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    So I have spent the last few weeks making gifts for friends and family. I must say that I really enjoy making items for people I know, and seeing their reaction to the gift. The rewards are also in the learning and adaptation along the way to the end result. Some things I struggled at early on, like rip cutting by hand have been overcome. (see first photo 13″ x 19″ x ~1/4″ thick) Planing end grain dead flat and square is another. Planing to thickness or width seems much easier now than a few months ago. Granted I have a long way to go, but I see/feel the progress that has been made thus far. Dove tails take little to no thought, from layout to cutting. Being a lefty, I felt awkward with some of the steps involved with creating a knife wall around a board, now I do it without hesitation, flipping the square as needed to keep the base on the correct face. My last walnut dovetailed box I put together the sides straight from the saw (no chisel/paring). They were not perfect, but they were pretty good. I was able to bring things learned into every one of these projects. I have a few projects left to complete, ran out of time. If you are like me, it just takes a little patience and exercise. I had to walk away once or twice, but I came right back and figured out what the problem was. (need a sharp plane)…..keep at it folks! Here are a few of the gifts…

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