Jointed Love

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been working on a new island for our kitchen. It’s a relatively straightforward piece: two cases, side-by-side, with a few open shelves and six drawers; slab top, which is next on the list of projects.

Because of the size of the piece, I chose to build it out of veneered plywood. It is joined together with Festool dominoes and a few screws in places where they add strength and where no one will ever see them. After building the several plywood cases that make up the new island, as well as the six drawer boxes, also from plywood, I started on the drawer fronts, which are solid cherry.

I’ve been trying to think of just the right analogy to talk about this transition from plywood to hardwood, but I can’t quite find the perfect one:

- It’s like sleeping in your own bed after a week of travel that involved tent camping

- It’s like foraging for nuts and berries for a week and then sitting down a steak dinner, paired with a cold beer… and there’s cake for dessert

- It’s like using a no-kidding sharp chisel after years of fumbling with a yard sale special

I’m still working on these analogies so maybe I should just try to explain myself using my words?

Plywood has it’s place…and large cabinets are one of them. The backside of my cabinet will be exposed (It’s an island, remember) and that side will be painted. That painted face is 37 inches and high and 66 inches long. The time (and money) to glue up even paint-grade wood for such a huge panel was simply too much when compared to using plywood. If I had chosen to have a hardwood surface, I probably still would have used a veneer plywood.

Veneer ply is often beautiful. I’ve had some wonderful cheery veneered ply that had amazing figure. Of course, the best logs in the pile are often cut into veneers and a lot of that veneer makes it into plywoods.

So, I’m not against the stuff. It’s just not my favorite way to build.

Solid wood, as a medium, is imbued with organic qualities—slight variations and imperfections that give it character. You can choose to work with those imperfections, or avoid them and you have many ways to do that. Imperfections in plywood usually include voids in the plies that you find only after when you have no more stock left to replace the damaged piece. Oh yeah, the imperfections in solid wood are often charming or at least intriguing; imperfections in plywood result from manufacturing mistakes.

Similarly solid wood has usually been processed and handled very little by the time it gets to me in the shop. It’s still kinda new (as new as anything that is probably well over 100 years old) and I am responsible for shaping it. Plywood, on the other hand, is manufactured; its thickness is determined; it almost demands a rectilinear form. It’s ready to use, but its uses are limited.

When I start working the wood, there are other considerations. When I run a cherry board through the table saw, there is a wonderful smell that fills the shop. When I cut a hunk of plywood with my track saw, it just kinda smells funny.

More practically speaking, solid woods allow for the fine adjustments that are inevitable in our work—if the fit is a little tight, or the piece a little too big, you just plane off a few strokes here and there. This is much harder with plywood—you can’t really plane it, on any of its edges or faces: the end grain is on all four sides; the veneer is too thin to mess with. Plywood is really good at being a determined thickness, throughout, and being more-or-less rectilinear. There are a number of other practical considerations, but I suspect most woodworkers are familiar with them and most non-woodworkers are less interested in them.

So what about those weird analogies?

I had milled the wood for the drawer fronts a week or so before I was read for it and it remained pretty flat. So, rather than fire up the planer for a few rounds, I busted out my No. 7 Jointer plane and hit each board with a few passes. The plane engaged the wood, the wood pushed back gently, but yielded to the steel, and then released a thin shaving into a tight curl that collected on top of the blade and hopped itself to the floor at the end of the pass. The process repeated several times, without the whirr of machine noise, or the distraction of dust. A smooth, clean surface rose up from the board, revealing itself from beneath the machine marks. The long flat plane’s sole knocked down small bumps and brought little hollows all into the same plane. Then I flipped the board over, and repeated the process. I did this six times—one for each drawer front.

An often overlooked or under-appreciated part of this craft is understanding the medium. We focus a lot on how to avoid injury (to ourselves and the wood), how to avoid tear out, and how to design for strength. But we sometimes spend too little time doing things the way we enjoy doing thems. Even when the project is for a client other than a spouse and the bottom line is a bigger concern, we should savor the processes we enjoy—it’s why we get into this business. There are plenty of turd sandwiches to eat…

Making the drawer fronts was literally the easiest part of the entire process—I cut out some rectangles, planed them smooth and flat, put an edge on them, did a little touch up work, and voila. Building big cabinet cases was a little more challenging physically and technically, but making those drawer fronts is what made the project for me.



