8.19.2013

Three things I learned about woodworking

One skill long on my hit list has been woodworking. I trace it back to the preponderance of wood holiday decorations in my house growing up, usually a result of a Relief Society Homemaking night. The craft seems to have been replaced by wood blocks spelling out a word like LOVE or FAITH or the family's name. You can buy them from the money changers at Deseret Book. Back when the go-to decor of Mormon moms was a cutely painted bunny rabbit or jack-o-lantern, someone, somewhere was cutting them out. I think it was Nancy Long. I remember seeing industrial-looking tools in her (or someone's) garage and being blown away that she used it for crafts. Tools were for furniture. And fences. Right?

For some reason the idea of a woodworking class had been on my mind when Leslie and I went for lunch at Evergreens and she pointed out to me that the back lot of the restaurant was a tool shop and they taught woodworking classes. I signed up the next day, opting for the Women's class not because I'm afraid of woodworking with men, but because it started sooner (plus, I wanted to give the teacher a few words about how calling the Women's Class project a garden tote and the Men's/co-ed Class project a toolbox when they were, in fact, the exact same project, was ridiculous and unnecessary, and really quite patronizing if you'd really like to know).

A hundred fifty bucks, 5 weeks, and a garden tote tool box toiletry caddy later:

1. The band saw is quite easy and not scary. I look scared here (or scary?)(band saw behind me on the right) but it was surprisingly easy to not cut any of my appendages off or get my clothing stuck anywhere. The table saw, on the other hand, did not cease to be terrifying, even though the table we were on had technology built in to keep fingers from being sawed off.
 2. Women are pretty great. There were five women in my class, all interesting in their own endeavors. Just wanting to make things out of wood because, why not (probably for Easter decorations)


 3. I have no plans for purchasing large woodworking tools in the near future. I enjoyed the course, immensely. I especially enjoyed the router and sander. Hand tools are pretty great and I actually really loved the multi-purpose woodworking tables with levers and adjustable just about everything. But getting into that kind of equipment is upwards of a thousand bucks a piece, even for the table. It would be pretty great if I could somehow inherit a garage full of planers and jointers (and preferably also a full storage of high quality wood so I don't have to buy any). Any recommendations of childless neighbors with a wood shop, kindly advise.




1 comment:

Trish said...

Your uncle-in-law (is there any such thing?) Jerry has recently purchased some woodworking tools, evidence of which are the two new lovely Adirondack chairs on our deck. They have no children and I'm sure he'd love to get to know you better.