I taught my first woodworking class yesterday, a five hour session on how
to make handcut dovetails at the local woodworking place. What a blast. I
had a good group of five students, most of whom had tried a dovetail at
least once. About half of them made at least one set that was nearly
defect-free. The others had varying success, most pretty good except for
one fellow who got a lot of practice with the pounded veneer/pounded pin
patches. All but one made a second set that was much much better than the
We spent a lot of time working on sawing technique; lining up the cut,
standing correctly, holding the saw lightly -- but apparently we needed
more. The biggest problem that several people had was in making pins that
had a slight twist, so that they were a little tapered wide on the backside
of the board.
I brought four decent saws to the session, and only one guy gravitated
toward a dozuki. Another oddly liked a gent's saw, and the other three
were going the western way. The guy who was using the dozuki had the best
looking joints at the end. I don't use a dozuki, but I came away with the
impression that it might be a little easier to learn on.
Anyway, I know there are probably lots of guys here who have been teaching
for years. But I thought I'd post this anyway; it sure was a lot of fun.