Faith In Action

Faith in what is unknown can be difficult. Why do we believe in what we believe in? Is it just a matter of faith? Many times that is all it takes. Faith....and a multimillion dollar advertising budget. Advertising, as you know, is a great catalyst of faith.

Glue. Ordinary, regular, everyday glue. This is a post about glue. Now that we are clear on that I feel I can continue.

I say that 'faith' is attaching a series of wooden boards together, with nothing more than yellow glue and expecting it to hold for a generation. Faith in action is selling said item for over a hundred bucks. Take for example your average wooden kitchen cutting board. Did you know that your fancy wooden kitchen cutting board is nothing more than wood and glue. That's it. Wood. Glue, and maybe some laxative for a finish. I'm not kidding you! This is the real scoop here! The most popular hundred-plus-dollar-wooden-cutting-board-finish is mineral oil. So wood, glue and a bottle of unstopper.

Now you're telling me you that this oily wooden glued up plank, that you cut up your chicken on every night is stable. Sure is! Dang strong. I'm sorry, I'm not a chemist, I don't understand it. For me it just is. I can't understand it I just believe. And that new found faith in glue was pretty hard to come by.

Lets face it, when you think of glue. you think 'oops'! Oops! I've gone and busted something. Something that was important, special or that you really had no business even touching in the first place. Panic sets in, as you look at this thing that is now in more pieces than it was ever designed to be. What do I do now? Okay, relax... Where's the glue!!

In my mind glue is a cover up, a sham, and substitute born out of desperation. I've done something stupid, like put too much pressure on a plastic part and now I'm hoping that this stuff can bail me out of hot water.

"Well if his hat is attached to that beam, and he's hanging on it.... Shoot, man! It should hold this tiny plastic tab on."

Right?! Wrong! How many times has glue let me down. Plenty. I have good reason not to trust it.

I now have to put that aside, because in woodworking, glue stands alone. Many tables are connected solely with glue joints. In fact a really nice piece of furniture is one without any fasteners. No nails, no screws, no dowels. Just solid joinery and yellow glue. Weird. So if you spend a few hundred dollars on a nice bed or bookcase, you can almost bet it will be void of any metal. I don't know about you, but I think, using furniture like that that takes faith. For me it's a lot to come to grips with.

Birdhouse Ornament

It's Christmas in July...

Another fun challenge at the WoodNet Turners Forum.

Mine was mediocre in comparison, but I learned some new techniques and enjoyed it. Plus once I'm done with my cabinet build, I'll probably make some more of these. Nothing improves results as well as practice!

4 Inch Delta Jointer

I'm now the owner of a used Delta 4 inch jointer. Beyond that I know little about it. I just picked it up on Sunday and haven't had too much time to check it out.

The previous owner said it was her husbands, and that the last time he used it, he lost half his thumb! As soon as I heard that I knew that this was the tool for me! Weighing in at a back aching weight of who the heck knows, I wrestled it and attached stand and motor out of my pickup bed.

After 3 hours of WD-40 and a kitchen pad, I found a shiny cast iron bed and fence. I jointed a piece of pine and marveled at the smooth line it created without even dialing it in. I believe that for my small shop this little beauty is going to fit right in.

Now the real work begins, and for $35, I think I did quite well.

20 Things I've Learned From Woodworking

  • You can spend all day in the shop working, and not produce anything.

  • Sometimes these are your best days.

  • Sharpen, sharpen sharpen. The woodworkers mantra.

  • Never do woodworking angry, agitated or when you need to pee.

  • Relax and take your time.

  • Your projects and your fingers will thank you.

  • If it doesn't feel safe, it's probably not.

  • Everyone has a woodworking horror story, scars come with the territory.

  • If you are even slightly squeamish, don't start this conversation.

  • Nothing hurts as bad as a nasty finish on a well build project.

  • When in doubt, keep sanding.

  • Rejects make great gifts. AKA no one else sees your flaws as well as you do.

  • Tool lust comes with the hobby. Warn your pocketbook early.

  • There will always be something else you need to have.

  • There is always someone who can out spend you.

  • Nothing beats the feeling of a well done project.

  • Except maybe getting paid to do it. AKA Your tool budget just increased.

  • Pushing yourself is half the fun.

  • The other half is the sawdust up your nose.

  • Enjoy yourself. That's the point, remember?