maandag 17 oktober 2016

(Not) Doing Stuff....

Heh, my previous post was letting you know I hadn't fallen off the edge of the Earth, and then I go silent for weeks... Sorry, folks!

Anyway, this will be a bit of a non-gaming post. Not entirely unexpectedly, the Muse has still been very erratic and absent for extended periods. At least as far as miniature stuff goes.

You see, this year I've decided to not be just a desk-jockey for the rest of my life, but also do something that I find rewarding and of lasting value on a personal level. To achieve this, I've started on a course for fine woodworking/furniture making. I've always liked wood and wooden articles, and have a life-long urge to make things (hence the wargaming/modelling, occasional bookbinding or other cockamamie project). Where this will go, I'm still undecided, maybe it will be a self-funding hobby, side job or maybe, if I get really lucky, a full time job?  But what creative urge there has been the last few weeks, has often been channeled into woodworking instead of wargaming, especially now that I have a little workspace in the garage.  I'll post some of the stuff I've been working on at the end of this post.

Also, I'm preparing to start a new (temporary) job soon, which means I need to renew certain certifications, leading to lots of studying in the last few days and coming week or two. Once I get that certification, I can start and will spend several weeks of on-the-job training and then a couple of months of certainly busy and probably erratic work. Which also means less or at least, less predictable, time for my various hobbies. On the other hand, all the activity at work may also just re-energize the old mojo-generator, who knows?

Oh, here's those pics of my first few projects I promised:

An Ash shop mallet, the final workpiece of the starter course. It this picture it hasn't had all the plugs and wedges sawn off yet. It has since been cleaned up and oiled and now serves as an excellent half-kilo of "persuasion". :D

A meditation bench for my wife. From a non-descript softwood that was a bit unpleasant to work with (Sold as "Scaffolding board", which is a DIY-by-the-numbers fashion item for making rough and ready screw-together furniture, not actually wood sturdy enough to use for scaffolding...). 
It's made to tilt and rock back to front, allowing the user to find the optimal angle of the seat and also forcing one to actively keep ones balance, leading to better posture during meditation. This was my first "solo" project, outside of the course. Made some mistakes (including one that cracked the wood on the legs), but learnt a lot. And the misses really appreciates getting/having it.

Solo project number two, a larch drawer/box. I made it mainly as an excuse to practice making dovetails, and contains my first dovetail joints ever. I'm happy with how neat they are for a first attempt. As that went well, I chose to take a risk and put a decorative butterfly key in the front side, made from oak. It still needs its surface finishing. Currently I'm using it as a sort of tool-tote around the (tiny) workshop. You can see the finished Ash mallet in the background.

What's up next? As money has been tight, a trip to the lumber yard has been out of the question, so I've had to beg and scrounge for my wood. So far this has netted a nice thin plank of walnut and a similar plank of hard maple, which I consider myself very lucky to get as a gift. I will be using these to make a christmas present for my wife. A friend said he had a hardwood pallet (which turned out to be beech, which surprised me). When I came to collect it, he had another surprise for me:
 A disc of Oak! (FYI, I don't have small feet... my shoes are literally a foot long. So you can estimate the size of that disc.)
I'll need to find a way to smooth it and get it to a uniform thickness. The crack in the left side will need to get butterfly keys to stabilise and strengthen it. (It's a total coincidence I chose to try making one in the larch box just a week or two before, but I'm happy I did!) I'm thinking of using the beech from the pallet to make a frame/legs for this slab and turn the whole set of gift wood into a side table. I won't be able to retain the bark, as it has already started to separate in too many places, but it will still end up an interesting shape. There's a wedge of oak to the left of the disk. Once I find suitable wood for legs, this may become a small stool, or if sufficient wood emerges, a taller shop stool to use when doing fine work at the workbench.
I've also been offered the off-cuts/leftovers of some furniture grade pine, but those will have to wait until the owner of the wood finishes his own project first. So no pre-made plans for those.

See you next time!

4 opmerkingen:

  1. I've always liked to work with wood, though at a much simpler level, and admire your work. Looks like you got the talent. Good luck finding a job!
    I hope when everything settles down we can meet for a game again. The previous ones were a blast.

    1. Thanks! Wood is a great material, and I absolutely love discovering just what I can do with it.
      Yeah, I'd like another game as well, once things have settled down again (which should be somewhere in 2017, I hope).

  2. Man, I for one applaud doing something your love and push away from the desk job :D

    Looking forward to update in timber, resin, plastic or metal!

    The hammer is really nicely done, let alone the finish on the drawer/box.

  3. Heh, I seem to remember someone setting sail for new horizons as well... ;D

    Updates are sure to follow (the next woodworking project will be under wraps for a while though, as it will be christmas gift), but who knows at what speed... As usual.

    Thank you, the mallet has some flaws up close, but it's a joy to handle. It just invites you to whack things! The box, I'm proud of, but I should really sand out the remaining sides and maybe put a finish on it to protect the wood. But for now, I'm just enjoying the simplicity and purity of the bare wood too much to seal it.