My shop has been invaded!!! Mike Gager posted a blog about an invasion of brown recluse spiders in his shop. I have another “invasion” of sorts that has occurred in my shop.
Most of us tend to be somewhat solitary woodworkers and work alone in our shop. This has always been my situation as well. However last week this is what was going on in my shop:
This is my son Jonathan using a jointer for the first time.
Jon and his wife “commissioned” me to build them a vanity a short time ago. And, of course, being thrilled to be able to build something for them I gave an unqualifed yes to the project. But he added one caveat- he wanted to build the cabinet himself- which was a total surprise to me. Jon’s background in woodworking, to this point, has been almost non-existant. He did take shop in high school and managed to produce a toy car and a bubble gum dispenser but really did not have any exposure to power tools or building any type of cabinetry.
Here is the cabinet that they decided to add to their bathroom:
They selected white oak as the wood and wanted it dyed a deep mission brown since my daughter-in-law favors dark furniture. And, despite being married only 1 year, Jon has learned to simply say, “Yes, dear” and let his wife make these type of decisions.
On the first day Jon was taught to operate a miter saw, table saw, jointer and planer while learning to select and prepare rough lumber. At the end of the day here is what he produced with very little help from me:
Next on the list was learning to use the router table since the right side of the cabinet is a raised panel. This is Jon raising the panel on the router table:
After some quick lessons in using trans tint dyes and wipe on polyurethane this is the stage that he is now at:
I had to learn most of what I know on my own so there was (and still do at times) a lot of head scratching and pondering as I learned to operate tools on my own and teach myself various joinery techniques.
I will say that it is extremely gratifying ( and fun I might add) , not only to have another set of hands in the shop, but also to be able to pass along what knowledge that I have to someone else. And to quote Todd Clippinger it is wonderful to “share the love and share the knowledge”. With that thought in mind I decided to blog the construction of this cabinet.
Thanks for looking and, as always, thanks for letting me share this with you.
-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine