Sunday morning for no particular reason I woke up far too early. In the cold, pre-dawn air I made several lame attempts at photographing Venus alongside a crescent moon (I’m neither a photographer nor an astronomer) Happy at the least to see nature’s beauty, and considering that it was barely 4:30 am, I decided that it was a good time to catch-up on Game of Thrones.
When the sun finally rose, I entered my garage to prep some construction lumber in my ongoing experiment to see if I can make nice furniture from “two-by” stock. I did manage to make a few nice boards in a short period of time, and considering it was just “left-over” lumber and not stuff I had hand-picked, I was satisfied with the effort and results.
Afterward, I did a little cleaning, some sharpening, and some tool maintenance, including the flattening of my little wooden block plane. While I was at it, I cleaned and sharpened my moulding planes, and then oiled up all of my chisels. If we were experiencing the same December weather we had last year, I very likely would have wrapped up my chisels in their roll and put them away for the winter. But thus far the weather has been pretty nice. To be truthful, it hasn’t been very cold this year. In fact, just a few days ago I paid my utility bill, and on that bill is a comparison of usage from this year to last, and also the average daily temperature. According to those charts, we are averaging just about 10 degrees warmer per day compared to the same time last year.
I do know this, at this point last year we were experiencing record cold temperatures and we had already had several major snow storms. I was in the middle of a project that I nearly shut down for the winter. This year, our afternoons have stayed relatively mild, and that makes me want to consider starting a new project. I’m not one to follow long term weather forecasts (I’ll save that for when I’m old-God willing), but all of the lovely weather people in the region are calling for a much milder winter than what the past three or four years brought us.
Who gives a damn about the weather? Nobody really, until you’re living through it. Last year we had a stretch where the high temperature didn’t rise above freezing for 6 weeks. We also had even worse stretches where the high temperature never made it past 15 degrees below freezing. In fact, if I remember correctly the first day of Spring brought with it almost a foot of snow. Woodworking in an unheated garage in those conditions is absolutely painful both mentally and physically.
For the first time in years, I’m actually looking forward to woodworking during the winter months. Next month things may change and we might just get hit with another infamous “arctic blast” that froze up the rivers and killed a lot of car batteries. I’m not getting my hopes up, but there is a slim possibility that I will actually make a piece of real furniture this coming winter.