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All posts for the month September, 2011

Sorry-had to throw a little ZZ Top in there, but it works. Anyway I haven’t really gotten a lot done on the desk since the last post, and the main reason is I couldn’t decide how to shape the legs. They’re just being made from 2×2 poplar stock from the BORG, but I didn’t want to just leave them square. I really wanted to try some Greene & Greene style (a la Darrell Peart), but my skills and time just aren’t there quite yet. Turning is out of the question as I have no lathe-yet. So, inspiration hit me when I saw a Rockler ad that had their Tapering Jig on sale for $15. I threw in a couple hold down clamps to the order so I could also get free shipping, and I was in business. The package was delivered Friday-perfect timing for a good weekend in the shop. Once I got the jig put together, I set my table saw up again (it came with a collapsible stand and shares the space with my Workmate), and after a few test cuts to get the angle I liked, I started by cutting the first side, reset the jig, rotated the wood 90 degrees counter-clockwise, and cut the second face. Now I just have to remove the saw marks. Time to break out the hand planes-finally!

Next up-the aprons. I might even try my hand at a little mortise & tenon just to see what happens. Tune in!

As many of you know, Woodworking in America is being held this weekend in Covington, KY. Only a year ago, I was barely aware of this event, and now it has reached a status in only a few short years of becoming a pilgrimage of sorts for woodworkers. This year’s event is being billed as The Ultimate Joinery Weekend, and to go over the list of presenters and vendors in the marketplace can only make a woodworker drool. I had really hoped that I could have made it to the event, but it is not to be. Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten to know (at least digitally speaking) many great woodworkers from around the U.S. and Canada, and it’s been a hope of mine to get to meet some of them in person and share stories about our common passion. This would have been the weekend to do it, but I just wasn’t able to get it worked into the budget.

If you’ve read my About page, you will notice that I am separated from my wife of almost 20 years. This has been in place for a little over 2 years now, and in all honesty, is about as amicable as one could expect these days, but it does make things financially difficult at times. Our two children, one in college and one a senior in high school, are my first priority. My woodworking budget pretty much falls into the “whatever is left at the end of the month” category, and trips to an event like this don’t even make it onto the list-at least not this year. I’m now committed though to save up enough so I can make the trip next year without causing a financial strain. Sure, I’ll have to pinch some pennies here and there, but I can do it. Although I doubt I’ll be purchasing my first Festool anytime soon, I hope to at least be able to purchase a couple really nice tools at the marketplace there next year to start filling out my collection.

But still, in my own way, I’ll be having my own woodworking/vacation weekend anyway, so don’t worry about me. Tomorrow when most of my friends who are going will be winging or driving their way to the greater Cincinnati area, I’ll be taking off for the beach for a day or so, then coming home to make some progress on the Mini Desk. And I’ll be monitoring my Twitter and Google+ streams for as much information from the event as possible, and then looking forward to the sure to be numerous blog posts that will be appearing over the next several weeks.

I hope everyone that is going has a great time, and be sure to have a beer for me. Oh, how I wish I was there with you.

The past couple of have been, well, busy to say the least. Most of it has involved getting my son back to college, and trying to motivate an almost 21 year-old to actually plan ahead and not wait until the last minute to get ready is a challenge in and of itself. So now, after a 2 day, 960+ mile road trip to and from Boston, he is now in his dorm ready to get back to classes. By the way, for the beer-lovers out there, there is a great restaurant in nearby Allston, MA called the Sunset Grill & Tap that has an AMAZING beer menu-112 on tap alone. Oh, and great food too.

So over that time I’ve only had little bits of time in the shop to work on the desk, and most of that has been getting the last 2 pieces of the edging cut and fit into place. It was somewhat challenging given the short lengths, combinations of inside/outside corner cuts and me not wanting to keep setting up and taking down the router table and miter saw whenever adjustments needed to be made. And some of those ‘adjustments’ were having to cut and shape entirely new pieces when I would either cut something too short, or blow out an edge when not paying attention. But then, on a rather wet Labor Day, I finally succeeded in getting all the parts fit and glued up, although the piece at the center of the desk cut out-the one at 45 degrees, did need a little ‘motivation’ from a mallet, which I was happy to provide.

Now that this part is complete except for sanding, I can get started on the base, which is being made from dimensional poplar. There will be a total of five legs, one at each of the 90 degree corners, leaving the cut out section open for me to move in and out as needed. I’m going to see if I can visualize this part through Sketchup, but I have a feeling that I’ll end up using pencil and paper instead. Either way, I’ll get that put up here as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading, and as always, comments are welcome.