Welcome to our 2016 Woodworking Resolutions blogger series. Every year we invite our bloggers to share their resolutions specific to their woodworking goals for the new year. Click each link below to read our bloggers’ resolutions!
Well, it’s that time of year again, when we—like the two-faced Roman god Janus for whom January is named—take a look back at what we’ve accomplished (or not!) and then look ahead to what we resolve to achieve in the coming year.
My biggest accomplishment, despite a damaged ankle that will soon require surgery, was to finally complete a pair of oak bedside tables. These Stickley-inspired pieces will soon rest in the bedroom of my step-son, where I hope they’ll bring great joy. But aside from small things—a fishtail pipe box of curly maple, for instance—I didn’t accomplish nearly all I wanted to do, or that I’m capable of doing. My resolutions for 2016 are intended to correct that.
One reason I did so much less than I wanted in 2015 was the disorder in my woodshop. I don’t have enough storage space and the space I do have is not used to best advantage. So my first set of resolutions is intended to help me be more efficient and productive in the shop. I’ll start by decluttering my space so it is ready for work whenever I walk into it. I resolve also to reorganize the layout of my tools and work stations to enhance my workflow. And I plan to build some things to improve my organization—a joinery bench with the Benchcrafted Moxon vise that’s waiting to be installed, a saw till to replace the one that’s too small for my collection, a hand tool storage cabinet so my chisels and planes have a better place to live than on my bench top, and a mobile storage cart that combines space for sheet goods, boards and prized shorts and offcuts.
My power tools merit attention as well. I resolve to set aside regular time for maintenance so my tools get the servicing they need before problems arise. I also resolve to get an Elipse P100 dust mask and filters and really use it to protect my lungs. And 2016 just may be the year I upgrade my Sawstop with the new sliding table.
As a co-owner of Shenandoah Tool Works, I resolve to increase my production of our ever-popular birdcage awls by improving my efficiency at the lathe. And just maybe, my partner and I will introduce a new tool for this year, incorporating the same fine hardwood handles as our mallets and awls. But, shhh, it’s too soon to talk about that.
All of this prep work is intended to result in some completed projects. Sure, I’ll lose two months’ shop time after my ankle surgery, but since I’ll be more efficient, I should get more done, right? So I hereby resolve to build the following things in 2016:
- A Queen Anne dressing table for my wife Betsy out of some figured walnut I’ve got stored
- A chair to go with the dressing table, maybe?
- A dining table for my step-daughter
- A Shaker-inspired coffee table for my sister
- Some boxes using the figured walnut and ash I’ve been saving up
- Bowls and hollow forms at my lathe
- Some natural edge coffee tables out of figured slabs I’ve been hoarding
- A Chippendale secretary of figured cherry that I started years ago
- A mahogany lap desk (or two) like the one used by Thomas Jefferson
- A bookshelf to tame my burgeoning library of woodworking volumes
- A cupboard to store canned goods in the kitchen
- Some knife handles for Ron Hock kitchen knife blades
- Wine bottle stoppers, pens and other small turned objects
- And I’m so forgetful, I’m sure I’ve left something off this list, but it’ll probably come to me later
Oh my, as I look at it now, I wonder what I’ll think about this list when next year comes around? I suspect I’ll say to myself, “what in the world was I thinking”?
May 2016 be kind to you and your family and may your woodworking time be productive and, most important, fulfilling.