Across the Bench from Charles #2: Devil's in the details

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 06-18-2018 03:30 AM 3815 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The beginning Part 2 of Across the Bench from Charles series Part 3: Devil's in the details - Part 2 »

Many things that I will probably cover are things that Charles has covered in videos on YouTube and his site. Always remember that he loves answering questions from folks and you can email him directly with them.

So when I came, I wanted to dive in and learn how he does various things. So I bought a bunch of wood to build some simple projects to practice with. Boxes I always consider a good choice. You should always focus on every aspect of every project, but small projects like boxes emphasizes that for me.

On a large project, many people don’t look that close at all of the details. On small projects, it is easy to for them to see everything, thus making it hard to hide flaws (just my thoughts on this). So I set out to make a few boxes.

The first wave is Keeping boxes (small versions of the Keeping Chest). Cutting and fitting dovetails was something that I needed to work on. I didn’t do much of that before.

Then learning how to minimize the mess from glue-ups. Prepare to not make a mess. This would work with non-dovetail joints also.

Then peel the tape and extra glue off with minimal mess/hassle.

Then you quickly get a stack that looks like this.

Next part is cleaning up the corners. Set up to use a flush trim router bit to remove most of the excess. Yes you can just sand them off, but this makes that process much easier to do.

In the majority of cases, not taking short cuts leads to much better finished products. Don’t plow through, rush or cut corners. As Charles says “Sneak up on it”.

Next up is tops, bottoms, hinges, finishes, etc. Learn to enjoy every part of the process.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

15 comments so far

View oldrivers's profile


2725 posts in 2808 days

#1 posted 06-18-2018 03:36 AM

Words of wisdom Monte thanks for sharing.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View a1Jim's profile


118253 posts in 4818 days

#2 posted 06-18-2018 03:39 AM

Thanks for the tips Monte,very well done.


View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 3373 days

#3 posted 06-18-2018 04:09 AM

Yes, thank you Monte for a very informstive blog You’re certainly on your way to mastering new new to you woodworking techniques.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View CFrye's profile


11361 posts in 3081 days

#4 posted 06-18-2018 06:10 AM

Nicely done, Monte. I like your gluing cauls with the cut outs. Pretty slick. Whenever I try the “tape to prevent glue squeeze out” trick, I always end up with a very noticeable bright blue speck of tape that I cannot get loose!

-- God bless, Candy

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3579 days

#5 posted 06-18-2018 06:21 AM

Candy, remove the tape before the glue dries. Scraper or chisel should remove the rest.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View CFrye's profile


11361 posts in 3081 days

#6 posted 06-18-2018 06:35 AM

“SHOULD” being the operative word here…I’ll keep trying.

-- God bless, Candy

View DocSavage45's profile


9069 posts in 4084 days

#7 posted 06-18-2018 06:48 AM

Good beginning and nice techniques. Oh yeah nice wood too.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View robscastle's profile


8265 posts in 3445 days

#8 posted 06-18-2018 08:44 AM

Nice timber, or as above wood.
Nice joints
Nice cauls, again as above
Nice boxes
Nice work, and
Overall nice result Monte! yet again as above
Oh what the heck just re read all the comments above mine!

wait, ... I found something!
The chair looks a little under utilised!! (thats humour) just in case Rick is watching !

-- Regards Rob

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5221 days

#9 posted 06-18-2018 11:58 AM


Just read your two posts in this thread.

Most people would not have the courage to make such a big change to their life. I applaud you for that!

Congratulations on this decision.

I’m also glad to hear your expanding your woodworking horizons. It sounds as though you found a shop to help you take your skills to a whole new level.

Wishing you all the best!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View woodbutcherbynight's profile (online now)


10394 posts in 3650 days

#10 posted 06-18-2018 01:27 PM

Nice work Monte, very informative. Taking time to think through the process and set up accordingly makes for a much better final product.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View pottz's profile


20639 posts in 2225 days

#11 posted 06-18-2018 01:40 PM

ive always enjoyed everything youve done here on lj’s so im looking forward to what the new redesigned monte will bring out way.this was a great tip,kinda like painting it all about the prep.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View theoldfart's profile


12865 posts in 3692 days

#12 posted 06-18-2018 09:02 PM

Monte, I’m with Candy, good idea on the cauls. Keep up the posting.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View robscastle's profile


8265 posts in 3445 days

#13 posted 06-19-2018 06:16 AM

I think lock and load is in order!

-- Regards Rob

View johnstoneb's profile


3182 posts in 3414 days

#14 posted 06-19-2018 04:13 PM

Thanks Monte

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View boxcarmarty's profile


17438 posts in 3601 days

#15 posted 06-23-2018 01:04 PM

That’s a whole mess of nice tips there Monte…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

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