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!
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.
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?