Creaks and cracks keeping me outta the shop… but not outta the game

20 Jun

I took a week off working in the shop due to some soreness I incurred while at work this past week. I realise now that working during my time off from working leads to zero recuperation time when I feel aches and pains.  I really didn’t want to take a break but my body insisted.

I did however find a way to get a woodworking fix out of the weekend. I visited the shop and put away some new tools I bought, surveyed my progress with killing off the ant population at the shop, and I did some finishing unrelated to my current projects.

The carpenter ant situation is at a stand still- I can’t tell if I’ve effectively reduced the population or not. Rotting wood (the stuff that keeps them coming back for more) seems to abound on the grounds surrounding my shop- it would be quite the process to rid the property of all of it’s manifestations (fences, tree stumps, and I suspect wall studs). The other problem is that since it’s summer and the days are longer, I can’t stick around til the sun goes down to watch for ant activity.  They are most active during the evening.  My stomach is often quite rumbly in the evening- so going home for dinner wins out ALWAYS.

After dinner, I tackled the above mentioned finishing. I deemed my balcony to be fit for the task and set to work…

I bought this piece of furniture at a garage sale for $30. It was packed flat in pieces, in it’s original box. I assembled it with screws, dowels and glue as per the instructions. It’s been sitting around, fully assembled, dangerously close to a food prep area in the kitchen with NO finish to protect it.

I thought about staining it, painting it or leaving it natural with a clear coat. I opted for the clear coat simply because I prefer wood grain over paint, and because my kitchen would look better with a lighter piece of furniture than a darker piece.

I am notorious for walking into the kitchen and depositing any number of odd objects into a bowl on a side table out in plain sight. The goal when I bought this was to designate this piece of furniture for all of my nomadic junk and hide that crap away. “Where’d I put that gps/ pack of gum/ flashlight / important scrap of note paper? Of course, it’s in the secretary!”

Here it is all prettied up. Though it’s a small thing that’s not too practical for actually sitting at and writing, I like the size in terms of footprint because I don’t know if i would have committed to anything larger- I have furniture everywhere. Makes me think this footprint might be a good one to model future projects on- there’s always room for jello, and this.

I’m also impressed by the different storage options.

I think this piece of furniture is also a good example of simplification. I considered building a secretary for a while and then ruled it out because the designs I researched had SO many parts. While this design is a bit cottage-y It would be easy to tweak a few details and get it looking a little more sophisticated without adding parts.

In fact I think I WILL build a secretary based on this one, but altering the design- why not! I’ve always wanted to make one!

Well crap, now I have more work to do. I’d better rest up. Thanks for reading!  Happy woodworking.


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