Chapter 1: Stepping out of the “Comfort Zone”

Are you stuck in a rut? Do you build the same thing over and over again, using the same joinery techniques, afraid to venture into uncharted territory? Are you resting in your Comfort Zone or do you try to learn and incorporate a new woodworking technique every now and then?

My step stool project.

Since joining our 207 Community, Tommy Mac and the guys have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone to develop new skills. In that time I’ve tackled mortise and tenon joinery (two blanket chests), full through dovetails (Tommy’s step stool and Ana’s scrapbooking cubby), half-blind dovetails (Stan’s humidor), raised panels (the same two blanket chests) and spring joints (also on Ana’s cubby). The next challenge I want to meet is cutting full blind (aka “secret” mitered) dovetails. Now those are joints you don’t see too often (pun intended). Along with that challenge, one of our Charter 207 Forum Moderators, Mr. Neil Lamens, keeps pushing me to improve my “design” skills. There’s no surprise there. Neil is our design wizard and wants me to be the best I can be and recognizes the need for me to grow in that arena.

Dovetails on my humidor.

With all that in mind, we go to the Secret Mitered Dovetail.

Illustrated here, the full blind dovetail is used in high-end cabinet and woodwork. This is definitely going to test my abilities.

In my planned project there will be an additional mitered section in the joint so that when the ‘project’ is opened, the revealed edges will also appear to have mitered corners.

Stay tuned for Chapter 2, when I shared the rough draft of the project that is sure to take me out of my Comfort Zone.

Bruce, AKA FLWoodRat