Friday, January 30, 2009

A short history of my woodworking projects, part 2

We're quickly coming to a close on my woodworking career.

After I moved out of the apartment, my woodworking stuff was packed away for quite a while until we could build our house. Once it was built and we moved in, getting my workshop in shape was not the highest priority, but I eventually got it set up as described in my earlier post.

I no sooner had it set up and started to work on a possible tool chest, and my wife became pregnant. We had a very "interesting" pregnancy which ended up turning out well, but we had a healthy premature baby to visit in the hospital for 6 weeks and then take care of for quite a while longer. Basically, I didn't get diddly squat done for a couple of years.

Then we needed a step stool for our son to be able to reach the sink. Sure, I thought, that would be an easy one. I took the old glued up panels I had made out of borg poplar and cut them down to make the sides and treads of the step stool.

The hardest part was getting the sides cut down even and straight. If I had started out and glued up the sides from scratch it would have been much, much easier. I dovetailed the treads in and stuck a cross post in at the bottom of the front to keep it from spreading.

And that's dovetailed into the sides as well. It was dovetail practice time.

I was rusty, but it turned out pretty good. It's a little high for its footprint so can be a little tippy if you're not careful, but I could now build another one in half the time.

With one more project success under my belt I convinced my wife that we needed a bookshelf in the kitchen for the cook books. I went a little crazy in the lumber store and decided to make it out of 4/4 curly maple.

It's a pretty simple design, and I had to make it to definite dimensions so that it fit in a specific place, but I still managed to screw it up a bit. I cut the last shelf just 1/2" too short, and since my wood stretcher isn't working these days, I had to go buy one more board for the last shelf. Very frustrating.

But it also turned out ok. I did wedged tenons to hold the bottom shelf to the sides. I did have some measurement challenges and ended up making the top shelf too short for anything but my son's kid books and a couple of other odds and ends.


But the wood is beautiful (Danish oil and wax finish) and the dovetails in the 4/4 material turned out pretty good as well. Overall I'm happy with it despite the few mistakes I know I made.

So, that brings us to the present day. With this incredibly extensive resume of woodworking projects, I decided that I was ready to tackle a new challenge. I got Christopher Schwarz's workbench book and fell totally in love with the Roubo bench. With no real fear, or enough sense to know any limitations, I decided to go for it. But that's another, and longer story, that's still going on. I'll start that in my next post.


1 comment:

  1. One of my major interests in Woodworking project has always been the history of the craft. We have so many conveniences that we tend to take some things for granted that were just not available to the craftsmen of old. In this country, it wasn't that long ago that the art of making something from the resources on hand was part of everyone's resume.


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