people love to be angry (a non-woodworking post)

"Hell is other people"

-Sartre, No Exit

I don’t think much new ever happens. Most of us spend our days the same way people spent their days in the year 1000: walking around, smiling, trying to earn enough to eat, while neurotically doing these little self-proofs in our head about how much better we are than these other slobs. While simultaneously, in another part of our brain, secretly feeling woefully inadequate to these smarter, more beautiful people.” (Hat tip to Nick Offerman, who cites this quote in his tremendous book, Gumption)

- George Saunders, CNN interview at the turn of the millennium

Since I was 17 and first read No Exit, the line “Hell is other people” both resonated with me and troubled me, so I read more dark existentialist literature...and maybe understood some of it.

Both No Exit and the Nausea explore the notion of how we can fully intend to act in very specific ways, but a small transgression, or even just a misinterpretation by another person, can shatter that identity we've worked for. For example, Imagine a young couple striving to be good parents, good professionals, good family members, good spouses, etc. They design their lives around these shared and well-intentioned goals. They buy the best things for their kids; they say the right things at parties where they have dressed the right way; they perform well at work, etc. But someone decides they are fakes—probably cheating on each other and their taxes. “No one is that good…that guy is on Tinder as we speak setting up his next triste,” they might say. You've seen this, probably, in your own circle of friends and acquaintances. Alternatively, one day one of these goody-two-shoes might lose their patience and scream expletives at a driver who has ignored a nearby stop sign in earshot of their neighbors. Again, the identity the've worked so hard to build is now in question: they are no longer the ideal spouse/professional/parent/family-member; they are the crazy person that yells at cars.

These two works really helped me to understand the dynamics of identity and judgment and why people worry so much about what other people think: they care because they think about other people so much and build identities in their mind for those other people.

Which is where the Saunders quote becomes helpful.

People love to be angry. They collect injustices; they seek sorrow; they seek opportunities to be indignant. In fact, there is almost an excitement in their eyes and mannerisms when the moment of transgression becomes clear:

- they’ve been cut off in traffic

- the waiter screwed up their order

- someone was rude to them on the phone

…and so on

It's a puzzle I tried to solve for a long time...why are people, who ostensibly seek to be happy, so excited when they get angry? Who hasn’t, when pissed, decided to hang on to it for a while? To share their anger with whomever would listen? To shake their head in incredulity as they look to their interlocutor for validation?

So what’s going on here?

I think the George Saunders quote above is the key to understanding it. People are simultaneously insecure and superior. They are trying to balance these competing “voices” in their head: one telling them others are better; one telling them they are better than everyone else. When this poor, conflicted soul (anyone of us) experiences the hoped-for transgression, the voice of superiority is fed. “Yes, see! That other person is THE WORST! Can you believe they ran that stop sign? I follow traffic rules and keep the world safe for pedestrians and puppies! But that guy! No way—he has to get somewhere, fast. Probably the Asshole store before they run out of 'I’m with stupid T-shirts.'” Then, this voice goes external…because, now, we have proof, PROOF! That other people suck. And if we don’t tell the world, right now, no one else will know that we’re not the worst.

That post-transgression moment is a moment of great relief. That voice telling them how inferior they are to everyone else is finally silenced. Because they are not inferior to THAT guy. That light that you see in people’s eyes when they start to get angry at another person’s actions…that’s the relief of not being the transgressor.

And the people hearing this story, once the “injured party” begins sharing it have one of two reactions: shared incredulity, which is usually accompanied by piling on (What?! WHAT?! He did WHAT??!! I can’t believe some people). Or just simple head-shaking…it’s either a small or extra large version of shared incredulity...which many will joyfully welcome, because it means they are not in the spotlight of judgment, at least for the moment. But rarely do we hear people say, “hey, maybe that dude who ran the stop sign just didn’t see it…or he had a sick kid at home, a big day at work, and a lingering argument with his spouse and he just absent mindedly ran the stop sign.” Have you?

