Necessity is the Mother of Invention. Working without detailed plans, or in this case no plans, often present problems which require creative solutions. Here's a great example of just such a problem.
When I was trying to fit the dado plane into this space I encountered a problem - where to put the cutters. The spokeshave eliminated setting them on the bottom of this module. The cutters are "L" shaped so they'd stick out a bit if I put them "standing up" in the available space in the upper left corner of the module. They'd also get in the way of removing the dado plane. If I put them "upside down" they'd fit - but then they'd be top heavy and fall out. What to do?
MAGNETS! I already had some small flat round magnets I'd picked up just 'cause they were so cool. I could hold the cutters with magnets. O.K. that problem's solved. But how do you get them out? So I drilled a shallow hole in the end of a dowel and glued another magnet into the hole. I had a small scrap piece of rosewood - a leftover from a mitered corner of a box I'd built earlier (boxes don't count as projects do they?). I glued it on the other end of the magnet dowel and with a little sanding and shaping I had a little jeweled handled "extraction/ insertion tool". When not in use it's stuck on the screw of the dado plane's " left hold in". Slick solution and an interesting little detail in this cabinet.
That's one of the satisfying things about woodworking - encountering problems and coming up with solutions. When everything is working right the solution can be elegant - an "AH!" thing - in Zen it's "just so" or "suchness". While doing this cabinet there were many of these "AH!" moments when the form/ function/ materials/ tools/ woodworker do just what they're suppose to do. Perhaps because woodworking is a somewhat solitary thing, with fewer outside distractions, I notice and really appreciate these "just so" moments - when everything flows effortlessly and works just so.
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