2012? Bring It On!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Marc Spagnuolo’s Coming up in 2012 post struck a chord with me.  There’s something empowering about calling out what you plan to do in the next year.  I think that’s the essence of a resolution that I’d never really understood.  In the last couple days since reading his post, my plans for the year have been constantly on my mind.  So, in order to do the same, I’m calling out my plans for the year.

New Workshop Setup

In October, my fiancé Vanessa and I bought a house.  One of the top priorities in our search was good shop space for me.   The house we ended up with has a 20’x20′ room on the ground floor for my shop plus a small 2 car garage.  Because we live in California, there’s no question about cars (not) living in garages. This lets me put my lumber storage, jointer, and planer in the garage leaving me with a reasonably spacious and beautiful workspace.

I’ve already made a lot of progress towards setting things up.  I had new circuits installed (a 30A@220VAC, 20A@220VAC, and a 20A@110VAC in both the garage and main shop.)  I hung a healthy amount of shop lighting.  I installed a Clear Vue CV1800 and ran ducting throughout the power tool area.  And, I setup a computer workstation with a large flatpanel so I can watch woodworking videos and look at plans from anywhere in my shop.

A few things have found permanent places but I’m still primarily working out of boxes of tools.   An outfeed table and storage cabinet under the tablesaw extension wing will give much needed storage to the power tool area while some closet organization will lend harmony to the hand tool and assembly areas.


One of the many things I left at the old apartment was my bench.  It was a massive, sturdy thing I inherited form a previous roommate who used it for sewing.  While it was passible for hand tool work, I’ve known for a while that a new bench was in the near future (see the end of Episode 02.)

Chris Schwarz and Shannon Rodgers have pretty well convinced me to build a French (Roubo) style workbench.  It’s simple, massive, and accommodates almost every board holding challenge you can throw at it.  To add pudding onto the galette, The Woodwhisper Guild is doing a derivative bench for this winter’s build.

My particular flavor of french treat will include a solid top,  some traditional japanese joinery, and the Hovarter Custom leg and wagon vises.  The lumber (stacked in the shop panoramic above) will be douglass fir.

Milling and top construction should start this week!

Kitchen Island Countertop

Hands down the worst part of our new kitchen is the center island.  It’s counter top is made of some tiles that I can only assume are trying to masquerade as potato chips.  Cutting boards can do little but wobble on the surface.  Our plan is to pull this top off and replace it with a laminated, long grain butcher block.  Vanessa has asked for this as a birthday present (on January 28th) so the time pressure’s on.  Thankfully it should be a fairly quick weekend project.


Bedside Tables

Along with a new house, comes a new house’s worth of furniture to build.  Our bedroom is the least well furnished of all the rooms and given how much time we spend there each day, it’s the obvious first candidate.  Bedside tables are a nice simple place to start.  I’m thinking something in cherry inspired by Harvey Ellis’ work for Gustav Stickley and the Limbert Side Table Shannon built.

Chest of Drawers

A chest of drawers is high on the list of furniture that Vanessa threatens to buy from Ikea.  While the many drawers make it a bit more daunting that the bedside tables, it will make a good followup.  The design will compliment bedside tables and will likely be heavily influenced by The No. 913 Bureau that Harvey Ellis designed for Gustav Stickley.

Film More Videos

This is the most “New Years Resolutionary” of all my plans.  I really enjoyed filming, editing, and releasing my first two videos last year.  With all projects planned, I’ll have plenty of content to publish many more this year.

Happy New Year and happy woodworking!

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