Feeling productive again

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New workbench surface

Nothing gets me motivated more than walking into the shop and seeing an empty workbench! That is exactly what I walked into Friday morning. Finishing up the day Thursday I had made sure I took everything off the bench. I spent most of Thursday putting a new top on the workbench. I found a solid oak door in the free section of Craigslist. I thought the height of the bench was a little on the low side so I decided to go directly on top of the one I had. I took my hand plane to the old top (after checking for any nails, screws, or staples) to flatten it out added some construction adhesive and countersunk some screws from the bottom. It’s finished off with solid oak 1×4 around the edges. It is nice and heavy now and very solid.

Having the clear bench I set out my supplies for the day. With no set plan, I decided to start milling some of the rough lumber. I set up the planer and started feeding it wood. It was the first time since I bought it that I really gave it a workout. The thing is a beast! The wood I had was very rough and a lot of material needed to be removed to get them flat. Even so I was impressed with how quickly it chewed it up!

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The beast of a planer

Upon completion of planing I inspected the boards and started thinking of what I would make. A live edge piece of Black Walnut about three feet long had some beautiful figuring in the grain. There was also a nice Spalted Maple board. The contrast in coloring between the two species was interesting. I’m designing an entryway shelf with some turned pegs for holding keys.

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Live edge Black Walnut

What looks like Sinker Cypress was also in the batch I planed. This was all lumber I had bartered for and neither of us were sure what the wood was. I have some wildlife photos from Key Largo, Cape May, Milford PA, and the Poconos I want to frame. Most of the prints I took are water related, which goes with the Cypress motif. The frames will be relatively simple with some architectural detail, nothing too fancy.

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Sinker Cypress

Being productive and having the creativity flowing is a great feeling! Even though the day was, all in all, a good day in the shop I was still having some stress. The stress doesn’t go away just because of a good day, unfortunately. Yet it does help to make the stress lighter. Hopefully the more good days I can string together, the lighter and lighter the stress will become. Until one day it is light enough that it does not interfere with any of daily life, I have to believe that this is how I will get better!

Thanks for listening!

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