Banging Something Together

June 11, 2014 Comments Off on Banging Something Together

91 KST-02

My list of things to build never gets any shorter. For each one that gets crossed off the list, three more get added. At one point I actually wrote them down. For some that might serve as motivation. For others it can be downright depressing. I don’t know where that list is, and it doesn’t much matter. I know what the important projects are, and those that aren’t important will get supplanted by something else anyway. My basement shop is a perfect example. I work at it spurts, then other things get priority. The important stuff will get built, eventually.

Summer brings an annual priority to building things for the outdoors. I have a few chairs that are almost done (in my classic fashion those were meant to be a quick weekend project – we are on weekend #6 at this point). The other day (while I was working on those chairs) Judy mentioned that she would like a low bench for some potted plants, rather than have them sit on the deck. As she finished explaining what she wanted, she ended with, “Now I don’t need anything fancy, just something banged together.”

I took no offense to that. My chair project is how all my “weekend” projects go. I figure out a design, and then say to myself, “Yeah, I can build that in a few days”. Weeks later I’m still chamfering edges and adding subtle curves and details here and there. But sometimes things really do need to get banged together, and function rather than form should be the priority. That isn’t advocating shoddy work, and you should never make anything intentionally ugly, but sometimes you need to pick your battles.

I went through my stash of 4/4 cedar and “banged together” these two little benches. I wouldn’t load too much weight on them (CVG red cedar is barely above balsa in strength), but for pots they should do just fine. Of course they still took longer than I anticipated, but for me they were built in light speed. I was told they are “cute”. Not a word I would personally advocate using in a critique of a woodworking piece but I’ll take it.

On a final note, I’ve added a few more tools to my For Sale page, including some squares, a bevel gauge, some nails, and an old plane iron.

91 KST-03

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