Saturday, March 01, 2014

March Madness - Back to Building

Even though February is the shortest month, it feels like it's lasted forever! I couldn't figure out what the cluster-fuck was about, but I wasn't the only one experiencing it. it seems like everyone I've been speaking with has had a frustrating February.

And then I found this:

We are all influenced when Mercury is in retrograde.

When Mercury is Retrograde

Sometimes the other planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac; this is an illusion. We call this illusion retrograde motion.
Mercury's retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry.

When Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.

2014 Retrograde Dates

In 2014, Mercury will be retrograde during:
  • February 6–28
A major cause of stress at Mercury retrograde is frustration from mishaps, things breaking down, computers going black. But if we know its cycle, this makes it feel less terminal. If things go pear-shaped, see what's there to see. Take a break from the usual routine.


All I can say is - thank God that it ended yesterday! 

I finally got back to actually working with wood yesterday, it's been 2 months since I actually did something other than teach a class... and it felt wonderful! I've been working on a dresser/sideboard design for a long time - modeled after this piece that I saw in Asheville, North Carolina a few years ago. 

In fact, Ned built a similar piece in a Table Making Class - he did a terrific job on it, inlaying tile in the top and building it in Cherry. It's a stunning piece!

I'd always wanted to make a version of it. 

It's funny how a piece sticks in your mind. I'd ordered a few hundred board feet of Sassafras (Yes, Steve - I actually found some here in Vegas!) so that I could build this piece to match the bed I made a few years ago. 

Ordering a lot of wood allows me pick and choose the boards I want for my top. 

Because this piece is going to be a dresser, there are probably going to be a few things sitting on top of it - maybe a phone, or an alarm clock. So I decided to make the top of this a little differently than these two versions shown. I wanted a gap between the top and the vertical back board, so that an electrical cord could be fished behind the piece. 

So I made two executive decisions - to notch the top around the legs, and to raise the vertical piece up a bit, creating that gap. I have big plans for that back board... just wait!

Normally you'd notch the piece after the whole top is finished. But I thought that might be difficult, based on the size of the top. So I decided to notch one of the boards before I glued the top together. 

Damn, I nailed it! I notched it on the table saw, cutting the board vertically. It was a perfect fit.

 In fact, both sides perfectly. I'm so glad Mercury in retrograde is over.

Once everything was notched, the top was glued together. 

If you save a few rips of wood that you've trimmed from your boards, they act as clamp pads, so the clamps won't ding your edges.

And there is - the first thing I've worked on in months! If I'm lucky, I'll unclamp and plane it today. It's always exciting starting a new piece.... 

Or in this case - finishing a piece I started months ago. It feels good to be (saw)-dusty again!

Happy March, everyone!

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