Dovetails! Are they played out, or is the most famous joint in woodworking about to be fun again? I don't know. I've groused about woodworkers' dovetail fetishism at the same time as standing in awe of the results. What is my problem? I guess I don't have one any more.
Dovetails, like most of woodworking, are a means to an end. That logic holds up no matter what end you're aiming at, and is proved out by the existence of hidden dovetails. The article calls them "secret" dovetails. If you can see a reason for painstakingly chopping out interlocking pins and tails that will never be seen, then you can imagine the whole spectrum of intent and outcome between that and flashy, puzzling dovetails that cause eyes to cross in wonder. Within such a spectrum, my assumption is that everyone can find their own balance point between function and fetish. If you can't, maybe it's time to come talk to us about a new saw.
Sick of dovetails anyway? You say you don't read Work for contemporary opinions on otherwise straightforward joinery? Fine. There's also a bit about BOILER EXPLOSIONS and STRAIGHT RAZORS, you Victorian dandy, you.
If you're wondering whether this is another case of the firebox calling the boiler black, it is. Find pictured below a photograph of my new straight razor; a gift from my beloved. The plan is to set the edge and put it into action whilst somehow keeping my beard. Before you ask, yes, I gave her a coin. -T
Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.