The Jig is Up ... or I Actually Learned Something


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To say that the last six years have been interesting educationally is an understatement. Crafts take time to master and some of us will never be masters, but maybe at least competent.

The two things I've found that make a project look "right" is the ends. Lots of things can be adjusted in between and sanding covers a multitude of sins.
But to get the end square takes a sled some other means of guaranteeing a perfect 90 degrees. Likewise for a miter my next jig will be a pair of shooting planes.
Why two? From what I can tell, the positioning of a piece, such as trim moulding, has a thick side and a thin side. Sliding from thick to thin might lead to some
edge tear-out. So two (or maybe a larger one that's double-sided?) it is.

If we treat woodworking like a craft where one might make a Very Good Living then perhaps we might mentor younger folks to the craft. There's plenty of good-paying work out there, it seems, and it doesn't require a college degree. (Teach people to spend their evenings reading instead of playing on tech gadgets.) Right now I have but one customer and he's got more work for me than I have time for (since I still have a regular job). Thus it is a long-term relationship, and a good one.


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7 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

Well stated, Collin. Regarding the two shooting planes, I assume that is to allow trimming of miters on irregular shapes, such as picture fram moldings?

Any time I need 45 degrees it needs to be right. I've seen decorative trim in all sorts of situations where it's tight at the outside but loose on the inside. A miter knife is the perfect solution but for those of use who don't need or have space for something so large there's the hand-made shooting board.

The same thing happens with cabinet doors. My early attempts at cabinet door frames has the same issue -- tight at the outside but a gap toward the inside. It looks "good" but not "right" even at several feet. It may not be visible as a gap but often is visible as a shadow line. Once the sled was built the problem disappeared. My saw slot miter was just not enough.

This is not to be a perfectionist. One might always do better. And wood isn't such a fine material that absolute perfection can be reached. But "right" is attainable. A nice tight joint. wysiwyg.

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