Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Best Part of Woodworking?

Some woodworkers might say it's the look on a recipient's face as they're given a piece they made. Others might claim it's a project's completion, a tight-fitting joint, or a pain- and swear word-free glue-up.

For me, the best part of woodworking is starting a new project.

It's the thing that occupies my thoughts when I'm supposed to be sleeping. Or paying attention in church. 

Making decisions on design, joinery, wood, order of construction.  It doesn't get any better than that.

I'm giving a presentation in April where I'll need a workbench and I'm not sure that one will be available. That's the catalyst I've been waiting for to motivate me to build a travel bench.  

I picked up some gorgeous 12/4 cherry at Hearne Hardwoods for the top. That might not sound too portable for a workbench, but I have an idea.  It's not fleshed out yet, but no worries. 

There are quite a few church services between now and April.

21 comments:

Mitchell said...

I'm with you, Kari. Starting a new project is the biggest buzz of the whole processes.

Vic Hubbard said...

Portable is a very broad term. Are you thinking tote type portable? Crate type portable? Are you ready to share constraints yet? I'm looking forward to this. I do like to see peoples projects in all their various states, but like you, the crux of the design phase is the beginning of the project. I'm excited for you. I can't wait 'till life slows so I can do something else. I haven't even really been drawing.

upriver said...

Greatly looking forward to watching this one pan out. Portable benches are an eternal conundrum. I am sure you have seen the same ingenious solutions I have, so won't post them here, but instead offer my best wishes and excitement to see what your plan happens to be.

Steve Southwood said...

Can't wait to see it all come together. This should be fun

Eric said...

My money is on you to hit another homer kari.

RONW said...

"Some woodworkers might say it's the look on a recipient's face as they're given a piece they made ...."

Reminds me when I was in fine arts school. Use to present random acquaintances with a "prized" masterpiece of mines to make the recipient feel guud and fuzzy all over. Actually the junkest piece of art the world had ever known. Talk about the expressions on a recipient's face.

Jack said...

Shopping at Hearne Hardwoods is also a fun part. Kid in a candy store? That's how I feel when I'm there. Resist strong urges to buy more.

msiemsen said...

12/4 lumber just screams portable to me! A local farmer was upbraided by his minister for not bing in church for a couple of weeks. His reason for not being thee was that he had to get his hay up and the weather had been good for that. He told his minister he would rather be sitting on the hay wagon thinking he should be in church than sitting in the pew wishing he was on the hay wagon.
Watch out for spiders!

Greg Miller said...

Hey, Kari,can you help out an Australian with a cross-cultural conundrum? What does the "12/4" mean in the dimensional description of the Cherry? I have often wondered about that type of notation... we don't use it here.
Ta. Greg.

Kari Hultman said...

Mitchell, I'm in good company then. :o)

Vic, as long as I can carry each of the sections/pieces by myself, I'm calling it portable. I've decided to make this my new main bench as well, but it will break down enough that I'll be able to lift the pieces into my car. Granted, I will be breaking a sweat.

Upriver, it is tricky. Because you want a bench that will hold up to handplaning and pounding but can be moved around.

Steve, I've been dreaming of building my own bench for about 18 years. So glad there was finally a cattle prod to get me moving.

I hope it works out well, Eric. Thanks for the vote of confidence. :o)

Ron, that's pretty funny. I'm sure all of us can relate. I can remember a few of my first ww projects getting similar reactions.

Jack, I didn't point it out, but my partner is sitting in the front seat in the picture. Would you believe she never got out of the car to go into Hearne?? I can't imagine choosing to read a book rather than drool over beautiful boards. Sheesh.

Mike, I vote you get to MC a stand up comic night at WIA! :D

Greg, sorry about that. 12/4 refers to twelve x 1/4" which equals 3". If you see 16/4 (pronounced sixteen quarter) then it's 4"— sixteen x 1/4" = 4. Hope that makes sense.

Mr Bill said...

Kari,
I must admit I like starting a project much more than finishing it. Tools I love making or buying the toys. To me I look around and see a new one or one I want, and I dream up projects just so I can "justify" buying or making it. I just finished a 31" monster hollow handle for my hollow forms. It's based very loosely on the handles that David Ellsworth puts on his tools. Mine is made with Aluminum conduit from the surplus store, 6" of 2" round aluminum stock and fibre reinforced hose. It's light and really absorbs vibration. Now where did I put that rosewood log....
Bill

Trevor Walsh said...

I find that projects just aren't the same unless a swear or ten flies during a glue up.

RONW said...

Kari, I was purposely pulling a trick on the recipient of my special gift thing.

tom buhl said...

my dear Kari,
We should go shopping together. Always claimed to not like shopping, but seems my friends just drug me to the wrong places.

Anyone who rips lumber by hand for fun, can handle a pretty heavy "portable" bench I'd guess.

Indeed, beginnings are important, and the best of times.

Rock on my friend

Jozef said...

I understand very well! Some of my best inventions came to my mind right during Pater Noster. Let's call it enlightenment. :-)

gounthar said...

Ditto...
As with love, the best part is ... climbing the stairs. ;-)

Gary Roberts said...

... is Folger's in your cup?

dony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Bignell said...

Kari, Great blog post (like always), But I am even more impressed that you are a subaru forester owner. I have three Subarus Foresters and have hauled my share of wood and workbenches in them over the years and mile. Looking forward to seeing your posts on the portable bench. I have tried and failed several times. The problem was always that they were not heavy enough to be secure enough for carving.

Tom Stephenson said...

As a pastor, I had to laugh at your comment about not paying attention in church. I once pastored a church with a beautiful chapel with exquisite hand carved moldings and reliefs; just a wonderful Gothic chapel with lovely wood everywhere. I often found myself daydreaming during worship "how did she/he carve that? What kind of gouges did they use?" So, the next time you think your pastor is looking ever so pastoral during worship, she/he may be wondering about your new workbench!

Kari Hultman said...

Bill, I'll say that's a monster. You're planning to turn a reproduction of the liberty bell, are you? ; )

Trevor, it does seem to go with the territory, doesn't it?

Ron, too bad you didn't get them on film. Or did you?? :D

Tom, I'm with you. I've always hated doing traditional shopping (clothes, etc.). Guess we were just shopping at the wrong places.

Jozef, well, Jesus was supposedly a carpenter, after all. Works for me!

Gounthar, nice one. :o)

Gary, I never start a day without Maxwell House. Yeah, I'm a gal with classy taste.

Sorry, dony, there will be no peddling of wares on my blog.

David, that's my partner's car, actually. If you look closely, you'll see her in the passenger's seat. She didn't even bother to come into the warehouse to see all the goodies. The design I'm working on is very Roubo, but I haven't decided on the front vise--leg or face. Also, I'm planning a split top so it can come apart (so I can carry it). This will also replace my main bench, so it has to be hefty but able to be broken down into pieces I can manage on my own. It's very fun figuring it out. Now, whether or not it will work is another story...

Tom, I'm glad to hear you say that! Maybe I won't go to the naughty place after all. :D