It was 14 months ago today

It has been a little over a year since I started shifting my attention from sculptures and spoons to furniture as an endeavor to improve my lacking precision skills.

In early 2018, I had set myself a deadline to complete several Acanthus leaves. But instead of completing this challenge (I stopped after 2 acanthus leaves) I realized something.

There was a better way to improve my skills in the way I wanted to, and that was by making furniture.

I wanted to become more precise in my woodworking and care about planning in advance of a project rather than just diving in, like I used to do. Furniture is nearly impossible to execute without a clear plan – perfect!

The main thing that was driving me in those times remains. My main motivation is to improve my skills. I don’t go to a woodworking school so I have to be my own mentor, which is tough at times.

But all the hard work certainly has paid off. I feel happier with my creations than I did before and I think they look more professional.

My sawing skills have greatly improved, I can plane a board flat, I can sharpen much better than I could one year ago, etc. Setting yourself some goals can have a big impact on the quality of your work.

But it doesn’t end here, this is a mere reflection-and-looking-to-the-future moment. Making chairs was my favorite thing to do out of the projects I completed last year. Joinery and measuring my least.

Thus I will set myself the goal for the next 12 months to make more projects that involve my marking gouge and my square.
Because inside the comfort zone one slowly dies away.

Though I will still be making chairs and stools on the side, I find it important to remain on top of improving my skills and techniques and not fall into the trap of doing something you love over and over again. Challenges pave the path for becoming a better woodworker.

I am thinking about making a shaker table on of these days as a first step in that direction.

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Shaker Table, courtesy of Popular Woodworking magazine

 

But I think I’ll make the legs taper out the opposite way.

Off to the lumberyard!

Rudy Everts

 

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7 thoughts on “It was 14 months ago today

  1. Finn Koefoed-Nielsen May 29, 2019 — 11:47 am

    I haven’t stopped building variations on that table since my first attempt, a couple of years ago. It’s such a simple but elegant design – apparently the modern version is the work of Christian Becksvoort (praise due!), but you’ll start seeing approximations of them everywhere…I’ve spotted something very similar in IKEA. People have even been known to give me actual money for one.
    Looking forward to seeing your interpretation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Finn! It is indeed a beautiful design. My wife wants me to make one with the legs tapered like in the picture – guess I will have to make two now…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that project. In fact, I have most of the parts for one laying around here, somewhere. I suppose it’s time to get back to it. Are you going to make it out of birch?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking of making it out of birch since I have enough of it but cherry (or another darker wood) would look nicer I think. Always good to have a reason to go to the lumberyard though!

      Like

      1. Indeed! If you haven’t, you should watch Christopher Schwarz’s DVD on this build. He actually builds one in Maple, and I really like the look of it in that wood. Something else I’ve wanted to do is build one out of pine and use milk paint for a finish. Also, Richard Maguire has a video out about a table very much like this. I think he calls it a hall table. Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I was thinking of getting his DVD or the download, seems to be a very good one (yes, I read your review!). Perhaps birch isn’t a bad idea then, a light colored shaker table… why not? Milk paint is a good idea too. Richard M’s table looks good too and is roughly the same price. But I like the slender look of the Schwarz table better

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “Challenges pave the path”….. It’s so true!

    Liked by 1 person

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