I wanted to share my impression of woodworkers via an anecdote, so stay with me a bit.
My family and I spent two weeks recently in her hometown of Cleveland. One day we went to the Cleveland Flea, which is a huge flea market/craft/food/music thing. As we were walking around I noticed a photographer who does similar work to what I've been experimenting with for about three years. It's a photo transfer process where a photo is transferred to different materials. I've done mine on wood and aluminum as well as some small tile pieces. I've used gelatin, regular gesso and a process developed by an artist in Colorado who now markets the supplies. I've shown my work at a gallery and even sold a few pieces to non-relatives, lol. I have a showing coming up and just finished working on the piece that will show there -- made the frame with splines and all. Anyway, I'm always very open with my process to people who are curious. I tell them whatever it is they want to know. I'm not threatened that anyone will steal a secret process and make millions while I struggle along. I see my transfers as just a part of my whole process. However, as I approached this guy in Cleveland I saw that his transfers to tile were nice and clean. I wondered which process he used, so I asked him. He said it's a photo transfer. I said, yes, I get that. I do a similar pe rocess and have used a few methods, which do you prefer? I'm not telling you how I do it, was his response. Wow, I thought. What an arse. If I had been 20 years younger I'd have told him what he could do with his tiles. Instead, I just walked away. His photos weren't good to my eye. A lot of "tilted" perspective stuff. Yawn.
So I started walking some more and saw a woman with some photos transferred to wood. Cool, I thought. I like doing transfers to wood when I want the grain to show through. Adds a cool element. Anyway, I started up a similar conversation with her, and her response was funny. She started putting down image transfer because hers are real art. Hers are actually printed on the wood using a "special" printer that basically burns the image into the wood. Oh, I said. That's cool. Yeah, she said, image transfer are so child-like. It's like elementary art projects. That's not art. She said this as I was looking at some her photos that were actually scans of vintage work, unattributed, and then printed onto the wood. Wow, I thought.
Either I just met the two biggest asshole artist in the entire state of Ohio, or I've been naive in my thinking about other artists. Now, I realize that some artists don't like to share all the details about their process, which is fine. However, most of the ones I've met locally are pretty open and enjoy describing not only the meaning of their work but also the how of their work.
Which brings us back to woodworkers, which I'm a complete neophyte in both practice and community. The next day, we are in a little suburb called Tremont because there's an incredible chocolate shop there called Lily's. And the church from Deer Hunter is just around the corner. Inside Lily's I was admiring a cool live-edge table with metal legs. The craftsmen had resewed the slab and opened it up as a book match, leaving a live-edge part about 1/3 of the way in the middle of the table. It was nice. I asked the owner about it and she said the guy next door did it, so I meandered into there as my wife and her sisters and niece went to clothing store. I wasn't expecting what I found.
Inside the building, which was an old house converted into a woodworking studio, were a whole bunch of chairs, slabs, mock ups and Festool. The only guy in there welcomed me and my mother in law. I told him that I saw his table next door and really admired it. He told me that a lot of people told him not to do the table that way with the gap, but he did it because that's what he wanted to do, lol, and like the way it looked. We started talking and I was looking at some chair legs he was working on and noticed that he used dominoes for everything. I also noticed that he made his own dominoes, so I started talking tools and told him I was just learning how to do things. And he was incredibly gracious and outgoing. He showed me the chairs he was working on for client, explained how he made the templates and cut the parts out, sanded, used dominoes, etc. He answered every question I had, which weren't too many because I didn't want to take away too much time. I left there feeling great.
Which is the experience I've had so far with just about every woodworker I've met. I'm not sure what the difference is, but I was sharing my impressions with my wife and pointed out that i can post a question about how to do something, or what the technique is for a certain method on this board or many others and within a few hours I'd have some advice. People will share. Let alone the information I can get from Marc's free videos and countless others on YouTube.
So, that's a longwinded way of saying thanks to woodworkers and craftsmen out there who not only share their knowledge but seem to actually relish in the sharing of that knowledge.
Here's a link to the place in Cleveland if anyone is interested. I'm pretty sure the guy I met was Alex Sutula.
Don't run away from the mitered corners. Undertaking something a bit beyond your current abilities is how you grow your skills.
And if your finding metres hard at this current stage, not sure how you will fare with dovetails. That's akin to I'm having trouble learning to swim so I need to jump into a white water river.
I have a bunch of Milwaukee corded tools and love then, especially the routers. One over my corded screwdrivers is over 25 years old and going strong. The only cordless tools I own are 12 volt Dewalts and I really like them. My old Porter Cable tools are good, but the new PC tools feel cheap. I'm kind of pissed at Stanley Tools for messing with the line.