Sawdusting the time away

So what’s happening in the shop you ask? Well, there is certainly some sawdusting going on. Maybe not as much as I might like sometimes, but that is probably the nature of hobbies for most folks. I am not trying to build an audience to monetize it and quit my day job. I just like working in the shop. I like the problem solving. I like the “zen” or “flow” state that you get into when things are just clicking along. I get frustrated when things don’t work and I curse at my tools when I bump into them. Sorry tools, it was my fault. That is all part of the hobby and in my mind it can’t be separated – the good parts and the frustrating parts, as in the end, it is as much the process as the results. I don’t have to be efficient, I am not batching out cutting boards that all look the same. I pick projects that interest me, that look cool, that test my skills (and patience) and yes sometimes I pick projects that require me to get a new tool (or maybe more than one). That is the plight of all woodworkers, an endless lust for more tools. This is not an inexpensive hobby and even the most dedicated woodworkers that might start in teeny shops with minimal tools all seem to find their way to more tools should the means become available. Now that I have you all prepped to announce my next tool, sorry. No dice. I have my eye on several, I always do, but nothing doing. Yet….

So when I am not thinking about new tools, what have I been up to in the shop? I completed the little box with the hexagonal patterned plywood top, and my kumiko triples, along with the picture frame sled that I made from the Michael Alm video. Since then I have turned my attention to another project. One that I started quite some time ago, and was displeased with my results and so I stopped working on it. I have since revisited it, and have finished it. Once upon a time it was a humidor. The largest one I had made, with a lift out tray and a mortised locking mechanism. I really liked how it came out like 30 years ago when I made it, with one key exception. The pin part of the locking mechanism moved ever so slightly when I set it in the epoxy and every time it opened or closed, it would rub.

I never sold the box, and have no use for a humidor – but I still like the maple box, with the figured walnut top, so I set about repurposing it as a jewelry box. I ripped all the spanish mahogany out of it, and replaced it with a new liner of maple, and then made new trays and dividers – also from maple. The top and bottom are now lined with a padded velour and the trays got some velour love as well. I will make a post about it in the projects section with all the details as now, about 18 months later, it is all finished.

In addition to the jewelry box, I have started work on a new sled for making kumiko grid pieces. The one I previously made only fits the old saw, so I need a new one to fit the new saw. I made some good progress on it, before my cold set in. Hopefully I will get better soon, and can finish it this coming weekend. After that, I think a new cross cut sled will be in order. I used my last one very often, so that is high on the list. Then the projects are kind of wide open. Another little box? More patterned plywood? A new kumiko project? Something for the shop? Maybe yes to all of that though probably not all at once.

I would also like to give a shout out to my daughter who joined me in the shop over Thanksgiving break for some lessons on using woodworking tools. She had a project of her own to build for a stagecraft class. I am amazed at the set of tools she has access to at school. Might have to think of something fun to make that requires a piece from a CNC or a laser cutter, or something fancy like that where she can help me out with that part. Anyway, it was fun to have her in the shop, however brief it was, and I am glad we got to spend that time together.

Keep checking back as I will be sure to keep you posted along the way and keep an eye on the projects section for the jewelry box post. Thanks as always for reading along.

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