Chuck, I read your comparison observations and please let me philosophize a bit :
Once we are born, there is only one thing really necessary: to die at some moment. All other things to do are optional. So, if you want to give it a try without power tools, lock away for 365 days your power tool (e.g. disc saw) and then tell me how many things you made of mdf etc. Also, you are comparing your singing to the Pavarotti of carpentry. What do you want to hear? How good he is or how far behind him you are? I heard many sculptors say that Michaelangelo, after his famous "Pieta" put the tombstone on sculpture, because no human can ever make better sculpture. BUT, the joy of creating is not about comparing our work to what can be achieved, but about appreciating what emotions our wooden "creature" (a product of creation) brings out. Thus, if you go back to my posts, look at the cutting boards: is there any comparison between my single board "things" and Herb's puzzling masterpieces? http://www.routerforums.com/attachme...d20_5382rf.jpg http://www.routerforums.com/attachme...d20_5392rf.jpg http://www.routerforums.com/show-n-t...ess-board.html
No way, yet when I see my own boards on a table I am very happy (And to be sincere, I am VERY happy to cut cheese with my knife on a simple board, while I think it is barbaric sacrilege to do this on a masterpiece by Herb. (And a side question: How much saw dust does an intricate job produce vs the very simple bandsaw cut of the single-piece cutting board?). Still there is no comparison : Herb's boards are superb to hang on the wall (and keep hearing all others ask how it's done) while mine are at home when they are near the sink.
Obviously, what we do in carpentry (as in many other activities) is a choreography, a "dance" of thoughts and moves that results in what we can make. Our education, experience, needs, wishes, expertise, weaknesses, stubbornness and dares will make us produce whatever it is. It is the amateur's virtue to "lick" a piece of wood indefinitely, until he is satisfied, while the pro has to get on with it finish it faster, easier, perfect, and give it to the customer to take the money and rush away to cover expenses.
So, after much thinking and dreadful trials at dovetailing, I stopped the idea. Through my needs, strengths and weaknesses I resolved to the use of dowel joints, found them 100% accurate easily, and they haven't failed me up to now. I stopped envying others quite a long time ago, and I am happy at what I can achieve. And many times it is unique from what I see on people's remarks here, e.g. http://www.routerforums.com/project-...-design-5.html