Well, I just finished cleaning, packing up and moving my “shop” back into the closet. (Seriously … I need a garage soon). I’ve spent the last week sawing, sanding, screwing (heh heh heh) and swearing and the result is:
1) A poorly-crafted and sloppily-stained gift box
2) Two poor-fitting window screens
3) A shop vac full of saw dust
4) Many, many, many pieces of scrap lumber
But, in an effort to keep a positive attitude despite my grade-school-shop-class level of ability; at last check, I have all ten of my fingers, so I’m going to consider it a victory.
Now, I am sure 99 percent of you fine folks already know this but again, half the reason for this blog is to document my progress so please bear with my stating the obvious. That said, I’ve learned quite a bit:
- Miters—are an absolute pain in the posterior but they’re alot easier to manage with good, quality and STRAIGHT lumber. I’ll need to re-read the manual to my miter saw and make some adjustments, I’m sure, but somebody was kind enough to suggest a digital angle gauge and that helped quite a bit. All those scraps sitting in a tub on my deck will be put to good use during the next road swing (I fortunately no longer travel with the teams) as I plan to use them to calibrate, cut and practice with the saw.
- Glue is good, clamps are better—Drying times are not optional. Also, glue is messy and screws up your stain.
- Pegs: Make a chart and work from the bottom up—I thought I’d try and get “fancy” with the Old Man’s gift box and use dowels/pegs/etc and glue. It wasn’t until after I broke half of them, drilled the other half unevenly and just said “the hell with it” that I came up with the idea to use a hole punch and some construction paper in the future for lining up holes on opposite pieces of wood. And then, make sure I assemble pieces in a way that I don’t “block myself out” ... which is what I ended up doing.
- Drill the right pilot hole; use the right screw and for the love of God, counter sink—Pretty self-explanatory, eh?
Now that it’s all said and done, it’s time for a cold bottle of Milwaukee’s finest, some YouTube woodworking tips videos and a good night of sleep.
-- May the good Lord help me if I ever actually have a shop, garage or basement.