A Little Impromptu Vacation

A couple weeks into January and I haven't had any time in the shop yet this year. A combination of poor weather and a nagging injury to my knee has conspired to keep me away from my sawdust. But a little vacation from time to time can be an OK thing but if this knee thing takes a turn the way I know it will then I will probably have more time off from the shop than I want. All for the better in the end but frustrating in the short time.

So I am left to think about what direction to go with the writing here. I spent a little time looking around the net for ideas and it blows my mind how many blogs there are about writing blogs... I guess I can't help but shake my head at the phenomenon. There are a hundred incarnations of about a dozen tricks to inspire me to write and others to read, but seriously how many "Top 10" lists can you handle. I've never been one to enjoy cliches. If I can't be showing you guys what I'm up to in the shop then I'd rather spend a little extra time coming up with something at least a little original.

I do have a few projects on the bench. for one I began a build of the William and Mary style books stand from the Nov. 2011 Popular Woodworking and Chuck Bender's great blog Parings, I was beginning work on this piece when my leg vise cracked (you can read about that HERE) My attempt to repair the damage also failed miserably and I will have to wait until my next trip to my hardwood dealer to pick up a good replacement board. In the meantime I am starting to ponder adding a crotch style vice with a threaded wooden screw and maybe a sliding deadman to the bench. but the planning committee in my head is still pondering the options involved.

Also in the works is another project from Popular Woodworking, I want to make a couple different sizes of Chris Schwarz's English Layout Square, I want at least a larger and smaller version, and if I have enough material one kind of in the middle size too. I picked up a nice mahogany board to build them from and it's sitting in my shop, calling my name. I'm going to see if I can bookmatch the arms of the square...

One more project I have coming in the near future is some type of case or series of cases to display the military medals awarded to my wife's sister's fiance over his 19 years of service to both the Marines and Army. This is actually a project that is simple and intimidating at the same time as I want to design something that will be worthy of holding these items of reverence and pride and still be subtle so it doesn't overshadow the contents. I like people to notice my work, but this time I want people to see whats going on inside the case before they notice the case itself, if they even notice the case. I think wood and grain selection is going to be the key to the success of this piece.

Well that seems to be enough rambling for one night.



  1. I think I would go with something like an ebonized finish in the case. Maybe a bit of gold or silver leaf pinstriping. It can look really flashy but in a classy understated way that emphasizes rather than overpowers.

    Maybe fumed oak.

    That would be a few new skills to add to the toolbox ;)

  2. ohhhh, a fumed oak. That would be a neat idea and yes, something I haven't played around with yet.

    Thanks David


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