Mini-transgressions are common sources of shared incredulity and nastiness. Perceived incompetence, poor performances, perceived fashion faux pas or poor taste…. Probably, this is because we’re all so damn insecure about these choices/performances ourselves that we'll grab these low-hanging fruit. Anger over these mini-transgressions are so much more damaging to me because so often these things are without any consequence to us. Someone stammers during a presentation; someone wears goofy shoes to work; someone has a few type-os in an email to the team. AND people just jump all over those things. “Did you see that?” “I KNOW, right? What a dumbass”

Here’s the thing. Those words—the sharing of the transgressions you’ve so righteously informed the world about? They’ve plowed a furrow in your mind…the other side of your mind…the one that feels so inadequate. Yeah, it sees just how indignant and angry other people get when they see any type of inadequacy or transgression in the world. And every action you take now becomes an opportunity for that side of the brain to feed the voice of inadequacy. You stammer during a presentation at work? “Oh man, you suck…they are all going to be talking about how bad of a presenter you are when they go to lunch—without you. You know they love to rip people up who give bad presentations. How do you even still work here? You’re the worst performer on the team.

In reality—maybe no one even noticed, or cared about your stammering during a presentation. Pro tip: no one really listens that closely when other people speak—especially in formal presentations. They make grocery lists and think about how superior/inadequate they are to everyone else in the room. But, that little voice of inadequacy—which you fed and bred by tearing other people down—is now ruining your presentation and your day.

So what’s the solution? It sounds silly, but it’s this: be kind to other people…simple as that. Acts of unkindness stick with you and, unless you’re a psychopath, make you feel like a shit. And you deserve that…for being unkind. But acts of kindness…people love that shit. And then they love you…and, unless they are psychopaths, they do nice shit for you when you feel like...poop.

Fun Fact: Only about 1 out 100 people are psychopaths

Try it. The next time you make cookies or a nice meal, make twice as much…it’s no harder and the kitchen is already a mess. Think of someone who has had a rough go for a while or is too busy (or thinks he or she is too busy) to do something good for themselves. Then, if it’s a meal, give them some notice that you’ve simply made/bought too much and you need to share it. Don’t try to stick around for dinner or impose in anyway…act as though they are doing you a favor by taking it off your hands. If it’s cookies or something that doesn’t need to be eaten or refrigerated right away, just show up with them…leave them in the mailbox with a note.

Somebody seem like they need a friend? Listen to them for a while...ask questions, try to really understand what they are saying

The next time someone screws up and you can pick them up instead of letting them rot and feel terrible, go tell them about a time when you screwed up and then buy them a coffee or something.

The next time you have the opportunity to be an asshole…don’t. That’s all. When you see a transgression—like someone running a stop sign, give them the benefit of the doubt (maybe they’re having a bad day); be grateful no one got hurt; say a little prayer for them to be safe. The next time you see someone demonstrating benign incompetence, assume they are a beginner at the task, or having a bad day. Give them a smile; tell them a joke…help them get out of their own head…they are obviously listening to that bastard voice of inadequacy. Maybe your actions will spread and become infectious in the same way that nastiness spreads.




Eating turd sandwiches

"Do the work."

"What is your favorite flavor of turd sandwich?"

I came across the first phrase in multiple places; most recently in two books from Ryan Holiday: The Obstacle is the Way and The Ego is the Enemy.

The second is from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.

I think about these ideas a lot--in the shop and outside of it...

Doing the work is where we usually fail. We have great dreams, visions, and aspirations. Most of those lofty things remain just that, though: lofty. We are unable to overcome static friction to get moving; or we get moving but lack the momentum to persist.  

Written that way, it sounds like it a physics problem. And if faced with something big to do at work or somewhere in which you didn't have to self-start, there are all kinds of things that would keep you on track: deadlines, milestones, to-do lists, etc. But when it comes to our own aspirations, you need more than tactics.

Doing the work is about being humble. It means that just because you accomplished something in the past doesn’t mean you get to stop doing the work that got you there to begin with. It means that having the vision is not enough—it’s just the start.

Baseball provides a great example here.

Baseball players are the highest paid athletes in sports-obsessed America. They always talk about “playing the game the right way”, “keeping the line moving”, “going about their process.” They, unlike many athletes, will often defer attention from themselves and focus on the team—another hallmark of humility. Watch what happens when a player gets too cocky and talks about himself—other players will shame him and the superstitious among them will claim that he will suffer on the field. Bryce Harper is probably the easiest example to think of or look up--he entered the majors at age 19 (far younger than most) and his age betrayed him on several occasions with the media..

