When the Joints Align
You hear a lot about how the true mark of a master craftsman is not the quality of his work but his ability to cover the mistakes he made. This is true because these big and little mistakes seems to happen to all of us.
Sometimes however, the planets align and the woodworking gods smile and it just all works out. You know that moment when the tenon slides smoothly into the mortise and the joint closes with no gap. This is pure bliss.
So it was with great satisfaction that after I sharpened my block plane and put it to the freshly sawn edge of a Walnut panel, I drew up shining end grain shavings.
It was a combination of elements well executed that led to this shining moment. The jointing that created the gap free and level panel glue up. The finely tuned cross cut saw that trimmed the panel to length straight and true. And finally the planecraft that polished the end grain to a gleam not possible with sandpaper in just a few strokes.
Sometimes it just all works out perfectly!