For thirty-some years, Mack Headley, Jr. has been the Master Cabinetmaker at Colonial Williamsburg. He’s now retiring, though I’m sure he’ll be continuing to work at his home shop. I had the pleasure of working with Mack for two years, and he was always extremely gracious with his time (not to mention incredibly patient while yours truly massacred many nice pieces of wood while practicing dovetails). I’ve never known someone more skilled at what he does than Mack.
I remember he once looked across the shop at a chair that was being worked on by another cabinetmaker. He was probably 20′ away, and he said that he felt like the crest rail was 1/16″ of an inch too tall in one tiny spot. We all laughed and said, “no way he can see that.” Out came the ruler – he was spot on.