Friday, November 19, 2010

starting to make

Yesterday I began working on a Greene and Greene styled tool cabinet, and the first thing is to make certain that the joinery I intend for the corners will work as planned. Greene and Greene cabinetry often displayed ovesized box or finger joints at the corners, and my first experiment was to form the joints with a box joint jig, 5/16 in. guide pin and 5/16 in. blade. It worked great  as you can see in the photo. But I met difficulties when using the set up on wide stock.

Today I try again with the jig modified and improved, which of course reminds me of the essential points of education. Have a student derived vision or goal, allow that student to face failure, and try again, and again if necessary. How often do schools these days offer failure as a means to proceed toward success?

The photo above shows greater success using a stacked dado blade and 3/4 inch hardwood spacer block. Below, you can see the fitted joint.

The nation's report card came out today, with Arkansas performing below average. In the US, 25 percent perform proficient or advanced in Math and 36 percent proficient or above in Reading. Thirty Seven percent in Math and 27% in reading perform below basic standards. Our failure is that without the engagement of the hands, reading and math are not made relevant to our children.


  1. Doug, does the backer board on the jig prevent tearout on the cut? Or do you have some other method you use?

    The nation's report card is surely dismal...


  2. Yes, the backer board prevents tearout. It has to be exact, so when using a new jig, I am careful not to raise the blade to the full height for test cuts. If I do want to lower the cut for some reason, I can place fresh stock over the face of the jig to renew the backing.