Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wider Angle

Greetings again. Last post I mentioned the redundancy of the projects I'm working on. I thought maybe it could be neat if I took a slightly different direction in some of these posts.
One of the major goals for many modern craftspeople is to put or maintain humanity in the objects they make. I share the same goal. Another side of the human story I have for a long time been interested in is the craftsperson's environment. What is their workspace like? How do they work? Does their work reflect their environment (or other way around for that matter). What other inspirations, attributes, quirks, etc does this person have that makes the thing they are making uniquely their own? Not just names but who are these people? I've always been a sucker for some romance :)
Well that's a lot to tackle but I thought I might try taking a step back (somewhat literal with camera in hand ha) and show a little wider angle for at least myself and the work that I'm doing.
We'll see...

The Minnesota Winter. Not a pleasant place to be if you ask me. I hate snow and I hate the "extreme" cold. I've been longing to escape it for some time now. Last year in the Northwest I was quite happy to "deal" with a lot of rain.
Yesterday the HIGH was -5 F (-20 C).

In the basement shop there is a thermometer that reads somewhere between 58-60 F but it feels much colder when I get down there in the morning.
Making leg mortises for apron and stretcher tenons with the old Davis and Wells boring machine I got from outside Seattle, WA. It cost a bit to get it here but any time I use it I'm happy to have it. I intend to get a "real" x-y table for it but the plywood will have to work for now.
The motor is fairly old and doesn't even have ball bearings. The motor housing has holes for lubricating the bearings. I put a little oil in every time I use it just to be sure (it did seize up on me once before I knew exactly what was on the inside of that motor). There's something about the smell of an old machine. The heated oil in the motor, the friction from the belt, some grease stains on the old cast iron that fine dust sticks to. Sure it sounds dirty but I find it charming.

Pulling out the shop-made router table for some rebate work.
A number of people look at finished products, read the price tags and think that we live like rich designers. In most cases this is no where near the truth. Most of us are not extremely well equipped let alone own dream shops. There isn't enough space, the machines don't have large enough capacity, there isn't enough light, it would be nice to have one of this or that, it's too cold or hot, too dry or damp... There is, however, a lot dust and making do.

Rebates have been made. Time to clean them up and do more prep work for more mortises.

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