Well, it wasn’t because of lack of effort that I didn’t finish yesterday. With looking ahead at what I need to accomplish today to finish, I think it was much more my usual nemesis – underestimation – that is to blame.
It is funny how I always do this. Perhaps it is because of my optimistic ‘pink cloud’ thinking that I choose to embrace. I really and truly try to be realistic with my time lines, but it is yet to be an ability that I have mastered. I must admit that sometimes I even double my original time estimates and that isn’t enough. It just isn’t a strong point of mine.
I worked hard yesterday and kept extremely focused, too. I finished cutting the pieces out in under an hour (I was good on that time estimation!) but when I began separating the layers and looking at the number of pieces that I needed to clean up and sand, the grim reality began to set in. It wasn’t until after 5pm when I figured out that there was no way on Earth that I was going to finish. While I was nearly done at that point with the delicate process of sanding the pieces, I still needed to bathe them in mineral oil, allow that to soak in, spray them with a coat or two of shellac (again allowing them to dry in between applications) and the staining them and applying a final finish. Only then could I glue on the metal washers to the backs and pack them up for transport.
Who was I kidding?
But in looking at the large amount of pieces in front of me, I took comfort in the fact that they looked good and were done properly. I sanded them with great care and attention. So while I failed in my own estimation of time, I succeeded in a much more important aspect. They look good. I’ll take that victory any day.
Somewhere around five when I finished the sanding process, I took a break for dinner. We then took our nightly walk and it felt good to clear my head. The air was cold and crisp and it felt good to stretch and get away for a bit. When I returned to apply the oil, I felt good in seeing the great accomplishment I did for the day. I actually enjoyed bathing each piece in oil and seeing them come to life. By 8:30 they were all oiled and set to dry. This is what my table looks like this morning:
I only had one ‘mishap’ when by my own fault, I snapped one of the ‘October’ pieces in half. I didn’t panic though, as the lettering gets glued to the oval bases and I was sure it would be OK.
This morning, I used some CA glue and quickly repaired the piece. You can’t even detect where the break is:
The break was between the ‘t’ and the ‘o’ along the grain. Since the sepele has somewhat of a speckled grain anyway, it can’t be seen at all. Once it is mounted to the back plate, it will be supported and the break will be inconsequential.
The oil has soaked into the pieces so they are quite dry. They are certainly ready for a coating of shellac. I will spend the day taking my time and choosing colors and staining two of the three sets of them. I am actually looking forward to this part of the process, as it will be fun to see how they look with some color on them.
While initially I wasn’t happy with not being able to finish, I have convinced myself that there is no shame in not being able to do so. I could have pushed on and stayed up late and probably had things ready to go out today, but I already put in a long day and I was tired. As with the previous night, I knew it was time to quit and come back the following day when I was fresh and up for the task. After all – what good would it be if I were to ruin things and get sloppy after all the time I spent so far making these pieces look really nice?
So while I may never be great at estimating time frames, I am at least smart enough to know when to stop and rest and come back to something. I think that should count for something.
You all know by now what is on today’s agenda for me. I am going to enjoy myself and have fun with finishing this project up and seeing it finally completed. And it will be something that I can be proud of.
I wish you all a good day today, too. I have already noticed that it is getting lighter earlier and staying lighter a bit longer in the evening so for those of you who don’t like winter, there is hope. Enjoy your Monday.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"