I will admit that mid-March is a strange time to be making New Years Resolutions, but that’s how it had to happen this year. With the birth of my daughter in November of 2011, it took 2.5 months just to get my first resolution for this year – to write a blog post about my 2012 resolutions – crossed off the list!
So here goes. For those keeping track (probably just me), I was 3 for 4 on my 2011 Woodworking New Years Resolutions, at least if you count creatively.
The only one I really didn’t accomplish was learning Google Sketchup and designing a piece of furniture. It occurred to me pretty early on that this may be a slightly more advanced step, and getting some basic woodworking under my belt would be a better way to spend my year. To that end, I’ll be adding it on to this year’s list, since I do think it is a valuable skill to have, and Bob Lang’s Woodworker’s Guide to Sketchup really does appeal to me.
As for my other resolutions: I did some organization in the workshop, specifically added better overhead lighting, which allowed for a lot more woodworking, the real reason behind this goal. As always, there is more organization to be done, and this will be an ongoing project for this year, if not an outright resolution. I also learned through a lot of practice how to hand cut a mortise and tenon joint. In fact, the arts and crafts bookcase that was my resolution #4 from last year is done, and I cut 24 mortise and tenon joints by hand. This is the completed resolution I am most proud of, because I feel like I learned so much by doing it. If you are a beginning woodworker, I can’t say enough about just plowing forward with a mostly hand tool build like this to improve your skills. Sure, my bookcase is not a perfect piece of furniture by any means, but the next one will be better, and it is all uphill from here.
On to this year’s list of resolutions:
1. Another project from my arts and crafts furniture projects book. I have my eye on a side table now, and this time I’m going to take a step up in wood quality. And of course I’ll be cutting all the mortise and tenon joints by hand! If I get really confident, maybe I’ll even go for broke and attempt the Morris Chair that goes with the side table.
2. Make another attempt at dovetails, using a couple of different methods. My first attempt at hand cutting dovetails was so embarrassing that I couldn’t even bring myself to write about it here. But as with all the other woodworking I’ve tried, I can only improve. I’ve also got a Leigh Super 18 dovetail jig in the shop, just waiting for an opportunity to show its stuff. Which brings me to:
3. Learn how to use my Triton 2-1/4HP router more effectively. For dovetails with the Leigh jig, this router is great, but it has so many other uses as well. I have barely explored the surface of the long list of tasks this versatile tool can accomplish, and I think learning to use it could open up the world of woodworking even more.
4. Learn Google Sketchup. Really this year.
So that is my list for 2012. It’s a little less ambitious than last year’s, but once you factor in the 3-month old wonderful & beloved time suck living in my house (better known as my dear daughter…) I’d say it is actually more ambitious! Let’s see just how much I can accomplish during nap time.
What about you? Any late additions to the 2012 woodworking resolutions list? Let us know in the comments!