Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Days are Getting Longer...

A Mid-February Canadian-Wood-Shop Morning Routine

This mornings 5 a.m. wake up call came as it always does; alarm clock tearing through my semi-unconscious state, lying there thinking "Do I really have to go out to work this morning"? Working alone and being ones own boss surely has it's advantages, but in these late winter un-ambitious final months of Canadian living there are unfortunately certain dis-advantages as well. Sometimes these frost filled early morning wake ups can take some real skill, I mean c'mon, forget about the wood working, we're talking about February in Canada. I always have to think of the job at hand, in this case the kitchen cabinets I'm building. I think of them as they will be in their finished state, the grain in the Cherry wood lifting off and out of the flatness in the frames and the panels. The hand rubbed oil finish glistening in some other early morning light. The client who has trusted me to build not only a piece of furniture for them, but to create a part of their home that will be used and enjoyed for years and years to come. This is what motivates me to go out into the dark morning wood shop, while this mid February frost still hangs over everything. Hey, it was only minus 4 today, too bad that was the inside of my shop. I long for a heated work space someday. Ah, this winter can't last forever right? The coffee maker is programmed to come on about 15 minutes to five; you've gotta love technology. My shop is behind our home and it only takes me 30 seconds to get to work. So here I am, just past five a.m. and I'm crumbling old news paper and splitting old timbers. The shop cats greet me with the usual exchange. Night shift you know, if they could only learn to use a hand plane. I like to get moving, get the fire going, maybe grab a hand plane and try to peel off some shavings. Just to clear out the cobwebs and get the blood pumping, these early morning wood shop engagements are really quite fulfilling. I take a look at the previous days work, things are coming along. I can see the kitchen cabinets growing out of the saw dust. I know what has to be done today, but I'll sit awhile and hug my coffee mug, imagining the cabinets are completed. I stage out the install and check to double check each move towards the finish, making sure the cart doesn't get ahead of the horse. Building this many cabinets but not quite completing them is a real art. They won't be complete until I put them in a van and transport them to their new home, two hours away. I need to make sure they will go together as I planned, no surprises. I find my coffee cup is emptying and take a look around, the light has changed, my eyes adjust, the sun is coming up. This is it, this is why, the smell of the wood stove mingles with my coffee air as the East awakes to embrace this beautiful coast we call Belle Cote. I think again on the work ahead and find some comfort knowing that I'll get it done. Hey, I've got plenty of time, the days are getting longer.


20 February 2008

Mr. Fidgen:

I discovered your interesting Weblog today and enjoyed reading all of your entries to date, as well as watching your videos. Very nice work. Thanks for taking the effort to inform and to share your knowledge, techniques, tool choices, and theories.

Thanks. Keep up the good work.

Phil Lang

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