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Old 10-03-2011, 12:59 AM
RickChristopherson RickChristopherson is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 907
Default Re: Against the clock

Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
I am curious about the speed at which the pros work. One reference I had was 6 1/2 hours to make a high end drawer.
Is there truly a correlation between what is considered high-end, and what tools were used to get there? Or is this simply the perception of the makers? I know that is rather blasphemous here, but it is a serious observation.

What constitutes "high-end"? Is it seeing the imperfections of hand-working, or is it not being able to distinguish the outcome from the method?

A few years ago there was a trend where deliberate imperfections were added to the spacing of dovetails...for no other reason than to signify that they were hand cut. Then, jig manufacturers came out with jigs that could replicate this imperfection with a router, so the trend fell out of favor. Does the deliberate addition of imperfection make something of higher quality?

Now, the recent trend is to make dovetail pins so narrow that the dovetail saddle cannot be machined with conventional powered tools. The intent is to show that the woodworking is hand-cut, but does this really make it better? The most troubling aspect of this new trend is that it completely undermines the original purpose of a dovetailed joint--namely, it's strength. Is the perception that a wafer-thin saddle that must be hand-cut, enough to overcome the reality that the resulting pins have become little more than a decorative butt-joint for their strength?

The concept of form following function was applicable 200 or 2000 years ago. Shouldn't it still apply today, regardless what methods are used to achieve that form, or that function? Is quality really measured by the path, or is it by the result?

Just food for thought.

Yup. I'm off to lock myself in my bomb shelter with the Ninja Kitty standing guard.
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