November 13, 2009

Hobbies by the wayside:

Four months to the day from my ATV troubles – and they shall never be spoken of again (unless relevant or funny). I’m tired of reliving it, and I’m sure you’re all tired of reading about it. Sunday I go back to work full-duty and am really looking forward to returning to shift. So, enough of that. What have I been doing in the mean time?

From these pages you may have deduced my hobbies: shooting, riding, and woodworking. Of these activities, I’ve just returned to shooting a few weeks ago (awesome!), have forgone riding for a while (at least till the spring) – but have gotten back into woodworking. This hobby and skill has seen little favor on these pages, but I’ve accumulated some nice projects over my years, all without loosing a digit.

The first is probably the nicest - an entry-way shelf/mirror/coat rack, built back in 2006. Materials costs: $35 Tool costs: $125 (per unit cost would have been lower if I’d built more than one, but I needed a band saw to get the curves right - don’t judge me!). It only took a day to shape and built, and it looks great and actually hooks coats and reflects images.
Instead of spending $250 on a baby changing table, I spent $43 on a sheet or pre-finished birch plywood and built a top to cover Mrs. Cool’s old school desk and hacked it into a changing table - built in May of 2009. . Looks good, works great. Material costs: $43. Tool costs: $0 (I already had the band saw…).
My latest is a Gondorian spin on plywood – from last month. Our swamp cooler has never had a permanent cover - just cheap looking, unfinished plywood. After three years of living here, and with desire to be productive and without the ability to stand for long periods of time, I was inspired to do some wood carving. Watching the special features on the Lord of the Rings about the WETA workshop gave me an idea: carve the white tree of Gondor (one of Mrs. Cool’s favorite icons) as the center piece of a new cover. The birch plywood was cut to size and then hand-routed (read power tool) after some sketching and tracing. It took as long to trace the designs as it did to rout it out. Paint the tree, sand, and stain. Material costs: $0 (scrap plywood from Little Cool’s changing table). Tool costs: $10 (new router bit). Not bad.
It’s not all adrenaline rushes and busting caps. Sometimes in measuring, cutting, sanding, staining and getting cutes smiles from cute kids.


Jennifer Miller said...

I'm totally impressed! Nice work!! :D

Anonymous said...

Wow! nice work there, Mr. Cool! Congrats on back to full duty. Back to life is a wonderful thing... =O)