I wish I could remove that big question mark. I was very excited to be buying a home this summer. After moving across country and having my garage in a storage unit for over a year it was long overdue to get some shop time. The house we purchased is nearly double the size of our previous house. So some new furniture is in order. Neither the Mrs. or myself has any respect for the imported particle board furniture that is budget friendly. No problem, wood itself isn’t too expensive and I am pretty handy. I had shop back in the day and have built several items over the years. Of course some tools will be required.
Did I mention these tools would all require a fair amount of setup and getting to know time? Well, they do. This weekend marked the 3rd time I have had my jointer torn down. Each time amounts to 2-3 hours of fussing and reassembly. Why three times? First was to install a replacement cutter head, second was to put the correct length bolts into said cutter, and third was to install the factory oem cutter head. I have similar experience with my tablesaw. At this point and with the help of some TS PALS (installed 1 front and 1 in the rear to accommodate my way wacky trunion), a 2nd revision of the mobile base, and a cast iron router table it is shaping up nicely.
Mobile bases? Yep, those take a bit of time as well.
Sharpening? Ditto. I now have sharp chisels and planes. Not only that I picked up some useful information along the way. Of course I look at my new 12pc carving set with disdain. It was a great deal at 50% off, but I now know just how much time it will take to get them into a functional condition. Grrrr…
Life was so much easier in shop class. Of course the tools were all cared for by someone else and all the projects were much smaller scope.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully it isn’t the train. This weekend I did actually have a couple of small victories. I was able to crank out a new bed rail for my daughter’s crib (she has been rolling out now that I removed the railing). Nothing exotic, just a poplar plank. But I was able to fairly quickly size the board, cut out the ends, carve tennons, round over the top edge, and fit it to the crib. All that and only fired up a power tool to do the initial cross cut.
Next up was refinishing an oak dining table that had something spilled on it that had penetrated the old finish. Out came the gloves and a thick card scraper. Within about 20 minutes the table top was ready for new finish. 4 coats of polly later it is looking sharp. I will buff it out next weekend. Even as it stands it looks better than it did from the beginning.
I gotta say it was very fun to be able to put my new skills and knowledge into action. The ability to do most of this work with hand tools was doubly satisfying. Hopefully I will have more of these types of shop events and less machine maintenance in the near future. I know the Mrs. would be happy to see some more furniture come out of the shop in short order.
thanks for reading my little rant and victory story…
-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama