Issue 175

Issue 175

A Season of Little Woodworking

As you might imagine, with a job title like mine, I get asked what kind of woodworking I do. The truthful answer is: not much, these days.

There is a half-finished memory box project in my garage, at least a drill and a jigsaw hidden away in my house — and a toddler sleeping in a crib in another room.

The presence of the toddler explains both the “hidden away” parts of the tools and the absence of much woodworking going on around my place as of late. As the eminently sensible advice of shop safety experts like Sandor Nagyszalanczy printed in Woodworker’s Journal oft states, one shouldn’t do woodworking when tired. For me, that condition will be met – maybe in 2010?

The fatigue can laid at the feet of the toddler. The feet, and the hands, and any other body part that can be placed within reach of a hot stove, a spinning saw blade, the switch to turn the furnace off whilst the mouth spouts such profound-but-necessary questions as “Oh, doing?” “Oh, dat?” Again, not an argument for shop safety. (The furnace is fixed, by the way.)

People with years of experience have ample reason, and permission, to laugh at my pre-child imaginings of my creating multitudes of wooden toys for her younger years. There’s a reason, it seems, that this task generally falls to grandparents.

She does sleep in a wooden crib, of course, made from a Woodworker’s Journal plan — by a shop teacher relative, who had more energy than we. There was also the contributing factor that, for some reason, I had great difficulty finding a compilation of information on “safe woodworking while pregnant.” (A note: I’m pretty sure Michael Dresdner’s answer on the recommended finish to use at this time would be the all-natural shellac.)

Right now, it seems, I need to wait a couple of years, before a little “shop helper” can be a safe companion, for either of us. For the meantime, the birthing ball has taken up residence on the workbench.

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