Not much got done yesterday.
Did you ever have one of those days when nothing seemed to go right? Well, I did yesterday. After a much later start than I wanted, I find that I had forgotten about shaping the stretcher. So, I get to work on that. It kills a bit of time, but I finally get it in the rough shape that I wanted.
I then had to fix the tenons on the legs. They were really to large. Originally, I had thought to have the tenons be the entire thickness of the legs. However, the more I thought about it, the more I preferred the idea of the seat being supported by four sides, rather than two. While they didn’t cut like I had hoped, they did cut. I have some fixing to do there…hopefully. I got stupid, and now I have to fix stuff. Then, on to the mortises on the legs.
A typical way of making mortises is to use a forstner bit to do the bulk of the work, then use a chisel to square it up. There’s only one problem with this approach…I don’t have a forstner bit. I had originally planned on cutting out the mortise by drilling holes in the corner of the mortise area, then using the jig saw. However, since my jigsaw isn’t cutting square, I decided to drill the crap out of the mortise area, then use the chisel to clean it up. More or less, it worked. However, it made an ugly, ugly mortise.
After all that, I decide to see if my stretcher will fit. Well, it doesn’t. Apparently, it’s wider at the end than at the base where the mortise will sit. So, I break out the chisel to fix that. Unfortunately, apparently the chisel got dull somehow. It went right off the wood and into my thumb.
The bleeding was significant. I honestly wasn’t sure if I could stop the bleeding on my own, but luckily I did. It was, however, enough for the day. Just minutes earlier, I was considering calling it an early day, but I didn’t. I wanted to get farther along than I did. Oh well.
Unfortunately though…no blood got on the bench parts this time, so no new blood splotches. Sorry to disappoint ;)
The optimism I felt on Saturday was gone, replaced by a harsh reality. A reality where things don’t clip along as well as we’d like. A reality where things can go bad, even on the best of projects. I can’t say that I pushed to hard, since I had only put a couple of hours in and had planned to spend a fair amount more. But things just weren’t right from the start, and in hindsight, I guess I should have listened to that side of me.
This thumb hurts like Hell right now. I seriously had thoughts that I wasn’t cut out for woodworking. However, I’m a newbie. I have to remember that things happen. Sometimes, those things are unpleasant. I can’t let this bench beat me. I do, however, need to step away briefly. I have to figure out how to approach a few things, rather than trying to force the issue and screw something up.
Yesterday was a letdown. I felt like everything had let me down and many, many levels. In reality, things just didn’t go like I had hoped and an incident prevented me from either screwing things up, or from figuring it out (I can’t possibly know which). I can’t back down now though. I really believe I can make an awesome bench out of something most woodworkers wouldn’t look twice at. I just have to push through and do it.
So…this week will mostly be spent sharpening tools and cleaning up that mortise. The only other thing is for me to take a good, long look at how best to attack that stretcher so that it will fit correctly. I’ll make it work…somehow ;)
-- "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!