Posts in: Workshop

Woodworking notes 3/27/2023

I finished a tabletop shelf for all of my work electronics, plus an inset pencil cup. Plenty of flaws and a couple of big mistakes, but I learned a bit more about priming and painting and filling gaps in plywood ends. Now having completed a handful of projects, I have discovered that there is almost always a moment—usually near the end—when I am convinced that this is the crappiest thing ever built by human hands.

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The bookcase is finally completed and set in its corner of the dining room where I work. I’ve placed on it a mix of things I need every day and things I need to see every day. On the bottom shelf is a blanket made for me by Rachel. Also, my ten key that’s been my accounting companion for over twenty years.

Woodworking notes 3/14/2023

I’m nearing completion on the bookcase. (So, so slow.) At this point I just need to apply some wood filler in a couple of spots and then stain it. Things I’ve learned: It’s hard to align and glue large pieces together by yourself, so it’s really handy when you have a kind and patient wife to help you out. Also, to talk you down because it happened at the end of a long day and I was convinced the whole thing was a pile of crap fit only for burning.

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Proof of concept for some shoe boxes I’m making for Rachel.

Woodworking notes 2/14/2023

Finally completed the stool (using this Steve Ramsey video). The build was delayed first by illness and then because I decided to redo the legs. I picked up a shop vac this week but my problem now is finding an adaptor to connect it to the dust collection port on my table saw. It’s proving more difficult than I would have imagined. Next up: a small bookcase.

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Woodworking notes 2/6/2023

Over the weekend I completed one side of the trellis on the grape arbor. I’ll put up another on the opposite side. The rabbet is exposed on the ends at the top and bottom; I’ll put some wood putty there before Rachel paints it. Another thing: if you’re going to put up trellis like this and you have a table saw, don’t buy the frame pieces they sell with the trellis.

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Dana O’Driscoll writes about “The Way of Wood”—about humanity’s interaction with wood, the loss of that interaction, and ways to find our way back to it.

I finished a wooden mallet today with some scrap leather on the ends. It’s very amateurish but I am an amateur.

The now-time of the hands

Caroline Ross: When we cannot touch, cannot be held, do not regularly make things with our hands, work so hard that we do not have time to press seeds into the ground in a garden, nor to sew the button back on our shirt, which is so cheaply made we throw it away rather than invest our precious finger-tip-time, which anyway we must keep sacred for our devices… We no longer settle into the never ending now-time of the hands.

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