Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bulkhead table progress report

When I suggested to Mr. Johnson that he had added another two week item to our to-do list, back at the Chicago boat show, I was clearly not thinking straight. Just working out some basics and then ginning up drawings took more then two weeks. I like mechanical drawings, they are the future whispering hints as to which way a project will go. After looking at these I went out and added a hand router, fixed belt sander, and a few big wood clamps to my collection of tools; just to give me a fighting chance of not turning nearly $200 of hard wood into a pile of kindling. It was clear this project was going far beyond my modest woodworking skills.  (I will have to find room for some of them on Kintala. Hand router ... don't leave home without it!)

Solid pieces began emerging out of a cloud of sawdust. Most look like the drawings. A few don't. A pleasant surprise has been visits from the friendly ghosts of airplane models and High School shop lessons of many a year ago. They show up once in a while to nudge my fingers along some modest skill long forgotten, often dropping by at just the right moment to smooth the way or forestall some major blunder. Honestly, some of the mistakes I have almost made are just down-right embarrassing ... so much so that I am keeping them to myself.

But they are reminders that I am not any one's definition of a cabinet maker or wood worker. Plans get modified once a project gets underway, the real unfolding differently than the imagined. So far I haven't lost my way thanks - in no small part - to some good ideas from Deb. As I said before a real wood smith would have done twice the job in a quarter of the time, but I am not disappointed with the effort.

The bottom drawer is for silverware. The bottom shelf takes our 10' plates and a stack of cups. The middle shelf is fit to the smaller plates and matching bowls. On the top shelf goes our fat-bottom boat mugs and something-to-be-determined. (What ever fits and is looking for a home on the boat.) Some sort of fiddle will be added to the top so still more items looking for a home on board can find one. (When the table is folded up those items will be hidden as the table is - will be - slightly longer than the cabinet is high.) Come to think of it we will probably have to keep these dishes forever, since the cabinet was built around them. There are an unknown number of hours yet to burned up with final sanding, cleaning, staining and clear coating ... and I haven't actually started the table yet. Two weeks? It is going to be way longer than two months. So far it has been good time. Here's to hoping it will also end up as time well spent.

ps. A good friend reminded me of an old shop saying, "Wood putty and paint make up for the carpenter you ain't."


Unknown said...

Tim, I have some super nice walnut that I will donate to the project if you want to add some accents to your table. John Frederick

KAR said...

I like it. Take this guys walnut and do something super fancy with it!

Deb said...

Thanks John. I thought about doing some type of inlay but since I'm the artsy one on the boat I'm going to say it's beyond my capabilities on this project in the time alloted. We are going to use a lighter hardwood trim around the table edges.