Wednesday, May 27, 2015

On the Bench

 My workbench is again, chaos. On the bench are carving tools, files, sand paper, shellac, brushes, planes, saws and knives. Not to mention a large coffee cup and a cutting board drying in clamps.

   The cutting board is fairly obvious, this board is maple and about 11 by 17 and 1 inch thick. I glued it together last evening and set it on the corner of the bench to dry. Hooray for Bessey clamps and water proof glue.  

  The other project that was drying over night was a brooch carved out of bass wood and painted with acrylic paint.

   I think those two projects reflect the real nature of my workshop. Projects of all types and sizes come out of my basement shop, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  It has been a few months since I produced a cutting board which is fine, I was getting bored of the process.  Lately I have been working on these little carvings because it is relaxing and gives me a chance to play with design ideas.

  Art and design is funny.  What you make may become popular or not,  and the quality of the work is not as important as the "look".  If the right person sees your piece and likes it, then it will sell and maybe even become popular, and if it isn't seen by the right person.... your piece collect dust.  There is no way of guessing what is going to happen.

  When I work on something small it still needs lots of tools.  Anything made of wood requires the same preparation, the wood has to be square and smooth. Shaping wood for a book case needs saws, planes, files and sand paper, so does shaping wood for a 2.5 inch brooch.  I use more hand tools when working on things like the brooch, I like that because it is quieter produces less fine dust.  I also chose hand tools because I feel it is safer. 

  A workshop footnote.
  Last evening I was ripping 3/8 strips off of mahogany planks with a friend and we began the process by reminding ourselves about shop safety.  With more than 100 years shop experience between us and both with all our fingers we still talked shop safety before settling into serious band saw time.

  The shop will get cleaned up, and it will get messed up again too. I think it is called the circle of dust.

cheers, ianw

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