Sunday, October 21, 2012

Productive Procrastination

The past month has been a busy one. The crunch to finish up work before winter has begun, preparations for the class I am teaching have been taking some time, and I have been building a piece of furniture. This furniture project has been interesting in many ways. It is a cherry pedestal that will hold a stainless steel sculpture that one of the other shop members is building. It has been fun learning, and relearning, some techniques. It also turned out to be good motivation to do some work on the house.

I have known for a long time that I am most productive when I have a deadline within sight. I can try to get things done ahead of time, but really, that time is spent doing anything other than the project at hand. Sometimes those things done while procrastinating are very important tasks that I would never get to otherwise like tuning up tools, cleaning, and practicing skills.

I was working on someone else's deadline. I knew that the sculptor would not make the deadline, but I still had to pretend to be working on the pedestal as if it would be ready in time. The real work could not begin until progress happened on the sculpture. In the mean time, I had to clear some space in the shop. A pile of old panelling that I salvaged from the firehouse caught my eye. The easiest way to take care of that pile was to strip the old brown shellac off refinish it, and install it as the kitchen ceiling in my house. That is the easiest way to move a pile, right? (to be honest, it wasn't even in the way, but provided a good distraction). But here are the results! It was a long overdue improvement to the house.

Also in this time, I built the frames for the windows in the gable ends and installed temporary plexiglass windows in them.

Unfortunately that is it for progress on the house at this point. Here are some photos of the pedestal though.


Shooting board for 30 degree bevel

Wedges and rope for the glue-up


Leg stock

Leg pattern

Legs were cut 1/16" oversize then finished with pattern bit on a router

Legs and the column after a messy glue-up

Cutting the tenon

Pared to size

Chamfer to dress up the bottom. This will get a brass
plate over it to hold the staves together and cover the hole

Mortice layout

Hanger bolts installed

Top layout

Upper brackets

A visit to the screw museum- all made right here in Worcester

A screw goes through each stave to hold the wood together,
and three more are prepped to fix the granite top in place.

Last glue-up

Several coats of Tung oil and some wax,
ready to be entwined with stainless steel
roses and graced with the sculpture.