdik is even more precise, effectively doubling the snugness of fit.

It is great to see some old friends show up for the class. Some I remember from Jim Tolpin's pilot By Hand and By Eye class at the school, some from Joinery Essentials, and some from Woodworking in America. These dudes are all pretty serious, and the toolkits they are toting are enviable. It is nice to know that at the end of the week they will have some storage spaces to be proud of. More soon, and hopefully with actual photos of actual beezdiks.


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