Baseball players show up at the ballpark at 1pm for a 7pm game; the game will usually end after 10pm, at which point they will talk to the media and probably not leave the ballpark until after 11.. Players who make 10s of millions a year to play baseball are out there in the afternoon sun doing the same drills they have done since they were six: taking ground balls, bunting, taking swings, catching pop flies, running sprints, and stretching, etc. They do not roll into the clubhouse with just enough time to get dressed and expect great things to happen because they have every other day.

They do the work. They follow their process. They stay humble

This is a cultural phenomenon throughout the game…it’s the “right way”. Players who have struggled credit new found success with a consistent approach to their game: going through a structured routine of work that is focused on nailing the fundamentals-every day.

It's not limited to baseball, obviously.

Musicians play/sing scales to warm up.

Artists sketch between projects.

Medical professionals continuously go to lectures and take classes to stay sharp.

Doing the work is made easier when we acknowledge that even within the things we love to do, we will have to sometimes eat some turd sandwiches.

Elizabeth Gilbert asks the question, “Whats your favorite flavor of turd sandwich”? This question is often asked of entrepreneurs and others striking out on their own. It’s meant to make you think about your new career/hobby/etc., in a productive way. What is the part of this enterprise that you really hate? Or, more gently, what about this new enterprise would you rather not do? If you can find joy in doing that, you’ll be just fine…at least, that’s my understanding.

Examples of turd sandwiches

In woodworking, most people really enjoy the design portion; pencil and paper or a computer screen—you’re bringing a mental image to life—you can enjoy a cup of coffee while you do it and you don’t usually break a sweat. It’s also fun to see the final product once it’s built and every one gives you love on Instagram, etc.

I really enjoy cutting joinery.  Putting together perfectly fitting joints, straight from the saw, is incredibly fulfilling. The first time you do it, it’s like magic…every other time is just really awesome. If you’re not into woodworking—just thinking of any time you’ve created something that worked out just right—a perfect omelet or soufflé; ironing a shirt just right; pruning a tree; a newly cleaned and organized room. That’s the feeling

But unlike those other activities—where you eat the soufflé or wear the shirt, in woodworking, you then, you have a load of sanding to do. This involves running a power sander, wearing safety glasses, a respirator, and hearing protection. You can avoid all of this by using handplanes on flat surfaces, but if you have curved or otherwise shapely edges, you’re still doing a bunch of sanding.

The thing is: it’s this tedious work that makes the final product actually come to life. Perfectly fitting joints and a good design will only take you so far. I built a fair number of things before I fully understood this. Preparing a piece for the finish often takes nearly as long as it does to build it. It’s also the place where one is likely to get bored and think about cutting corners. But it is the time spent here that makes the difference between a piece that is eh and a piece that is excellent.

If you watch an artist at work…and in this case, I’m thinking mostly of a sculptor or someone working with a big medium, there is a look of contentment…gladness…on their face as they work through the tedium of repeating pattern. Just making a repeated shape over and over in clay is probably a turd sandwich for most of us. But to the artist…who has the final vision in mind, he/she knows that each bite of that sandwich is leading to the final vision.

You can think also of body builders. Even if you enjoy exercise, the thought of working out for hours a day and doing hundreds of repetitions is a bit nauseating. But to world-class body builders, every single repetition is bringing them one step closer to their ultimate goal. They find joy in each sit up...each one is a tasty bite of their delicious turd sandwich.

You have to find ways to enjoy the process of what you’re doing to make the final product worth your time. If you’re investing your time and energy into something, you have to find ways to bring your final vision of that thing—the vision that motivated you to start—and hold it through out the process. 

It's that final vision that will fuel you to do the work--to get started, to persist, and to even savor your turd sandwiches.


5 Reasons Why You're Never Too Old to Make Cutting Boards

I suspect many “serious” craftsman are uninterested in the cutting board game. It’s not terribly challenging; if you’re selling them, the profit margin is not huge; and if you’re making more than a few the work can get repetitive and boring, very quickly.


But there are five good reasons to batch out a dozen or so.


First, you can clean out your scrap bin.  Wood is valuable…sure, it is a “renewable” resource, but with the various invasive species attacking our trees, let’s try not to take anything for granted.  You’re likely going to find pieces you just can’t do anything with, and really, there is nothing better than soaking those pieces in water, firing up the grill, and rewarding yourself with smoked ribs after a day of making cutting boards. 


