Today, as I walked through the workshop at Tennessee College of Applied Technology, I saw evidence of a swarm of carpenter bees drilling holes in our lumber. Though they may be a nuisance, carpenter bees are dazzling in their precision. It looked like they had drilled a cribbage board in a 2×4.
But then I discovered this wholly impressive work was actually the byproduct of skilled craftsmanship by new classmate Ethan. Ethan recently moved from England with his family, which explains why he refers to woodworking as “joinery.”
When it comes to joinery, New Guy Ethan is raising the bar in our shop. Not only does he connect his furniture parts with mortise-and-tenon joints, he painstakingly conceals any fasteners, so there are no non-wood elements visible. For example, in a table he made from scrap lumber, Ethan took small wooden plugs from a 2 x 4, using a circular drillbit that could rival a carpenter bee. When he fastened the legs to the table top, he sank the screws below the surface, then filled the holes with the round plugs.
I’m so glad he joined us.