February 2018

Yet another month has slipped away, much too fast.  Probably because we’re 2 or 3  days short in February.  In any event, we’ve started the freeze-thaw cycle early.  Maple sap buckets are out, the sap run dependent on freezing nights and warm days, which also makes for a messy driving on our dirt road.  I suspect that mud time will be going on for several weeks.  However, we’ve also have had our share of snow. The days are getting longer, and the sun brighter.  Spring is on the way.  Which always means that it’s time to start seedlings.  The first that I plant are onions, leeks, and parsley.Tomatoes , four varieties, will be planted  mid-March, along with marigolds, and basil.  Everything else will be direct seeded in late April, early May.

In the shop, I finished the corner cabinet; oiled figured cherry with walnut knobs.  It was delivered locally, and we had to cut the baseboard and slide the cabinet in from above.  Here it is while still in my workshop.We also had another FWW photo shoot.  Two articles in a single day.  Talk about efficiency!  First up was a new out feed table for my saw.  When I got my SawStop years ago, I kept the old out feed table.  The miter gauge slots didn’t line up, and it was a bit smaller than I wanted.  The new one is full width.

The second article was a Shaker berry box (sometimes used as a small sewing basket as well), white pine with 1/8″ finger joints.  The shoot went well, while the only issue we ran into was bending the handle.  I usually use green or soaked air dried wood, but getting it bent and set in a short span of time was a challenge.  So I made a form, taped & tied the handle to it, crossed my fingers and popped it into the microwave. I tried about 5 or six bursts of 30 seconds each, with 3 or 4 minute cooling off between each .  It worked, and the green tape held fast.  Of course the magazine photos will be much better.  Be on the look out.While digging around in the attic of the shop, I decided to sell the antique library card catalog unit that I’ve had stored there for decades.  It’s dark oak, 52″ high, 32″ wide and 16″ deep.  Five section of 10 drawers each.  $1,600. for the entire unit, or $400, for each of the 5 sections. Pick up here in New Gloucester, ME.Last Sunday we had a good snowfall, and I had nothing planned.  I’d also run out of library books.  So I went upstairs to the pile of books on my side of the bed to dig through old favorites, and found Blue Highways, by William Least Heat Moon.  It’s a trip around the USA in a small van, taking only back roads, and meeting a variety of interesting people. I’ve only read it about 3 times, but it never ceases to amaze, and each time I read it I discover something I missed the last time.    Positive and most enjoyable.

Next up in the shop is a set of four chairs, two stools and a round table.  Monday I drove up to Lewiston to buy a cow.  Just the hide actually, 60 square feet of beautiful black leather.  That and the seat blanks are off to the upholsterer, while I build the chairs and stools.

C.H. Becksvoort © 2018

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