Woodworking joys . . .

Alexandra Sheehan at Shopify.com has a dozen ideas of things to make in wood, to sell

Actually, I’m not interested in selling anything I might make. As our dear friend opines about his amazing bird houses, which decorate several walls around our smallholding in Sparty Lea, ‘if I had to sell them, it would take all the fun out of the activity.’ Same for me. No, what I want is to be able to create something useful for ourselves.

I dropped in to the Men’s Shed in Balmaclellan yesterday morning to see if they might have a router in the workshop, with which, if I could source a couple of pine boards, I could learn how to chamfer off the leading edge to match the other shelves in the bookcase we brought with us. When it arrived, we discovered that two shelves were missing that we hadn’t noticed during purchase. No matter, I thought, I bet there’s a solution.

And there is. There are routers and lathes galore in this delightful, welcoming workshop, and kind advice as to where to source the boards as well. This morning, we nearly purchased a simple kitchen towel holder, before I realised that such an elementary piece of woodworking (a round platform base with an upright thick dowel) could be another easy project for a few minutes at this friendly meeting place.

I hope I can join the group, dipping in and out to work on various projects that might be useful. And share a bit of good craic too, it felt like. There’s something about older men and wood, isn’t there? Good for the soul and for mental wellbeing, I guess.

Although I confess, I don’t drink tea that much. And a cuppa seems to be de rigeur at the workshop, as the guys get together in the cosy meeting room. I shall have to try to learn to experience the delights of that social pastime too.

Meanwhile, today we’re off to our scheduled appointment at the recycling centre to dispose of the collapsed cardboard boxes we used in last week’s mini-move, and then on to the wet fish counter for tonight’s dinner. If we’re lucky, we might make a visit to a junk-with-antiques shop too. And still have time for that promised walk to the river.

Comfortable retirement, eh?!

One response to “Woodworking joys . . .”

  1. Larry, Your comment, “There’s something about older men and wood, isn’t there? Good for the soul and for mental wellbeing, I guess.” That struck a chord with me. I envied the opportunity you have at the Men’s Shed in Balmaclellan. I too would be attracted to lathes & other power tools I have never had at my disposal. The men at the Shed sound like the kind that welcome the opportunity to share their knowledge. I’m betting that you will join in & surprise us with further works in wood. Will the soul of the writer be nourished by wood?

    I have had a lengthy love affair with wood. I think working with it has been good for my soul. My Father was a carpenter. The fragrance of wood pervaded our basement. I loved playing with sawdust & shaved curls from wood but perhaps all children like doing that. I use to imagine figures & objects in the grain. I think somehow my soul was infused with a visual attraction to various grains, the scents & feel of wood. For me they all have a unique scent, feel & appearance.

    In 2007 at age 55 I began carving walking sticks & canes. I loved the feel of wood & various scents of different woods I carved.  I would love to use a lathe to turn walking sticks & canes. I used over 50 types of wood in carving walking sticks & canes from 2007 to 2018. I even carved a leaded priest for a hunter of waterfowl. This is your blog & I won’t bore you with my experience carving the various woods. Your life is an adventure Larry. Thank you for sharing it. I look forward to hearing about your experiences with the Men of the Shed & wood working. Regards, Henry

    PS. One wood from Great Britain which I never took on is the knotty blackthorn. It was due to the cost of obtaining an uncarved stick. Perhaps now however one could be a Father’s Day or Birthday gift.


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