Flashback


I was at a show a couple of weeks ago, and a guy came up to me. He had bought a small writing desk from me some years back. It had never found a place in his house and he wanted to know if he could trade it in on a smaller hall way table. I said fine. When he bought it over, I was shocked. It had to be the first writing table I had ever made, and had to be about 10 years old (I didn't sign and date them back then. It had a hideous verathane finish (complete with drip marks) over a poorly sanded surface. Who was the hack that put it together? It was still solid, but the joints weren't nearly as tight fitting as they are now. I stripped it and am going to refinish it. It is amazing to see how far I have come in those 10 years. I sold that table for $125. I would sell the same table now for about $700. My work has improved that much, and of course, the cost of the wood has more that doubled. robo hippy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 15:58:02 -0800, robo hippy wrote:

Sounds like your customer walked out with a gloat. He sucks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am not one to tell someone what to do... especially around here... but don't refinish or rebuild your piece! Save it!
Some of my early work is still floating around where I can see it in the houses of my family and myself. I get a kick out of it, and it brings a small tear to my eye to look at some of it.
30 years ago (first year of full time carpentry and floor sweeping): - beer was more important than my budding carpentry career - nubile young women were more important than beer (remember those sundresses?)
I did not own or have access to (some weren't invented yet) the following: - no planer - no jointer - no motorized miter saw - no drill press - no table saw - no stationary belt sanders - no table saw (job site use only) - no biscuit machine - dowels with no jig only - no band saw - no pocket hole jigs - no HVLP guns or wipe on finishes (stains, yes - finish, no) - no exotic woods - there weren't 10 billion woodworking plan and reference books available at a nearby bookstore, and there was no >public< usenet - white glue only! but worked as well as professional yellow (yup, we tried it out on site). Sadly though, it was not waterproof - even with paint on it - no brad or finish guns - pilot holes with 3d, 4d, or 6d nails were it - I only owned about 5 pony pipe clamps. Glue ups, assemblies, everything took forever - worst of all.... no shop. Everything was site built for the client at their home (vanities, additinal cabs for remodels, built ins, etc.) or in a friend's garage, including entire sets of kitchen, bathroom and den cabinets
How did we do it then? I dunno.
All of those things I built in those days were built to maximize materials, time, effort, and speed. They required planning, forethought and some good timing with only hand guided tools. But I was so proud of them... they all had a little piece of me in them.
Now I measure, build, modify, change, repair or whatever is needed for my clients. I remember their names, but not what I did for them. I could not tell you of what I have done in the last 10 years; just what the client wants. I have gone back to client's home that I worked in 10 years ago, and if they have painted or stained a project, I may not even recognize my own work if it was executed to their plans. No much pleasure in that.
Some of the work I did 30 years ago was good, and some not so good. But when I consider the work I did in those days and take a look at one of my simple dining room tables, my repro English tea chest, a bedside chest, a hall chest, a blanket chest, and some of the other things that are still in the family even after all this time, and I really appreciate the hand cut miters, the hand sanding and finishing that damn plastic wood dough, and the simple doors I made. There was >a lot< of work in all of those things, no matter how small.
I think you should keep yoru table as it is for yourself, to remind you have far you have come, and how little you had when you started. You would probably be amazed at the work you did when you carefully consider the choice of tools, and working conditions you had then.
Just a thought...
Robert
PS: My older sister has one of my first measured wood working projects I did as a kid. I proudly woodburned "Made by Robert L. Witte, August 1968" on it. Wow... was that a long time ago...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You dirty rotten bastard! Just as I think I've about gotten over the loss of my youth, people like you have to go and rub my nose in it.
--
"New Wave" Dave In Houston



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 15:58:02 -0800, robo hippy wrote:

That's not unique to woodworking :-). I was a programmer for over 40 years and all along if I looked at something I'd done 5+ years ago I was amazed at what bad software I'd written :-).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think most of us can identify....
I look at the stuff that I did a year or so ago, especially turnings, and wonder how I could have possibly considered them well done or finished..
It's a good thing, Reed... and a reality check, not only on how much your work has improved but at what non-woodworkers consider acceptable or nice..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.