Saturday, August 08, 2015

hinge mortising jig...

This month Fine Woodworking introduced a "clever new jig" to guide the routing of mortises for butt hinges on small boxes.  I introduced the type of template and routing technique in an earlier issue of FWW,  but also in my books dating back to 2001, and in an article I wrote for Woodwork magazine while this century was quite young.

The jig they introduce is in fact pretty nice, but certainly not state of the art.  In order to do left then right, the jig needs to be taken apart and reassembled between steps. I have a similar jig (as shown) that does not need to be altered in use. In fact, you simply slide the jig left, clamp in place, then rout, then slide right to rout the matching hinge mortise. Blocks of wood along one edge and at each end make certain of its location on the box. So it is essentially fool proof. The photos show how it can be clamped on the left and right on the lid and body of a box.

This jig is useful for boxes up to 11 inches long and took less than 15 minutes to make. It can be just as quickly made for other sizes of hinge. I plan to make another one for even smaller boxes.

Last night I attended a performance of Chinese music and poetry at the Eureka Springs Carnegie Public Library. A college professor in the audience noted the "unchallenged" assumption of the primacy of language in the evolution of human intelligence.

But we are makers first. We were makers in the earliest days of man. We make music. We make the instruments upon which we play, We craft poetry in an effort to bring dead words and language to life. The notion that language is supreme has been tested and proven false except among those who have nothing real to do.  Speaking of which, Time Magazine has a cover story about "virtual reality", claiming its wonders. But there is nothing truly virtuous about "virtual reality." As much fun as it may be, it allows people to be negligent of real life and inadvertently destructive of precious resources.

Make, fix and create... Teach others to do likewise.

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