The last few weeks have been something of a brief woodworking/blogging hiatus for me. The week before last was bitterly cold, and the past week I spent taking care of some things around the house as well as making provisions to renew my connection with the Park Service. Fortunately I was able to speak with in person the park ranger who coordinates volunteer projects and he assured me that my services were missed and they would love me to begin working again. Not that I needed any affirmation, the Park Service appreciates volunteers of all skill levels, but it was nice to hear nonetheless.
Otherwise, I do have two woodworking projects ready to go. One is a wall rack for the left side of my workbench. I had mentioned in a previous post that I picked up the wood to make cleats and some small tool mounts a few weeks back. With the temperatures in my garage fluctuating the two boards warped pretty badly. So each day after work I turned them over and they would warp in the other direction. Strangely, after two weeks of doing this the boards are no longer warped, at least not warped badly. I also have the material all prepped and ready to make my “Paul Sellers” box to hold my shoe shining polish and brushes. Ironically I shined two pairs of shoes over the weekend, and considering that I call myself a woodworker yet my shoeshine brushes (some of which I’ve had for more than 20 years) were sitting on a bookshelf in our spare bedroom I was honestly ashamed of the fact that I never made a decent box to store them in.
But the real reason I am writing is because last night I read a post on the Lost Art Press blog. To be honest I’m not really sure where the post was going, but that’s not really my concern, but in it there is a mention of a woman who wanted to make doll furniture when she was younger and never got around to doing it. That struck a chord with me, because many times my daughter has asked me to help her make furniture for her dolls and many times I made excuses why I couldn’t. I feel pretty rotten about that in all honesty. There’s no reason I can’t spend a few hours making a dining room table with some craft boards for my daughter. More importantly, there’s no reason why she can’t help me do it. It’s not as if I’m going to be making tiny joinery. I’m planning on some glue, a little sand paper, and some oil finish.
One of my favorite quotations attributed to Benjamin Franklin is (paraphrased) “What good shall I do today?”. I honestly try to live my life by that motto, whether it’s doing a good job at work, or reading something new, or exercising, or being a better woodworker, (or getting better at World of Tanks). I always thought that ‘being a good father’ is implied in that list, but it really isn’t, and I should always be striving to be a better dad. I was ashamed of myself after reading that paragraph, and I should be. Whatever I may be, I’m not lazy. My daughter deserves better, and if I can’t make a piece of doll furniture with her that would not just make me a piss poor woodworker, it would make me a piss poor father. I’m not going to let that happen.