Teaching at Charlie Whinney Studio
We had the pleasure of teaching a class of Charlie Whinney students, in the basics of Dovetail joinery. It is such a fun place, located in the beautiful countryside of Cumbria. Charlie is one of the best steam-benders of our time and it’s always inspiring hanging out with him.
In the course we covered how to turn a wild and rough timbers into square shapes ready for joinery and how to use specific parts of the tree for different types of projects and why. We introduced all the tools for making a dovetail joint and compared different quality saws to one another and gave the students some tips on buying the right tools within their budgets. We also covered setting up the angle of the chisel for sharpening on a water stone.
Once they were excited about all the toys, we explained why we think keeping traditional joinery in our designs is still very valuable.
"We aspire to leave things in a better state than when we found them. If we wish to add to our craft and to enrich it, we must first understand where it has come from in order to push it forward. It's important to know the rules if you want to break them. Traditional joinery helps us connect with the roots of woodworking culture. They are the basic principles of our design, like a painter needs to learn colour theory or a tailor types of stitch."
We discussed how we apply this rich heritage to our every woodworking projects from cabinet making, to a fun creative kitchens, to shop fittings or a purely sculptural art project.
We guided them step by step, from measuring, to marking and cutting the joints and until they could celebrate their own first ever DIY dovetail joints.