Getting help and simplifying

I’ve always felt that I can learn from most anyone.  The challenge for me is discerning what’s truly helpful for each situation and what’s not.

When I decided that I wanted to build a desk, I chose a plan that appealed to me and contained enough detail that I thought I’d be able to make it.  (My other secret is, when showing the spouse potential projects, I only show projects that I feel I can complete. 😀 )

The plan I purchased turned out to be very detailed and unfortunately very confusing.

So my first attempt to simplify things for myself was to draw up the desk in Sketch Up using the plans.

Sketch Up desk

This helped a great deal, but there were still confusing and conflicting aspects to the construction of the cabinet and there wasn’t much help for sorting that out.  Here’s an example:


Marc Spagnuolo and I emailed back and forth about the plans and directions.  Marc suggested that the plan was overly complicated and the construction could be simplified.  While the sliding dovetail was aesthetically pleasing and made for a very strong construction, we decided to change the dado to a through dado and increase its depth to 1/4″. This  would create significant long grain to long grain gluing surface that would be more than adequate.  The 1/4″ through dado also simplified the glue up significantly.

Here are the results.  Obviously, the desk is not complete, but the most difficult part of the project is:

glued cabinet (1 of 1)

Marc’s help comes via membership to the Wood Whisperer Guild.  I’ve belonged to this since and have been a member since  2010.  I’ve made three of the guild builds during that time including the Roubo Workbench.  More information about the guild can be found here.

Getting help like I have from the guild, has allowed me to do things I never would have believed I would have been able to.   I couldn’t recommend it more.

And the best kept secret about the guild … Marc will help you on any project, not just guild projects.

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