Hand-cut dovetails

I describe Lee Valley seminars to people as “field trips for adults”. It’s a time where you get to abandon your normal daily schedule and do something awesome for a day.

Last week I participated in a seminar at Lee Valley learning how to create hand-cut dovetails. Dovetails are a popular woodworking joint known for their strength and beauty. They are often found on fine woodworking items and most commonly seen on the sides of drawers. These days dovetails are usually cut using power tools such as routers and jigs for spacing. Cutting them by hand, however, involves patience, accuracy and a bit of elbow grease.

Thanks to John Reeder and Lee Valley for putting this seminar on. I had a lot of fun and hope to make something using my newly learned skills one day.

Lee Valley sign Preparing to cut dovetailsCutting dovetailsDovetails and toolsDovetails and chiselDovetails

Towards the end of the day, some of us even got to take a stab at creating half-blind dovetails. This type of dovetail shows the joinery only on one face, and it’s most popularly used on drawers. This half-blind dovetail joint took me about an hour to chisel and complete.

Half blind dovetails


Ontario Beekeeping

I’m now a beekeeper! Well… That’s not entirely true. I don’t have any bees yet, but they are ordered.

I have been interested in bees and beekeeping for several years now. I’ve read a few beekeeping books, watched more than a few videos and any time I’m at the market, I have always taken a few minutes to chat up the local beekeepers.

This past Christmas, my wife gave my a beginners hive kit and a gift certificate to purchase bees in the spring. Now I’m falling down this slippery slope into the world of the apis mellifera and it’s inspired me to share my adventures as a beginner beekeeper. I now have a new blog dedicated to Beekeeping in Ontario: that you should probably subscribe to. I will be sharing articles, book reviews, videos, amazing facts and much more!

Even if you don’t know anything about bees or have no interest in beekeeping, I believe you will be fascinated by bees and beekeeping. So head over to the beekeeping blog and leave me a comment or two.


Black belt in Jiu Jitsu

I’m well on my way to getting my black belt in Jiu Jitsu. Actually, I attended my first 2-hour class last night with Darryl from work. I’d like to start taking a martial art, but after trying Jiu Jitsu for the first time I’m not sure that it’s for me.

We did a quick warm-up and then some punches and kicks. Then we did some breakfalls and holds. Some of the holds were pretty cool but it would take a lot of practice in order to whip those out in a real fight. It seems as though Jiu Jitsu spends a lot of time on the ground, and I would rather take a martial art where you spend more time on your feet. I think I will probably try a night at Kung Fu next. Keep you posted…