Joshua’s new book, Joined: A Bench Guide to Furniture Joinery, is packed full of useful insight – the kind that you usually get in a one-on-one conversation with an instructor. It’s those little hints or bits of guidance that can make all the difference in pulling off a woodworking operation: “Turn the chisel over and pare with the bevel up,” or “Stay off the line when ripping – a few passes with the plane will finish the job.” While editing through the rough draft of the manuscript, I came across this gem describing the process of fitting rail tenons into mortises:
“This back-and-forth test fitting and marking can get tedious, but it’s important to never work blindly. It’s always worth double checking and marking carefully so as not to spoil your hard work. As you remove the tenon, press the leg firmly on the bench and wiggle the rail out without yanking. Also, keep your face away from the end of the rail when pulling it out. Don’t ask how I know.”
That’s good advice.
I was in my basement workshop just a few days later, test-fitting rails into the legs of a new vanity for our bathroom. Holding the leg down to the benchtop, I wiggled the rail out of the mortise… and smacked myself in the forehead with the other end when it popped free. Ouch.
It’s wise to listen to good advice.
Reader, this tragic tale need not be repeated! When you take this book to your bench, you have to work through these chapters with tools in hand. By walking through each step, you will discover the value of clear and straightforward instruction. Joined is designed to be used. Until you explore these things for yourself, you will never get that forehead-smacking insight that only comes by experience.
You can purchase a copy of Joined here, with free domestic shipping for orders placed by December 1st.