27 June 2020

Nightstand for my Daughter's Room

I learned a lot from this project.  I started it when I had about 18 months of hand tool experience.  In all honesty, I wasn't ready from a skill perspective to be doing this.  But, my wife wanted to go to Ikea to buy something for my daughters room and I balked because I knew I could make something as good if not much better with the skill level I had at the time than Ikea furniture.  As to the design, I found it from either Tauton Press or Popular Woodworking and bought the design.  Way too soon for me to design from scratch.

I started with rough cherry that I purchased from a lumber mill.  I paid under $4 a board foot.

One of the key things I learned was something Paul Sellers has said in many of his instructional videos.  Don't give up, keep going, push through.  There were several times where I wanted to take an ax and chop this up.  I didn't but I did put this project on hold a couple of times.  As such it took me about two and half years before I finished it.  The good news is that my skill level kept increasing so things I thought impossible to do weren't by the time I needed to do it.

A big learning I had was to make sure I use a reference face when measuring during layout.  I wasn't consistent in doing that so it created issues.

I also learned the hard way that you can clamp things out of square.  I used too much clamping pressure on some pieces.  Also, on the top, I didn't align the boards so I had more planning to do with my foreplane and No 5 jointer than I would have had to do otherwise.  Live and learn.

The outside sides have a design element.  It's the first time I have had to make four of the same thing.  The came out really close to each other.  I was happy about that.  It taught me that making duplicate parts is something I can do.

Finish is shellac followed by way.

My daughter loves it.  It has plenty of imperfections but I am ok with that.  She will likely keep this piece her whole life and pass it down to her children with the story of how grandpa made this.

At some point I want to make another one so that she has a pair of them to go on each side of the bed.  I'm not in a rush but I do look forward to it just to see how much my skill has increased.

All in all I probably have 200 to 250 hours to time invested in this piece.  I only used hand tools.  Though seriously frustrated many times while making it.  I am proud of the outcome and know the next time it will be even better (not that that matters to my little daughter).

19 June 2020

It has been a while

Dear All,

Life got busy and I had a few professional job changes occur.  As such I haven't posted in a number of years.  The good news is that I have continued to woodwork.  What I will start to do over this next week is write posts of the various projects I have finished.  What I liked, what challenged, me, etc.  Woodworking has been a lot of fun!