Day Five, final day. Just got home 1/2 hour ago. What a week! Today we finished up our bench hooks and helper board (for supporting longer pieces in the bench hook). Need to get better with hand cut dados, one side on both didn't sit quite flush to the bottom.
Started working on a square, but ran out of time and energy. Cut my bridle joint a little too crooked, so I'll start that over from some walnut I have here. I'll post pics when finished.
Some of the real take home bits I learned:
1. I don't like pin style marking gauges.
2. Hand planing is fun when you know what you're doing, why you're doing it, and how to fix it when it's not quite right.
3. How to quickly and efficiently 6 square a piece of rough wood.
4. How to better freehand sharpen. It's not as hard as everyone would have you believe.
5. Wax before you realize the plane needs it.
6. Sharpen plane irons often.
7. How to get rid of your tape measure and layout by proportion.
7a. Using a story stick. This to me was by far one of the most fascinating, mind boggling parts of the class for me. The bench hook for example: using your hand span (tip of pinky to tip of thumb with hand spread as wide as possible) as the "module". Width of board is 1 module. Length is 2. Stop is set 1.5 in from the front edge. Or the try square: blade is 3 hand breadths long, 1/2 wide. (across your knuckles with a closed fist); handle is 2 long, 1/2 wide. Thickness of the handle is whatever feels comfortable in your hand (which should be about 3/4" more or less). Thickness of the blade should be 1/3 the overall thickness of the handle, and for efficiency sake, make sure that matches to a size mortise chisel you have. Using certain ratios such as 1:6, 1:9 and 1:12, you can use this for any project and be assured that the final project will please the eye.
8. Dados really only need to be 1/4 of the thickness of the stock.
I'm sure I'll think of a few more pearls as I have time to digest this all.