I’ve recently had more time to focus on good woodworking. My day-job, for decades, was traveling internationally on Corporate stuff – an exciting career, but it’s time to put away that part.
What I’ve discovered during four great projects – Jatoba-based Outdoor Bench, Hard Maple Router Table, Cherry Blanket Chest, and a Cherry Quilt Rack – is to enjoy the process – every part of the process, not just the cutting.
1) developing a mental image of what I want to build, or more-likely what my wife wants me to build; this entails reviewing on-line images of similar projects completed by people who know what they’re doing (Lumberjocks is great for this, and then there is Google & Bing search engines). Caring & considering how a project will be used, and by whom (my grand children, my wife). 2) developing a rough build plan (either from purchased plans, modified; or ones that I create; this yields individual project pieces of given dimensions. 3) Going to my hardwoods store and fretting-over which rough pieces will yield my dimensional requirements – I strive to have less than 15% scrap from my rough lumber. 4) Marking-up of each rough lumber piece with the layout of project pieces – to ensure everything is accounted for. 5) Precise execution of the cut diagram – planing, edge-jointing, mortise & tenons, rips to width, cross-cuts to length. 6) Assembly – the heartache of learning the craft at a hardwood’s cost; and seeing it come together – the joints, the stiles & rails, raised panels, the M&Ts. 8) sanding & smoothing – every edge leading to another. 7) Finishing – taking the proper time to finish the project properly – fretting-over which stain, or rub, the drying time, caring about surface treatment in-between coats.
The whole process – not just the cutting.
For those either just discovering or re-discovering woodworking, there may be more enjoyment found in the craft if you broadly define what the Craft is.
-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference