Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Joint Book

The radiator cover previously mentioned was built just before Christmas and most if it was done with mortise and tenon joinery. I cut the tenons with the table saw, but the mortises I did by hand, and it...took...forever. With Christmas coming up, I expressed to everyone my extreme displeasure at the time it took to cut mortises by hand. I also discovered that cutting them by hand requires a lot of blood. I have a few new scars in my left hand now that I've worked with razor sharp wood chisels. Imagine my complete and utter surprise when my parents were kind enough to give me a benchtop mortiser for Christmas.

What does a benchtop mortiser do? It is essentially a drill press that cuts square holes. With the new tool, I was obligated to build another radiator cover. I had to see if it was any faster than my previous method. What a difference. It more than halved the amount of time I spent making mortises. I still made some mistakes. After all, power tools don't necessarily guarantee better execution. They do guarantee faster execution though.

Here it is in situ. Some of it came out better than the original, some worse, but its certainly good enough for going in an upstairs bedroom.

There have been a few things that I needed to build these radiator covers; a table saw, a benchtop mortiser, a set of good wood chisels, a set of sharpening stones for said chisels, a good metal ruler (marked to 64ths), a sharp knife to mark the wood, and one small book I picked up by chance.

The Joint Book

Originally I picked up the book as a joke, expecting it to be about something else entirely, but after I looked at it I realized just how handy it would be. If you are going to be doing any wood working and are at a fairly beginner level (as I am), look at getting this book.

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