Woodworking

Women learning woodworking in 1900 (F. B. Johnson photo)

Sunday, September 26, 2011— October’s fullest moon (“Hunter’s”) will rise on the 20th.

I’m doing some woodworking in an outbuilding that’s had various purposes. The previous homeowner built it to house an RV. After I acquired horses and understood how much hay is necessary to keep them, that building became dedicated for storing hay.

Early this year when a new bug bit me, I found other places to store hay. The outbuilding became a hobby workshop.

Long ago in my growing-up days, on recognizing wood’s beauty, I wanted to learn woodworking. The thought just hung around until years later I attended a party in San Diego. The guests were artists, mostly teachers, and I heard a woman speak of building furniture herself for her new home. She suggested to me that a good start would be to acquire a table saw and go for it, by teaching myself to use it.

Maybe woodworking again is wishing to renew creativity and its pleasures. Not so easy with modern tools, so different from those of old. My current table saw has technologies for accuracy and safety that required a relearning. Similar, for a modern drill press and sanding machine. Many of today’s tools are battery operated, lightweight and portable, and some that in the old days I couldn’t heft have become easier to use.

My timing for setting-up was awful. Lumber prices shot-up quickly, became sky-high. The pandemic-interrupted supply chains, along with world-frenzied home-building, made wood a scarce commodity.

Life on an acreage teaches against tossing left-over project pieces. I found scrap lumber and with it practiced using newer tools. Unable to afford durable hardwoods, I used wood scraps to construct needed objects.

A couple of examples. My new magazine rack made from unappealing pressed plywood keeps pulps in one place. My farm-vehicle, Gator, is sporting a pressed-plywood carrier to transport without spills a cup of coffee and keep small tools handy.

Now it’s funny, to find myself loving these ugly, serviceable pieces. I’ve no wish to have them made of quality lumber, looking prettier. I see them as cool, creative one-offs, from my mind and imagination.

Dear Friends: Just “going for it” turns out often to be the “best way”. Diana

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