Mar 27, 2020

Spotlight: Coit Yarborough Attorney and Woodworker or Is It Woodworker and Attorney on the Side?

Coit  his wife Abbie and their sweet dog Havana

It has been a little while since we've done a Spotlight Story.  Today's person of interest is someone I've known since school days.  He is one truly likable, jovial, talented man and I'm proud to say I know him.  He tells how he met his beautiful wife Abbie and how his love of a hobby turned into a very important sideline. He certainly has an eye for beautiful wood and detail.

Now in Coit's Own Words:

Everything can be done with a good attitude and support!

A few years ago I took up woodworking.  It is now an obsession.  What brought about my interest in woodworking?  I met my wife. Yes, I met my wife.  On my first visit to her house, I saw the furniture that I really liked.  When I asked to buy it she told me that it wasn't for sale because her father made it. Right then I knew that I wanted to take up woodworking.  There was no need to deliberate.

As a murder trial is the epitome of being a lawyer, hand-cut joinery, especially dovetails.  Dovetails are the touchstone of a woodworker.

Open dovetails are what you see on a blanket chest.  Look behind a drawer on older furniture and you should see half-blind dovetails.  (Don't worry, if you don't know what I'm talking about, you will see some in this article!)

Dovetails require planning and a clear layout.  I take pride in cutting dovetails.  There are tails and pins.  I begin the chore by measuring the sides and marking the places where the tails will be.  Some people begin by cutting the pins, but tails work best for me.

So, after the dovetails are measured marked and cut, it's time to make the pins.  Pins fit tightly, so they need to be marked and cut closely.  If they are closely cut, the joint will have cracks and be too loose.  I like to cut pins a bit too wide (fat) and sneak up on a tight fit.

Before cutting, carving or anything else, one should first look over the project and verify that the cut you are about to make will serve a good purpose because if you remove too much, everything will have to be reduced in size to match (reconciled), and everything else may not be large enough to reduce.

If you're going to take the time to lay out and cut dovetail joints, don't hurry to find out that you've messed them up!

My wife's constant encouragement makes the most difficult tasks possible.  When I express doubt, she tells me to go for it!  If you want someone to fail, tell them they can't do something.  Maybe they will try harder because you told them they couldn't, but why not encourage success at the beginning?  Encouragement makes all the difference and things that seemed impossible become possible!

As the pins gradually shape up, I begin inserting them into the tail sockets.  I trim them gradually and fit them to size.  If the tails weren't cut exactly to shape, I get a second chance to get them right.

Coit has them joined the tail and pin pieces together in the photo above

I inserted this pic into the post because not knowing myself a lot of this intricate woodworking
It answered my question which is the tail and which is the pin piece.
I thought that would be the answer but wanted to be accurate and be able to show you as well.

My father always said that I could do anything that I wanted if I only tried to do it.  Things have definitely turned out that way with woodworking.  I once doubted I could carve a rocker.  My wife told me she was sure I could and that I should go for it.  Here's how it turned out.  I'll try to do better next time.

Look at this beautiful rocker!
Good job Coit!

You can do anything if you only have a good attitude, determination, and some positive encouragement!  And always keep in mind that your words of encouragement may be the ones that make someone successful.

Coit Yarborough

How adorable!


There were so many wonderful photos to work with so I made a short video to show some of them!

Attorney Information

Ray Coit Yarborough, Jr. has been a resident of and a solo practitioner in Florence County since 1985.  His general practice experience includes foreclosure, collections, real estate closings, wills, probate, appeals, civil litigation, and what he likes to call "somewhat difficult situations".

He maintains his law practice in Florence, South Carolina so he can afford his woodworking addiction. (I told you he's a funny mess. Always making people laugh!)

Contact Info 

Ray Coit Yarborough, jr
Law Office of Coit Yarborough
work: 843 676-0580

Thank you so very much, Coit, for this inspiring woodworking post!
Thank you, Abbie and cute little Havana!

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