box #1 curly sycamore, thuya burl, black palm, holly 13"x8"x3-1/4" sold
box #2 curly sycamore, spalted maple, purpleheart, boxwood, holly 13"x8"x3-1/4" sold
box #3 satinwood, verawood, ebony, chatke viga 13"x8"x3-1/4" $985
box #4 boxwood, spalted maple, panga-panga, chatke viga 13"x8"x2-5/8" $950
box #5 european pear, spalted apple, curly maple, african blackwood 13"x8"x3-1/4" $985
box #6 boxwood, spalted maple, curly maple, black palm 13"x8"x2-5/8" $950

Six of One

We're going to do a show in Boston in March so I thought making a few more boxes to sell would be a good idea...

These are all pretty much the same, in that they're dovetailed, have knife hinged lids, have the same handle and similar interiors. But they're different, too, as you can see. Kind of an interesting project. Lots of choices to be made. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Hope I made the right ones.

I finished them at about the same time as CJWA's Christmas meeting. One of the segments at these meetings is a member leading a discussion of one of his completed projects. I thought I might report on these boxes. Maybe it would be entertaining.

Maybe not.

So, off I went, Powerpoint slides in tow. Photos of techniques: How to cut veneers on the bandsaw - the top panels on each box are arrangements of bandsawn veneers.  How to duplicate pieces on the tablesaw without measuring anything - when you're doing a lot of cuts that are similar sizes (as the pieces in this project are) - it helps to be able to duplicate things without too much fuss.

And a few personal opinions about matching and laying veneers. Stuff like that.

It seemed to go very well and I was proud of my performance. I've done lots of presentations in my life (probably more than a thousand - but not about woodworking) so I'm pretty sure of myself in front of small audiences like that. I know how to be natural, and when to be serious and how to tell a funny anecdote or two. It's all part of the game.


A few days later I received an email from one of the members, a guy who's quite experienced in woodworking, thanking me for doing a good job. But he also mentioned that he felt that I had "lost" the audience, somewhat, when I tried to explain the duplication technique. He didn't mean it as a criticism, just an observation, but I was pained by his remark.


One of the key elements - maybe the key element - when you're presenting information is not to lose anybody . There's really no excuse for that. You should be able to sense when people are no longer following your words. You can tell by the expression on their faces, their posture, the way their body moves while they're sitting there, listening.

And I'm supposed to pretty good at sensing these things. At least I thought I was.

I wanted to make sure about this, so I mentioned it to another one of the members, a guy who's opinion I value. He corroborated the first guy's impression.

So now I have this wonderful vision of myself, blabbing away, blissfully unaware of the fact that many people in the audience didn't understand what I was talking about at all.

Great. Just great.

Might be better if I stick to doing it, and not talking about it.