Monday, January 21, 2013

DIY Wood Shop

And you get to play with cool tools
During my time as a Nurse's Widow, when I had too much free time and not enough to fill it, I offered to make Montana69 a shelf.  Her parents have this shelf that she loves because it is apparently hand crafted. I said I could take a crack at it if she could provide photos and specs. She did though the photos came through upside down and in movie format in her text and despite my Computer Geek Wizardry, I could not figure out how to separate them from my Android Smart Phone in order to see them more clearly.

Luckily, she also provided a trace of the curvy part of the shelf and the measurements so I was able to buy the appropriate amount of wood and get started.  Originally I was going to make this shelf using nothing but a jig saw and a mini router my FIL bought me.

Then I signed up had Nightingale sign me up for wood shop classes at Portage Park.  I investigated the options a while back and talked to the guy at PP, Benny, and he basically said that it's very informal and you can do what you want, you just have to bring your own project or projects to work on.

Benny will show you how to do things and help you along but you have to bring your won project and materials.  You also have to ask specific questions like why are we doing it this way or why do we want to cut this before sanding that.  I suspect there will be a lot of YouTube supplementing and I'm okay with that.

Basically, for $30 you're renting a solid workshop for 11 weeks.  Most guys will take that deal because for about $1/day you get access to decent equipment and a good sized workshop that you could not easily replicate in your garage or basement.
So I decided my first project would be Montana69's shelf.  It turns out I would have been better off just bringing in the wood without the jig cuts because then we could have used the table saw more extensively.

Still, the shelf didn't turn out too bad and now I can can give it to her as a pre-wedding gift. 


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