Second, I believe people should fill their homes and lives with beautiful, handmade items.  Cutting boards fit this bill, perfectly. Cutting boards are accessible—they are not fancy dovetailed credenza’s or frame and panel bookshelves…most people can afford a small cutting board. Alternatively, if you need a gift in a hurry, you can likely afford to give someone a cutting board you’ve made (pro tip: you can only play this card a few times with the same recipient—keep track).


Third, they are great teaching moments for non-woodworkers. People are drawn to the various woods used—they want to know what kinds of wood are in there, how they were made, how they should be maintained, etc.  All of this is great for the craft—people who may not own or have the means to buy fancy hardwood furniture are exposed to multiple kinds of hardwoods, they put them to use, and introduce a handcrafted item into their daily lives.


Fourth, you get a quick return on your effort.  I tend to make cutting boards in batches.  It’s just more efficient.  I can go into the scrap bin(s), pull out a bunch of pieces, and layout 10 or 12 at a time.  This allows me to see complete objects go from a pile of scraps, into a glued-up mess, and then gradually into a finished cutting board. Over and over again, within a relatively short period of time, finished products are leaving the shop.  With a larger piece, you get the same fulfillment of watching the transition, but only once, over a long period of time.   With a bunch of cutting boards, it’s like the lightening round of fulfillment.


Fifth, it’s good practice. Using up the narrow pieces of scrap, you have to square up each little piece. Because the pieces are small, it’s smart to do this with a hand plane, which is great practice for the technique.  Failure to do it properly will result in gaps between the different colored pieces of wood…or worse, if multiple pieces are not squared up, the cutting board will not be flat (if you imagine ten pieces with an 88 degree angle, instead of 90, you can see, in your mind, how you will get a slight curve; there is probably a place for the half-pipe cutting board, but I haven’t found it yet). After a few rounds, you really get into the groove…you get in tune with your plane, you find new and creative ways to hold each piece, and you begin to get faster and faster.  The difference between 100% and 99% becomes immediately perceptible.








About an inch

An inch is almost nothing; or, it's ridiculously all depends on the circumstances. Not just in woodworking, but all circumstances. If you have an inch long piece of wood, it seems pretty small, unless it's lodged in your finger, at which point, it feels like a log.

Today, I undertook a half hour long chore of changing something by an inch: the height of my bed. Normally, the height of my bed is of little consequence: I have comfortably slept at floor level and in a loft. But we recently changed our mattress and box spring (to Caspar...I highly recommend them and they do not sponsor me). Our previous set was a bit thicker; I designed our bed frame for that set. Consequently, when sitting or reading in bed, the gap between the headboard and mattress was large enough that pillows was slowly slid down between the gap until you were completely uncomfortable. This was disappointing. It took all the fun out of reading in bed.

Fortunately, when you design and build your own furniture, you can easily remedy such calamities. The brackets holding the box spring were initially installed at the very bottom of the frame. When I pulled off the mattress and box spring this morning, I saw that I had about an inch of change I could I made it. This simple adjustment required just moving a few screws and drilling a few more holes. And now, one can lay in bed and read, or sit up, without losing their comfy support...a dream so many have.

Why do I feel compelled to share this inane story of homemaking/woodworking? Too often, we live with unsatisfactory goods, workmanship, or circumstances. We have grown accustomed to a lot of crummy products (like $500 "smart phones" that need to be replaced after 2 years). We accept discomfort and inconvenience in our products too soon, too easily. It was the realization that furniture was designed for houses much bigger than the one I lived in, and often built by kids in foreign countries, that I decided I would make my own, with better designs, better materials, and less child labor (OK...NO child labor). *Child labor is not a joking matter.

While actually designing and building the furniture takes some years of study and practice, it is attainable. And if furniture and wood ain't your thing, maybe metal and tools are; or cooking; or gardening. You don't have to become a master; today, my little dose of fulfillment and measureable change came with tools and abilities most people have: a drill and a screw driver. In another set of circumstances, I could have lived with an ill-suited bed frame, bought a new one, or improvised in some other way. But the freedom afforded by owning a few tools and having a little experience and gumption, mean I now have a more comfortable bed, didn't have to spend any money, and I had a little dose of fulfilling activity on Saturday.

Blanket Chest completed months ago!

So, I fell off my promised blog updates. I apologize.

Here are some photos of the finished product. It was delivered to the customer and is now in use. As I mentioned in previous posts, I built two of these at once. I have one available for purchase if anyone is interested.

