The peaceful anxiety that is woodworking

Forstner-cut hole

When I’m not busy ripping up my floors, I like to try my hand at woodworking. Like I mentioned in a prior post, we’ve been doing a lot of stuff around the house. Including my office: we took everything out, gave away the desk, threw away the years of accumulated garbage, and replaced the floor. And painted the walls—good-bye “Celery” green! Hello “Wet Pavement” gray!

Yeah, that’s nice and everything, but it leaves me without a desk! I’m sure I could have bought something, but if I did, I’d deprive myself of an opportunity to indulge in a little gratuitous woodworking.

There’s a web app called Sketchup I use to make “drawings” of my projects. (There used to be a better—and free—desktop app version, but it’s gone now: only the “pro” version remains.) The web app isn’t high-end, but it suffices for my (simplistic) woodworking needs. Below,  you’ll see a few angles of a workbench I’m creating, followed by some photos of my current progress:

I’ll be the first to admit: my woodworking skills…could stand some improvement. The first “cross brace” sits about 1/4″ high. Or low. I don’t know if I’ll use it on the top or bottom. (I don’t think it matters right now!) If I can’t “convince” it to mate properly after a little judicious filing down, I can always cut another: I think I still have at least 2′ of 2×4 kicking around somewhere! And if not, by the time I cut the top, I’ll have…sixteen pieces just over two feet long, so I’ll be fine.

And a desk

I’m also building a desk. Y’know, to replace the other desk we gave away! Actually, I started with the desk, but after a cascade of events, I had to move all my stuff into the shed. Which is only fair, since that’s the primary reason I built the shed in the first place: a place to do woodworking! That said, it’s…a mess in there. Part of that mess is the pile of boards intended to become the aforementioned workbench. I cut and routed most of the pine boards inside the house (in what’s now an office/playroom), but in the process, I made a tremendous mess. Woodworking creates lots of dust. You probably knew that.

Anyway, I’m hopeful I can finish this workbench (with minimal additional flaws), then finish the desk. I took a bunch of pictures of where I am with the desk’s construction, but I haven’t uploaded them yet, so instead, you get to see a couple views of the Sketchup drawings:

I’d have more done on my desk if my router base’s “microdepth adjustment” thingy worked. It’s supposed to move the router up and down, and it does, so long as this little C-pin remains engaged with a threaded rod. When the C-pin bends and twists and ultimately pops off, the router is pretty much stuck where it is. I ordered a new C-pin, but I haven’t installed it yet.

Now that I’m writing this, though, I realize I could do most of what I need to do with the plunge base or even the table saw. (Sidenote: Those 3-1/2″ rabbets cut into the 2x4s for the lap joints on the workbench frame? I cut all 16 of them—56″-worth—with a 1/8″ kerf table saw blade. I must hate myself!) Anyway, once I’ve built the desk, I’ll paint it white and hang it from a French cleat off the floor.

When I’m done with all this woodworking, I can get back to writing!

Oh yeah. The book…

I’m about halfway through Chapter XII of Between the Lion and the Wolf. Still working on it! I haven’t made too much progress because, well, there’s a whole bunch of stuff going on (some you just read about). (Unless you skipped to this paragraph: if you did, start from the top!) Regardless, thanks for reading (either the book, this post, or both)!

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