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Ponderings #1: The Great Wide Open

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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 01-05-2008 01:48 AM 912 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Ponderings series Part 2: False Start? Or Divine Intervention? »

So.

I just put a bid on a #71 router plane on ebay. I have my #4 and #5 within arms reach, as is the POS block plane I bought from Tractor Supply Company that is better than I thought it would be. My Japanese saws are just outside of my reach, as are my chisels. Since my workshop is in a house I’ll be moving to, I have no where else to put them. That’s OK. I like having them nearby. It makes me feel like I’m working toward my goal of being a woodworker.

There is some trepidation though. I’m worried that the project I have outlined will be far more difficult than I expected. That I will be unable to do the work I have envisioned in my head. It’s a real fear for me, one that has a basis in the fact that nothing I have ever tried to do has worked out as I have envisioned it. I’ve been known to have that problem.

There are a couple of differences this time though. My previous projects that didn’t go so well were home improvement/home repairs. I usually bit off more than I could chew, and ultimately had to admit defeat. This time, I may have done the same, but there is no wife to be inconvenienced by the lack of a shower, or a roof missing off the laundry room. At worst, her entertainment center will be delayed a bit. If I get bogged down, I can set the piece aside (figuratively…there’s not enough room to do it literally, depending on the piece), and think about it. I can practice a new technique on scrap wood if I have to until I know WTF I’m doing.

Is there still some fear that I will be a failure at this? Yes. However, that’s irrelevant for me. Fear has been present before every great journey in history. Every great achievement in the history of mankind has had some element of fear. The Wright Brothers, Edison, Erik the Red, Niel Armstrong, John Glenn, etc. All had some element of fear to their work prior to their achievements being realized.

I guess I’m just rambling on here. Without a shop, I can’t exactly go play with wood, so instead I get to ramble on here with you good folks. I hope you don’t mind to much ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!



13 comments so far

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

1404 posts in 3536 days


#1 posted 01-05-2008 02:35 AM

What project are you referring to TC . . . the bookcase ?? I read your earlier posts and seen that you will be quite cozy with your tools for a little while . . . so why not start smaller with a stroage unit/box for all your neat planes, saws, scraprers, etc. You can practice your skills on that and fine tune your skills with the bookcase.

Just my $0.03

-- BLOG - http://www.colorfulcanary.com/search/label/Zuki

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3255 days


#2 posted 01-05-2008 03:01 AM

Actually, I’ve got three projects I’m wanting to do. One is a storage bench for my 10 year old sister-in-law that will serve as her hope chest. The bookcase for my Mom is another one. The third is a case for my father-in-law’s Native American flute. All three of these have a self imposed deadline of Christmas 2008, so there’s a lot of time. However, I probably won’t be into the shop until March, so that only gives me 9 months. Luckily, if I had to pare it down to just one project, it would be the storage bench. Her family plans on giving her stuff for her hope chest starting next Christmas. It just seems logical that she should have something to put that stuff in, right? ;)

My first project will definitely be my workbench, followed by some form of tool storage system. I’m just not sure yet what I want to do, though Pop Wood’s plans for the Benjamin Seaton chest has me intrigued :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4012 posts in 3523 days


#3 posted 01-05-2008 04:50 AM

Let ‘er rip TC. Nothing to fear but fear itself. And if it goes south, it ends up slightly smaller than planned (trim off the flub and go at again. If the joinery is an issue, don’t forget that no less a light than Todd Clippinger has shown us that pocket joinery ain’t cheatin’ where it don’t show. Get a Kreg jig and you’re two-thirds of the way home.
Can’t wait for your project blogs. As Karson or Tom(Mot) might say NPDH (No pictures, didn’t happen).

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3255 days


#4 posted 01-05-2008 05:05 AM

Fair enough Douglas! I’ve been other places were no pics = nothing happened, so I can totally deal with that ;)

I’m still kicking around joinery methods on all the projects, with few actually settled on. For the storage bench, it’ll mostly be loose tenons. On the flute box, I’m still kicking around a few ideas, but dovetails seem appropriate. If I feel REALLY froggie, I might go mitered dovetails, but only have actually having practiced it a few times first ;)

As for the bookcase…well, I know the shelves will be stopped dados, but other than that I’m still working on a LOT in my head. Luckily, I’ve got 12 months to figure it out :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Karson's profile

Karson

35034 posts in 3860 days


#5 posted 01-05-2008 05:30 AM

Well get you camera working. At least take a picture of your plans. That way we know the way you are heading.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 3334 days


#6 posted 01-05-2008 05:44 AM

Think positive. Sometimes it helps to work on part of a project, rather than the project. The whole project can seem overwhelming, but the parts aren’t so daunting.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4012 posts in 3523 days


#7 posted 01-05-2008 07:36 AM

Someone else here (MsDebbie?) recently said: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Good advice.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3620 days


#8 posted 01-05-2008 01:00 PM

:)
and as for “errors”.... they are just plan adaptations… you work around it, learn something new, and sometimes—the “flaw” becomes the highlight of the project, to be copied in the future.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3255 days


#9 posted 01-05-2008 01:23 PM

Great advice folks! Thank you very much!

Karson, I’ll have to scan the plans in then later today…just so folks know they exist :D

Tom

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View miles125's profile

miles125

2180 posts in 3465 days


#10 posted 01-05-2008 02:41 PM

Just remember that the difference between an apprentice and a journeyman is nothing more than the number of mistakes one has had the opportunity to learn from.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3255 days


#11 posted 01-05-2008 02:43 PM

Good point ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4445 posts in 3421 days


#12 posted 01-05-2008 02:53 PM

When you can’t go to the shop is a great time to go to the drawing board. Make scaled drawings or get in Sketchup. In Sketchup you can do everything except smell the wood. By making detailed plans, you can eliminate most of the problems or find and identify problem areas. If you have until March you can know those projects so intimately that construction will seem almost an after thought. Keep a journal of your thoughts concerning each project and you will start to get in the habit of good planning. Good luck. I can remember carving leather on the kitchen table because we were in an apartment. You can do it, we’ll watch. LOL

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3255 days


#13 posted 01-05-2008 03:00 PM

True. I’m trying to get to know Sketchup, but not having a whole lot of luck with getting it to do what I want it to do just yet. I’m probably going to spring for a book or something, since I suspect this will be a very important part of what I do :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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