A Week of Many Projects

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Helping Doug and his wife Sandy create a display for their booth

Last week was a bit shorter than usual. Over the weekend Doug had attended an artisan craft fair where he sold his work at a booth. He asked me to come help him at the booth because he thought his wife had to be somewhere else. It turned out that she was able to stay so there wasn’t much need for me. I stood with them at the booth for a short while anyway. Unfortunately no sales took place during the time I was there; I was really looking forward to seeing a transaction happen. Doug put a lot of work into the fair by preparing the items and spending the entire weekend selling them. He did really well overall and got second place for his beautiful display. So he decided to take Monday off to rest, which meant I got Monday off too. Well, sort of…

For my day off, Doug gave me the task of designing a small table that I will be building. I had an idea of what I wanted the table to look like so I started playing around with sketches. I designed a nightstand.

The next day I brought my design in to show Doug. He gave me a few ideas and standards that would make my table better proportioned and stable. He then showed me how to make a scale drawing with an architects ruler then had me make a scale drawing of my table for homework.

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Scale Drawing of nightstand

I worked on a lot of different projects over the week. I worked a bit more on the trays, I helped build some quick cabinets for Doug to transport and display some of his products, I changed the table saw blade to a dado blade, and I milled the boarders for table runners.

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Quick cabinet for storage and display of products

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Changing the table saw blade

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Putting on a dado blade

The dado grooves I made for the table runner boarders this time didn’t work out so well. I had made them before, the same exact things made the same exact way but this time something really wasn’t working out. The board was lifting up and not cutting as deep as it needed to be and was just awful. Doug thought it might be his blade becoming dull so he decided to give it a try himself. It worked perfectly. So the conclusion was it was something I was doing wrong. However, from watching Doug do it I realized that he was putting pressure on the board right above the blade and he had me keep my hand at a distance. I pointed this out and he said it was better for me to be on the safe side. Doug is an very experienced woodworker and therefore the line between safe and unsafe is quite different from where mine is as a beginner.  This just means I need to find alternative ways to get the job done well and yet maintain that level of safety. I got the done, not the best job but they’ll do. Next time I’ll just have to play around with the process and find something that works for me. I’m still baffled as to how I managed to make them the first time without messing up though.

I did a lot of odd jobs this week but it is always a learning experience especially because I’m starting from the beginning. I have very little experience with woodworking and tools and most of the experience I have is recent so every bit I do is important. No matter how big or small, simple or complicated, brief or repetitive the task, it is training my muscles and my mind for this kind of work.

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