|Two little drawers for storing small things. Nails would hold them,|
but dovetails are more fun to cut, especially single ones like this.
Sometime down the road, I'll post some pictures of my new cabinet for holding oxen "stuff-" brushes, fly spray, hoof nippers, and the like. Why not now, you may ask? Because it's not quite done, that's why. But thanks for asking.
The project stalled in the dangerous spot for me. 90% done and without pressing need of its completion, I find myself moving on to projects that are more fun, such as three-legged stools. All that remains to complete the cabinet is to wipe on a coat or two of oil finish over the milk paint and then to screw on the back, which is already painted and cut to fit. From that point, hanging it on the wall and putting it to use should take all of five minutes.
|Mr. Hilgendorf's 1/2 inch Stanley chisel gets a workout.|
The "fun part," the joinery on this cabinet, is entirely hand cut dovetails, dadoes and rabbets- sawn, planed and chiseled. Fun stuff. Traditional craft.
|Skill is great, but having a good tool goes a long way, too.|
I'm sure I can and often do, make arguments about the practicality of oxen as a power source. But the fact of the matter is that I like traditional crafts. Cutting dovetails, tapping trees, planing boards, and yes, driving oxen. It's a circular argument, but if I didn't have oxen, I wouldn't need the cabinet. Without the cabinet, I wouldn't need to learn to cut dovetails. Without dovetails. . . yep, turtles all the way down.
We don't all need to cut dovetails, or to work oxen, or to engage in a craft rooted in skill and lore. Except, we do. One hand on the task, one hand on the past. Happy working.
To read the rest of Bruce Metcalf's piece "The Hand: at the Heart of Craft," click here.