There were a lot of tricky pieces to this build. By far, the most interesting was making the individual ebony plugs. has the full video and instruction for those interested in how to do it...but for the non-woodworkers out there, know that it took over two full work days to cut, polish, and install those guys. 

Making these plugs really brought home for me something that I've observed in my artist friends for years: the ability to sit quietly and do repetitive work in the cause of the eventual beauty. Think of mosaics, patterns in pottery, tapestries, knitted patterns, etc. Making these kinds of things, in my experience, can ride on the continuum of satisfyingly therapeutic to painfully boring. The therapeutic portion comes first...maybe lasts an hour or so...then your brain wants to stop, find shortcuts, pay a kid to do it for you. But you remind yourself of the final product and how all of those details will come put on some music, or a podcast (or pay a kid to help?), and you persevere. One little piece at a make two, three, four--nope, that one's not right...throw it out...and finally, at the end of the day, after a full day of work, you have a paper cup full of little ebony plugs...

Not exactly a fulfilling day, but then again, I've spent entire days in the office arguing about who should send an email and whether we should say "likely" or "probably" so....

But imagine this piece without those would look OK...nice, even. You could hide the screws in any number of ways, or even use different joinery. But the wow factor of this piece is in those ebony plugs. I don't begrudge those plugs the two days I spent making them. Not only do they make the piece what it is, but the process brought home for me the real importance of the pedestrian work that goes into some of these pieces...and to a lot of handwork in general. It explains to me the serene looks on the faces of artists I have in mind when I picture them working.

Update on the blanket chest

I've been really enjoying the blanket chest are a few more photos updating the progress

I've moved to hand tools here...cutting joinery for base pieces with my favorite BadAxe saw

I've moved to hand tools here...cutting joinery for base pieces with my favorite BadAxe saw

New Approaches (or, how I work)

I am currently building the Greene and Greene Blanket Chest featured on

I don't usually "show my work" as I go, but the customer is interested in the process and I'm approaching this project a little bit differently than I normally work, so I thought I'd share some notes about the project as I go, and also talk about how I work

I have designed and built everything in my portfolio by myself. Many of the projects were inspired by other pieces and nearly all were helped along with instructional videos and books from various sources, but I really enjoy the puzzle of making a piece that fits a specific need in a specific space, for a specific person. (which for anyone interested, is not a terribly scalable business model).

In a future post I'll focus more on that part of the work.

Moreover, I typically don't follow a detailed plan. I probably should...I think customers might like to see more detailed drawings with 3D views and all the fancy stuff that even free software now offers. But, typically, I make a pretty good drawing on a sheet of paper that shows the piece from a front, side, and top view. If necessary, I sketch out the joinery or design details on a separate sheet of paper. On the back, I write down the dimensions and joinery notes. As I work, if I need to think through something, rather than turning to a plan, I might just sketch out something on a workpiece or a scrap piece of wood.

Then, I start making sawdust.

With this project, I'm using someone else's design and following the detailed video guidance on the processes. There are multiple ways to complete most operations in the woodshop but Marc over at usually provides several and gives a lot of details...can't recommend it highly enough to any woodworkers out there. Thing is, he likes power tools a fair bit more than I do. I have the tools and use them when I need/want to, but I usually prefer to power my tools with donuts and beer (from the night before). So the project is expanding my comfort zone with jigs, pattern bits, and noise in general. That's not to say my handtools are getting rusty (I did a lot of the milling with my planes).

Finally, I'm building in the Greene and Greene style, which is a departure for me. I think the work is beautiful, but it didn't really appeal to me as a style I wanted to explore as a builder until I saw this chest. It involves a lot of detail work (36 ebony plugs, each made individually, on each chest). But that tedious work pays off with some amazing wow factors.

One thing I'm not changing, is my effort to build two of each thing I make whenever it is practical. The advantage of this, as I see it, is that in many cases, making multiples is often very little more work once you are set up and doing an operation (especially when machines are involved). I also see it as an opportunity to get more practice. Sure, there is an upfront cost in terms of milling more wood (and buying it), but a lot of the time involved in the craft is getting your workpiece set up and figuring out the operations. Executing them takes less time and we only get better the more times we do them. Moreover, if you make a mistake on a customer's project, you have spare parts. If you're good (and this has thankfully been the case so far with this policy) you get a piece for yourself or to sell to someone else.

OK, here are some photos on where I am now...more to follow