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.
For the most part, I know what I like and what I don’t like. For example I don’t particularly like the look of live edge tables. I also am not a huge fan of the 3D cutting board designs because they give me a headache. I appreciate the work that goes into both these things, and can look at a 3D cutting board in awe at the design and the precision with which it was done. Nevertheless, I have no intention of building either one of these things. And regardless of my growing appreciation of woodworking, I still like the look of painted wooden furniture.
Prior to getting into woodworking, my husband owned a few pieces of ‘bachelor’ furniture made by one of his friends who was a weekend woodworker. They were knotty pine with a shiny varnish. And they were ugly. Red Green lodge kind of ugly. Even now, knowing the work that went into them, I still think they were ugly and have no regrets getting rid of them.
Because ww is a hobby for me, I’ve had the luxury of building only what I damn well please. But I broke some cardinal rules about 2 weeks ago and now I’m paying for it. Over coffee, my good friend and neighbour announced that she’d been trying to buy a tie cubby for her husband. She showed me this picture:
We chatted about how she’d like it a bit more this and that and then we both got all excited about building it.
I think I even said the dreaded ‘oh I could build that’.
She wanted it to be made of maple and I though ‘sure, why not?’ She wanted a dark stain and I thought the same thing. I could picture it in my head. (I’ve never been good at that)
All roses and sunshine, I sketched out the dimensions and set to work.
Here’s the thing – it’s ugly. I was working on the stain last night and started to really dislike the whole thing.
I think it’s a waste of maple. Maple is not DARK. If you want dark wood, use dark wood or if you want it completely chocolate brown, buy pine and paint it. When I started thinking like that I realized I was tired, getting grumpy and I called it a night. Usually I get up the next morning and look at a project and have a new perspective.
Not this morning. It’s still ugly. The stain is okay but in my opinion, it’s ruined how nice the grain looked. It also points out that my sanding wasn’t as good as I thought it was, but that’s my own fault. So here I am in the middle of a project that I think is ugly and if I were making it for myself, we’d be having a VERY EXPENSIVE bonfire tonight. But it’s not for me.
I’m not saying it’s ugly because I want reassurance that it’s nice, or to be told what a fine job I did. I’m saying it’s ugly because I think it is. I would have liked the dividers to be MUCH thinner than they are, the stain to be lighter or non-existent and the whole thing to be more light weight. It’s a perfect project for pine, plywood and paint.
So my hat goes off to those of you trying to earn a living at wood working because this is as close as I ever want to get to making custom pieces for a good long time.
Nobody likes to say it, but not all babies are cute. They’re all loveable, but some are just, well, ugly. ET phone home kind of ugly, no matter how much we love them. The doctor who delivered my son came to see me the next day in the hospital room and announced that my precious bundle of joy looked like Mr. Magoo. I was properly insulted but now when I look back at his baby pictures, I can see the resemblance.
Just because it’s made with love doesn’t make it immune from being ugly. I mean the tie cubby of course. My son grew out of the old man look for the time being. I expect the tie cubby is going to remain ugly forever.
8:56 Right on time.
-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.