Half-blind dovetails

Any dovetail I’d make right now would be half-blind. The same goes for any other kind of joint because, with my glasses being updated, the term fits perfectly.

I wear three pairs of glasses. One pair is my “walking glasses” – these are the bifocals I generally wear when I’m walking around and constantly need to look at different distances. I wear these for driving, shopping, cooking, watching TV and anything else when I’m moving. The lower lens in these allows me to read stuff when I need to, but then go back to distance vision. Then there are my reading glasses, which I don when I’m going to sit and read for long periods of time. Since I read books back-to-back, probably two a week, I wear these a lot. I also keep these in my pocket for close work in the shop. Finally, there’s my computer glasses. I spend sometimes eight or nine hours in front of my computer, so this variation of my reading prescription is precisely for that.

Now, I also have a fourth pair of distance-vision only glasses. This is a pair of antique 19th-century wire frames I wear only for Civil War reenacting. I could probably do without those, but they really do help prevent accidentally sticking fellow reenactors with a bayonet, something my fellow reenactors have told me they dislike.

Sometimes my life is like an old episode of “Sandford & Son.” (Extra points if you get the reference.)

My regular eye exam yesterday showed that both my near and distance vision have changed a lot since my last visit. I need new lenses all around, so I had to surrender the frames for my bifocals, reading and computer glasses. Until I get them all back with new lenses, I’m left with my reenacting glasses – useful only for driving and avoiding poking people with a bayonet – and a many-years-old pair of outdated, scratched-up reading glasses held together with a paperclip.

I’m typing this right now with my nose about 10 inches from the screen. When I’m done, I need to go (make that “stumble”) down to the shop to do a photo shoot. This will require some cutting on the band saw, for which those old reading glasses will be fine, as will using the camera. But for all the other moving around in the shop, painting a dowel white and using that for getting around the shop would probably be better than those reading glasses or my reenacting glasses.

Needless to say, for the next several days in the shop, I’m going to be very, very careful. I can’t really see myself doing it any other way.



  • Chuck says:

    Yup, not only three pairs of glasses, but for really fine detail, two at a time…

    I don’t get the Sanford and Son thing. Maybe you would share it with us?

  • Eldon Berg says:

    I also have a couple pairs of safety glasses with bifocals for work in the shop. Since they offer more protection than my regular bifocal glasses.

  • A.J. Hamler says:

    Ah, you must be a young pup, Chuck. “Sanford & Son” was a show that aired back in the ’70s, where Redd Foxx portrayed a junk dealer. In a running gag throughout the show’s five years, whenever his son Lamont gave him something to read, Fred couldn’t read it. He would then go to a dresser drawer where he kept literally hundreds of pairs of old glasses. He’d try them on one at a time until finally finding a pair that allowed him to read whatever it was Lamont had given him.

  • C Moore says:

    I never thought renacting as a dangerous activity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Terms of Use.