I cheated today (by the time you read this, it will be tomorrow). I cheated on my knife. And I don’t regret it…Shouldn’t I feel guilty? Or should I feel sad? As a matter of fact, I am happy.
If I have but a few pins to make to pull a joint tight using the drawboring technique, I use a good, sharp knife, or a sharp chisel, to create the tip. It is this tip that allows the pin to snake through the offset holes in the tenons:
Now, the cheating part: Faced with preparing upwards of 20 pins, including a few spares, I scoured the shop until I found an obvious solution – an electric pencil sharpener:
I found out that oak is very hard on electric pencil sharpeners. The electric version would not run at all after doing about 12 pins. I scoured the shop again, looking for something that might work. Back to very old technology, the trusty mechanical sharpener – I felt like I was in grade school again:
Using old and modern pencil sharpening technology I was able to finish preparing the pins in a fraction of the time I allotted. The electric model gets a reprieve from the trash can, as it worked fine again after the motor cooled off; who knew these actually have thermal protection?
I now have a nice bunch of pins, ready to do their drawboring thing on some mortise & tenon joinery. Whew! Thank-you, pencil sharpeners! Now I have a new question: What is a group of pins called? Is it a gaggle of pins? Or would a group of 12 pins be called a flink?
This is the last time I cheat on the knife – honest! Why am I taking such drastic measures? Because I found a much better way to prepare the pins!
— Al Navas