How to get started

Japanese-style joinery at Wagner Creek EcoNest...

Japanese-style joinery at Wagner Creek EcoNest in Talent, OR (Photo credit: Derek Severson)

Nothing is more foundational to joiner-based woodworking than being able to create a flat surface.  You cannot have square joints, square corners, square projects without first establishing a flat reference surface from which all measurements are made.  In machine work this is performed with a joiner, a tool with two flat beds that are the depth of cut of the joiner knife away from being in a perfect plane with one another.  The board is then held against the infeed table and fence, pushed across the rotating knives of the tool, and received onto the outfeed table.  When the entire length and width of that face has been surfaced by the tool, it is flat and in a single plane.  If you skip this step and move on to the planer, you will have two perfectly parallel surfaces on opposite sides of the board, the second one perfectly paralleling every twist, undulation and imperfection of the first side.  The joiner must come first, only then will both sides be flat and parallel.

The second thing the joiner performs best is to make adjacent sides square to one another.  Flatten a face, then make an adjacent edge square (90 degrees) to it by holding the reference face against the fence of the joiner as it passes across the spinning knives until the entire length and width of the edge has been surfaced.  Take the board with its flat face against the tablesaw surface, with the square edge against the fence and rip to just fat of the final dimension, return to the joiner and clean the matching edge up of all saw marks until final dimension is reached.

Everything starts with the joiner.

Have any heroes in your life?  Any people you look up to and admire?  Any one you want to emulate?  DON’T!

Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly have mentors in my life, and other imperfect people that are better than I am in certain areas.  I certainly could improve by becoming like them in their areas of strength, but they should never be my reference.

Jesus Christ is the only adequate reference for the human experience.  He alone lived life without the twist and taint of sin.  He alone can I parallel without fear of marring the  work of the master carpenter in my life and the lives of those around me.  He alone can give consistent guidance in how to be human in this out-of-joint world.

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11, NIV)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s