First, the caveat:
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about woodworking, trying to make sense of what it is that has always drawn me to it. I’m notorious for over-thinking, overanalyzing and basically spending too much energy navel-gazing. This blog is intended to get some of it out of my head. I’ll be glib, sarcastic and flippant in my other posts. Who knows how this one will turn out. It may be a train wreck, so reader beware! If navel-gazing doesn’t hold any appeal or distraction for you, move on. If you’re allergic to estrogen, move away quickly.
My own personal rules are to not to spend more than 30 minutes on any one post. I can correct a mistake if I catch it right away, but can’t go back. If I post it, I can’t edit or delete. I tend to edit things to death and have been known to delete my posts before it’s too late.
If anything resonates with you, feel free to chime in.
My husband and I differ greatly when it comes to the keep/throw out issue. Personally, I can’t stand clutter and I see no need to keep many of the things that my husband refuses to throw out. Over the past two decades, we’ve learned to compromise. I’ve loosened up a bit, and he’s thrilled with the reno that finally happened after he culled much of his ‘stuff’ from the basement. In my mind, there is no emotional significance attached to a sweatshirt that no longer fits, EVEN if it was bought at the Calgary Stampede. But he obviously doesn’t have the same logic. Neither is right or wrong, but I still try very hard to keep as much stuff leaving the house as is coming in. Prior to Christmas is a dangerous time to leave anything laying around our house.
So this evening, I wandered out into the shop and eyed my lumber rack and scrap cart. My friend had given me some pieces of mahogany and I wanted to get them up out of the way. Also, it’s starting to look (dare I say it) cluttered. Considering I’ve had the lumber rack less than a year , it’s quite full. As I picked up pieces and rearranged, I was genuinely surprised at what was going through my mind.
On the main rack, there are the messed up birch stretchers that had been intended for my workbench. I stood there looking at the tenons, remembering how pleased I was with them and how ticked off I was when I realized that I had mis measured the width. Then there are the pieces of rough lumber that have yet to hit the planer. I bought most of those from a guy settling his grandfather’s estate. Also, there are pieces of hard maple leftover from my benchtop. I bought those in Sussex from a real estate guy. We had a great chat and he ended up selling me the maple for $1.50 bf. Maybe I should make a cutting board for him and his wife. And so it went. I finally got the mahogany boards up on the rack. The only thing that got taken down was a beat up 2×4. It’s pine. Enough said.
The smaller rack above my counter holds the rough lumber I bought from another guy who was settling an estate. It’s a shame really, how little he knew about wood;) Someone had bundled and labeled the boards, probably the person who passed away. Whoever he was knew how to treat lumber!
Then I started rooting through the scrap bin which is also quite full. Well, ‘scrap’ is a pretty strong word. I have many pieces of hardwood bought at local specialty lumber shop that sells their ‘shorts’ for half price.
The pieces of walnut and hickory are leftover from my first two cutting boards. I love working with walnut, and the hickory has a really nice grain. There are several rough cherry boards which have yet to declare their destiny. Among the species of wood, I even have favourites now. Only another lumberjock would consider that normal. And the plywood pieces in the back of the cart? Well, we all know how expensive and IMPORTANT plywood is. The section of dowels and melamine have mentally been made into many jigs already so without a doubt, they stay.
So while I did tidy up, I did not set anything aside for the bonfire pit. I did however, take a nice little mental journey through the projects I’ve done in the past year and it was quite enjoyable. Perhaps I’ve gained insight as to why my husband won’t part with things. If this is how he feels when he sorts through old boarding passes, then maybe I ‘get it’ now, but only a bit. Will I share this epiphany with my spouse? Absolutely not. I don’t want any more of his stuff taking up room that could be used to store more wood.
Went well over my mandated 30 minutes of writing. But this is wood we’re talking about, right? Can I hear an amen?
-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.