Some Personal Touches

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Gluing the cutting board bottom on.

Gluing the cutting board bottom on.

So, I have mentioned previously that I started taking woodworking lessons from my friend, Holland. He offered up his wood shop to the general populace among SCA groups, and I finally decided to take him up on it. We did not know one another very well at the start, but I have been getting to know him better. He is a good teacher, and is rather patient. He has a wry sense of humor that I appreciate when I am staring at a piece of wood, trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing with it. I’m learning how to use routers, a scroll saw, oscillating sander, a planer, lathes, belt sanders, a band saw, and a whole bunch of other things I cannot remember the name of at this precise moment. Oh, and the fine art of clamping glued items together!

Testing the fit before final touches.

Testing the fit before final touches.

I have a fond memory of wood shops because of my grandfather. He was a woodworker as a hobby, but is really quite good at it. The smell of wood has always had a hint of comfort and nostalgia to it. I used to sit on one of grandpa’s work benches and watch him work, while I spent weekends over there. My other grandfather was also quite handy with wood in a more practical nature, and was constantly fixing and making things to use around the property. One of my grandfather’s is a bit too old to be in the wood shop now, and the other has passed on.

One of the things I am appreciating about working with Holland is that he treats me like I am competent. That may sound like that should be a given, but much of the time when power tools are involved, I feel like I am treated like a “girl”. A lot of talking about how to do things, but very little interaction with actually DOING it.  I love power tools and working with them. I’m not horribly nervous in a shop atmosphere, as I enjoy destroying stuff just as much as I enjoy making things. My logical brain enjoys figuring out how things work, and my creative side loves figuring out how to make things (assuming you are not pointing me at a sewing machine). I appreciate his guidance, and his ability to not micro-manage. It makes the challenge of learning something new fun, and not tedious.

The finished project. I love it!

The finished project. I love it!

Holland asked me what I wanted to work on first. Internally, I was like “EVERYTHING!” But I realized I needed to narrow my focus. However, I do have a Google Doc I made that I write down everything that I want to make on it, this list keeps growing. I figured that the first item that should be on my To-Make list was a cutting board. I have a round sink, and I wanted a cutting board to sit on it. I figured this would give me some more counter space, as I am constantly chopping fruits and veggies, and occasionally lamenting my lack of counter space when I’m doing this.

I remember cutting boards being a fairly elementary project in woodworking class when I was in junior high, though… I never made one and do not recall it being an option. However, it was my first inclination to get me started. Holland, my friend and teacher, had a good idea of what I had in mind when I was adjective-ing at him. He had me dig through his scrap wood in the shop and piece together the colors I wanted to put together. We went from there and he showed me what to do every step of the way. I will save all the major details, as it’d take awhile.

I do love my finished cutting board (to your left). It has come in handy so much already. Giving me a bit more room when I’m whipping up a salad, stir fry, or making a fruit platter. Since I started working for a organic produce delivery company (and CSA), I have had a lot more fruits and veggies in my house.

I have also began working on my next wood working project. I am making a couple Dantesca Chairs for my merchant booth! I want to look stylish this merchant season! I will keep you posted on the progress.

Have you started any new hobbies lately? If so, what are they?



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4 comments to Some Personal Touches

  • Beautiful project, you did a wonderful job. A ‘real’ teacher teaches the way Holland does. A teacher is supposed to make you feel like you can succeed. They are not supposed to make you feel that you could even possibly fail. What’s next? A spice rack? Maybe some sort of organizational piece for your bathroom? I can’t wait to see.

    • Hey thanks Judith! I’m thinking the Dantesca Chairs are next. After that, I might make a storage bench for hair, since I have so much laying around in here. Then maybe a shelf in the kitchen!

  • avatar Nikki

    I started painting two weeks ago. It’s been amazing and I’m not sure why I waited so long. I love your cutting board. It’s gorgeous. You did a fantastic job. And I can’t wait to see how the chair turns out.

  • avatar Lois

    Love those Dantesca chairs! I think I would like to make those too! Beautiful job on the cutting board!

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