Winter work

Working in my shop in winter is akin (I imagine) to being sent to the Gulag.  Suffice it to say that it’s difficult to be at the top of your game while wearing a toboggan cap, gloves, a sweater and a mackinaw.   So the bulk of the winter months provides me with time to work on designs, play the banjo and catch up on reading.

However, Les and I get together at least once a week to indulge our creative “demons”.  The projects tend to become somewhat smaller during the “first quarter” of the year.  This year’s effort is centered around getting rid of scraps.  My guess would be that just about all woodworkers share a certain reluctance to get rid of “shorts and drops.”  A number of justifications for this “failure to eject” seem to be universal: “These can be used as glue blocks”;  “The minute I through that away, I’ll need another”; or the “classic”, “I’ll never be able to find another piece like that”.  (If anyone needs glue block material, let me know.)

This year Les came up with a plan to rid his shop of “fancy and exotic” scrap.  His plan?  Jewelry boxes.   So we’ve been doing our best emulate several of the older elves at the North Pole.  The process is proving to be rewarding.

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There are few things better than the feeling of freeing yourself from the aggravation of “surplus, potentially unusable inventory.”  However, this project poses a conundrum in it’s own right; what will become of all the finished boxes?

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One Comment on “Winter work”

  1. Les Elsie Says:

    The jewelry box job was initiated by wondering what to do with the scrap wood from the Asian inspired hall table project. After all, the Bloodwood we used for the tables does grow on trees but the money it costs does not. But, what started out as a simple “Let’s make a box” project turned into a production run of a half dozen.

    The good news (maybe). The list of woods we used included: Bloodwood, of course, African Blackwood, Cocobolo, Curly Maple, Walnut, Pine, Elm, Poplar, Granadillo, Bocote, Maple Burl, Ebony and Indian Rosewood. And we’re not even done yet! For crying out loud, why do we have all this stuff? I think I’ll think fireplace in the future and spend more time worrying about finishing all the projects lying about the workshop in a semi-finished state.

    Now, speaking of things to do, back to the new hall table project we just started. Going to have a figured Makore top. Hmmm…probably will have just enough scrap for another jewelry box and we haven’t even touched that Imbuia left over from the stool project! Much to do, much to do.


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