a small thank you..

i mentioned a while back that i started a new job in january of this year.  my immediate task upon starting was to build a software engineering team for a specific project.  our office admin has been incredibly helpful to me as i've stumbled through the company's hiring processes and endless chain of provisioning tasks, etc..  i made her this box as a thank you.  i thought she might use it for snacks or candies at her desk.

she insisted i sign it (not in the habit of doing so though i probably should) and showed it off every chance she got.  turns out two office mates are also woodworkers.  the next week the admin asked if i'd be interested in a 'dahhdoe' table saw thing and some carving knives she'd scored from her brother-in-law as moving casualties..

why yes, thank you ;)

quite a pleasant series of events spawned from a few scraps, a sense of gratitude and a few nights of a favorite activity..


my least favorite tool..

about a month ago i got it into my head that building a 4' straight edge would be a good idea.  i found a suitable piece of stable looking cherry one evening and knocked one out.  one of those 'not so challenging but satisfying as a - you should have done this a long time ago' projects.

i hung it on my wall above the 4' level from lowe's so that it might peer down with disdain over the 'far less accurate' hack i'd been using on the rare occasions i needed a 4' straight edge.  when i needed to flatten my bench for instance..

'hey that's a good idea!  i'll check my bench top.  i haven't flattened it since its initial construction, surely it's moved a bit in the mean time..'

turns out it had moved quite a bit.  perhaps it was a result of using the lowe's level.  perhaps i sucked at leveling a large, flat surface with hand planes.  doesn't matter now.  it was far from flat and my shiny new straight edge was laughing at me.  it's mocking was that much more painful as it is my own creation.

my own little 4' frankenstein..  (yes, i know.  shut up..)

i have adopted the practice of workshop maintenance between projects.  finish a project, take a day to fix all the things in the workshop that bugged me during the last project.  clean/sharpen/oil all the tools, etc..

i finished the side table yesterday (final post with log analysis coming soon..) so today was shop maintenance day and i chose to re-flatten the bench top.  touched up the blade on my new lie-nielsen #6, grabbed some wax and went to work.

for some reason (and this seems to happen to me every time..) i maintained a sense of denial about how out-of-flat my bench really was.  'should just take a couple of passes to bring it back to flat.  i don't need to bust out the scrub or jack planes, i want to play with my new #6!'

three hours later, it's flat.  i do love the flexibility of the #6 and i've gotten to know it quite well over the last month but yeah..  i've had brighter ideas.

she does look pretty though ;)


side table III

got a good amount of shop time in today.

jointed the edges of the boards i'd roughed out for the top and glued it up.  twice actually..  as i was tightening the clamps the first time, i noticed a couple of gaps that i hadn't seen and the hot hide glue i was using wasn't behaving quite the way i'd hoped.  i think i'd let it sit too long.

anyway, i got it all clamped up only to pull it apart, clean it all up and do it again.  the second time it came together quite nicely.

also got the haunch recesses and the tapers cut on the legs.  i 'cut' the tapers with a scrub plane and my new lie-nielsen #6 (damn that's a sweet plane!) rob cosman style.  first time i'd done it that way.  the first couple of legs took a while but i flew through the last two.  i think i still prefer bandsaw/#6 but it's fun to rip chunks out of a board with the scrub now and again.

i'm gonna say i spent 3 hours in the shop today.

next up is cleaning/squaring/shaping the top so i can figure out the length of my aprons.  i'm guessing i'll only get 550x550mm out of the top rather than the 600x600 i'd planned for but we'll see..

total time spent so far = 8.5