The good news is I actually spent a little time in the power tool shop this weekend.
The bad news is that I apparently did not do the best job protecting my metal surfaces while I was recovering and I have some rust issues. Not bad rust, but still makes you sick to see it on your tools.
The little bit of time I spent in the shop convinced me that I really am a long way from doing anything complicated or heavy in terms of lifting – so nothing with a lot of heavy clamps is in my near future. I also did a tiny bit of cutting on the table saw and realized that I have not regained all of my balance necessary to push a board through the blade, so that’s still not a safe option for me.
So, with all of that, I think I have settled on making long grain bread/cheese boards and trivets for Christmas gifts this year. I can do the clean up work on any rough lumber with hand planes and can do most of the rough cutting on the band saw which I feel pretty comfortable with. I’m also getting pretty good with a coping saw so if push came to shove I can hand saw out any shape. I can do the decorative edging with the router table. If I decide to do more than one flavor of wood in a board, I’ll probably keep it to trim so that I’m not forcing myself into a lot of ripping. Although, I can do most ripping that I need to do on the band saw and clean up the edge with a hand plane. So that does leave open a little bit of decorative choices for me. But I do want to keep the weight down so I probably will avoid a lot of clamping.
I now have a plan and hopefully get started this week doing a few small trivets and work up from there. I was feeling pretty down that I would not be able to make as many of my gifts this year as I have in the past, but now I’m more optimistic. I think all of the girls at work will get trivets and my family will get the cutting boards. Haven’t figured out what to do for the bosses this year. I still have to think on that. They have been exceptionally good to me this year considering all of my health issues, so I want to come up with something special for each of them.
As for my health – it’s getting better. I’ve actually started driving and that’s going well. It’s a very liberating feeling when you can get up and go anywhere you want without having to call someone to come get you. I never realized how much I missed that. I do have to admit to being very anxious about someone hitting me again, but I’ll just have to get over that. I still have some pain in my arm/shoulder and the doctor said I probably always will, but it’s not debilitating, just annoying. I am much more optimistic than I have been in a long time. I get my brace off next week and that will also help. Even though I am wearing a soft brace now, it is still limiting. All in all though I am doing pretty well.
I really appreciate all of the encouragement and help I’ve received from my friends here at LJ’s. You are the best. Be on the lookout for my upcoming projects!
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine