The Slightly Confused Woodworker

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The Tough Get Going


So the woodworking mafia has effectively shut down my vitriol with thinly veiled accusations and threats of blackballing.  My wife, who hates me, couldn’t really care less if I look like Captain America or Captain Crunch. And, I spend more than half of my waking hours at work. Life has not been kind to the SCW lately. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going.  I can still woodwork, and that is exactly what I am going to do.

This past summer was pretty rough, and I’m not only talking about the weather, and for a while it didn’t seem like woodworking would be in the cards for the foreseeable future. But just as I was lamenting my lack of inspiration concerning possible woodworking projects, several ideas came to me at once. So for my next project I am going to make a narrow bookcase/display cabinet. I’ve always liked the look of Arts and Crafts style bookcases; I like narrow cabinets, and maybe most importantly, I have the perfect place for it. , So I researched a few common designs, combined the features that I liked, and  began making some drawings and laying out basic dimensions of the case. I don’t actually plan on using the cabinet for books. A hobby of mine, which may sound strange to some people (which also drives my wife crazy), is framing and displaying historical letters and documents, such as the Gettysburg Address, the  “Infamy speech”, as well as documents such as Declaration of Independence. Though I’m partial to material pertaining to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, I don’t discriminate.

I might not be an artist, but it tells me what I want to know

I might not be an artist, but it tells me what I want to know

I would like the finished cabinet to be somewhere around 66 inches tall, 22 inches wide, and 11 inches deep. That should give me enough room for five shelves, with each shelf holding up to two standard sized documents, and/or a nick-knack or two. As far as material, I will likely use clear pine just for the expense (or lack of expense). However, I am going to Hearne Hardwoods next week for the Lie Nielsen hand-tool event, and if I can somehow afford it, I would love to pick up some quarter-sawn oak or possibly some walnut for this project, but considering that my budget is around $200 I don’t think that is going to happen. Still, I am going to attempt to make an accurate cut list and see what material may fall within my budget.

If I get my drawings finalized, and If everything goes according to plan, I should get this project up and running by the first weekend in October. So even if my wife hates me, and a bunch of woodworking geeks hate me, and I’m working myself to death. I don’t care anymore, because I’m going to be woodworking again, and that’s going to make it all better.



  1. Greg Merritt says:

    I’m at least glad to hear that you will be getting in some woodworking soon. At my current rate it will be another month before I can say the same. I’m also happy to see that you are sketching. In a dedicated sketch book too? The drawing looks great.
    I’ve been out of the loop for a while so I’m not sure what the whole woodworking mafia thing is about. But this too shall pass. Much like bad Mexican food. LOL


    • billlattpa says:

      Yeah, I actually picked up the stock and prepped it on Saturday morning. If all goes well I should have it partially assembled by next weekend. It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to say that.

      BTW, the woodworking mafia exists, but like a good Mafia only a select few know who the real bosses are…


  2. theindigowoodworker says:

    Those Mafiosi are just a bunch of jealous meanies. Pay them no attention. You go right ahead and keep spewing your vitriol the way we like it!

  3. Kinderhook88 says:

    The haters may or may not keep hating, and hopefully your wife will come around, but you’ll always have wood to work. Here’s to that!

  4. bloksav says:

    Hi Bill
    Glad to read that you are getting back in the shop 🙂

    I have a design suggestion for your book case. I very rarely follow advice given by fellow bloggers myself, but giving a piece of advice on a highly esteemed blog like yours makes me stand out like someone who is a “cool woodworker”..

    I once stumbled on this book case by Barnsley. While it is much larger than your design criteria, I like the idea that the top is less deep than the lower part.
    It prevents the piece from looking top heavy, and ads some visual interest to the sides.–attributed-to-barnsley-sydney-corner-bookcase-1595671.htm

    Regardless if you follow the advice or not, have a ball working wood in the shop again.

    Best regards

    • billlattpa says:

      Thanks Jonas,
      I love that design, and it’s actually one of the favorites of my wife. She had asked me to build something similar for our living room at one time but we found that the dimensions she was looking for wouldn’t work.
      Being that I already prepped the stock, I will stick to my current design, but I love the suggestion. It will definitely be something I would like to try in the future.

  5. It is good to still see you inspired and creating man! 🙂

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September 2015
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