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Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 - Looking back and moving forward.

In my 38 years, I have had some good ones and some bad ones. The best year had to be 2002 when I met and engaged to marry the absolute love of my life. I think 2012 might be next in line or at least in the top 3. It was a pretty good year for me. I mean, it wasn't perfect and it had some hard sad times for my family. But overall, it was one for the books.

I learned a lot. About myself, woodworking, and my profession. But since this a woodworking blog, so I'll stick to that.

I learned a lot about finishing and that I still mostly hate it! But I also discovered shellac and all it's magical wonder. I think shellac will become my go to finish for most of my projects. I like how it looks when rubbed out. I like that it dries quickly. I like that you don't need explosion proof equipment or hazmat suits to use it. It takes such a nice polish and you can coax it to whatever sheen you want. And finally, since I only use everclear for the solvent, I can have a swig if I am having a bad day. That's a joke, I only drink everclear if its infused with lemon rinds and sugar - limoncello FTW!

I learned a lot about joinery and different ways to do joinery. I am a true hybrid woodworker. I truly appreciate machinery for the tasks I don't love such as dimensioning lumber. But I almost always do my joinery by hand. I really enjoy working and honing my hand tool skills with joinery. This year I learned how to do a couple more joints with hand tools - rabbets and dados. Yes, those are simple joints. Yes I can use my screaming demon (router) to make them. But now I can do them with hand tools. And that makes me happy.

I also got to try my hand at making moulding. That was fun, but it was a lot of work. I think I will need to keep my eye out for some moulding planes in the future.

My wife and I began learning how to turn during a weekend class. Such fun! I need to buy a lathe now! Looking forward to tumbling down that rabbit hole.

Finally, I learned that the woodworking community is hands down the best I have found. 2011 was the first time I went to WIA. I had a good time and learned a lot. But I registered late, and didn't know about any of the extra stuff that goes on. So I missed out on a lot of the community events. This year was so much different. I met so many good people and just had the time of my life. Generally I am a quiet guy. But I have never talked and laughed so much in my life. Woodworkers are just the easiest going group of people I have met. I guess it helps to make new friends if you are all into the same stuff. But besides that, they just seem like such good people to know. I am sure you can relate. I have made some good friends this year, and I am looking forward to meeting more woodworkers.

What's up for 2013? A lot, actually. But mostly chairs. I don't make resolutions, but if I did, this year I resolve to make some chairs.

I have always been in love with good chairs. Making them has always intimidated me. I think I have mostly overcome this intimidation and I am ready. Ready to build some GD chairs! I have a few non-chair projects in the works for next year, but I really want to build a few chairs. I have a class scheduled in September with Peter Galbert making a Windsor. I am really excited for this class, but I hope to have a couple other chairs under my belt by then. We'll see what happens.

Also, I am taking a trestle table class with Chris Schwarz. My wife and I have had the same crappy cheap Kmart table and chairs for 10 years and by golly its time they go. So hopefully by the time 2014 hits us, we'll have a new table and a few chairs.

Well that's it for me I think. Looking forward to lots of shop time and also time with the community. Looking forward to the next WIA! I hope 2013 is even better. Happy new year to you!
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