Yes I know, much has happened in the past week, and yet again I am at the center of it. I hate to brag about it since I’m sure you already know. I understand how the Monday morning water cooler talk was all a buzz about where you were, and what you were doing when you learned that Fairwoodworking became the Dovetailing Champion Of The World.
You already know about all that, so I need not mention it.
Well I’ve come to learn that winning was the easy part. The parades, the ceremonial mall openings, the charity golf tournaments and working the international talk show circuit (I’ll admit my Mandarin is a little rusty), meeting with government officials and running from all my new found dovetail groupies. It’s not a life I’m familiar with, but don’t worry.
I’m still Jenny from the block.
I’m not changing and neither is the blog.
Well. Not much anyway.
I’d prefer it if you did call me Champ, and also please don’t look at me directly. Oh. And only speak in hushed tones.
The blog will remain fully accessible to all… that pay their subscription fees on time.
Yes it’s business as usual here at “Champion Of The World Woodworking”.
Did you guys catch where I compared myself to J-Low?
Are you buying this?
I’m certainly not.
While I greatly appreciate the donated prize of a 14″ BadAxe Sash Saw, I really don’t get how a 5:41 time with a 2 card deduction won. You can argue that I’m being modest, or more accurately falsely modest, but I assure you that you have misunderstood. I think my results under the gun, with people watching was fantastic. My only goal was to perform at a level that I could look back on and know I had done the best that I was capable of. Oh, and I really, really, REALLY wanted to better my good friend Neil Cronk.
Done, and DONE!!!
By the narrowest of margins (1 second and 4 point deductions) I win, and this time you can’t claim to have the nicer fit.
EDITORS NOTE – If the next time I’m spotted in public, I have shards of an award winning stool sticking out of the side of my head, don’t call the police. I deserved it…
The thing is I am not especially talented, and also anyone who has seen me work at anything knows I progress at a snail’s pace. I’ve been working on the same chest of drawers for over a year now, and I’ve yet to finish the carcass. The only things I brought to the table was the accumulation of two key skills, a well thought out game plan, and an average of cutting two joints per day for 14 days.
If there is one thing I can brag to the world about it’s that I came prepared, but by that logic, I should also be bragging that every day I manage to leave the house with both my shoes on the right feet.
I should not have won this event, and if I get the chance to compete again, I hope I am obliterated by one of you out there.
Then I’ll crack you on the head and steal your prize!
So let’s see if we can’t bring this in for a landing.
After the completion of the Handtool Olympics, I got a chance to thank Mike Siemsen personally for running the competition. As we talked I commented that as fun as it was to practice and then compete, such a rushed process has no real value to real life dovetails or woodworking. Mike very kindly stopped me right there and in words I have now forgotten, he essentially told me, “you’re wrong, you’ll see”. Since that time I’ve had some time to consider it, and I now believe him to be correct.
Even if you never compete in a dovetail race, you can learn from it, and in the next while I hope to share with you the skills and strategies necessary to cut a fast’ish dovetail.
The first two skills I mentioned above.
- Learn how to start a square cut free hand. (for cutting the tails)
- Learn how to cut straight down free hand. (for cutting the pins)
If you are looking at this skeptically, hoping that I will tell you that “You can do it big guy!!!”, don’t bother, you can’t.
However, if you are willing to try, and fail, and try, and fail, and keep trying until you succeed? Who knows what will happen.
Either way, hand wringing 101 is one blog over from here.
Additional thanks to Popular Woodworking for a great Popular Woodworking in America I hope to come again next year!
HEY! WAIT A SEC! WHO SORTED THESE GUMMIE BEARS!!??!!
I SAID ONLY GIRL GUMMIE BEARS!
I’LL HAVE YOUR JOB FOR THIS!
DO YOU REALIZE WHO I AM?
I OWN THIS TOWN!