On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 19:42:54 GMT, patriarch
I finished mine today. It's in the ammonia box tonight, then it'll
get some waxing tomorrow and be done. Photos sometime soon.
Do you know much about arks ? I've found very little documentation on
them and not many examples of them to go and study. Plenty of
flat-topped coffers or framed chests, but not many with the "ark" lid.
Any idea how they held the bases on ? I had to guess and did it by
two huge tenons in the end and sitting the edges of the base in
grooves in the sides.
Quite a fun thing to make. No machine tools, no measuring
instruments. I did the whole thing with a couple of chisels, one saw,
and a couple of planes.
There are almost no web resources on ark chests, and many are wildly
inaccurate. Most of them are from SCA people who think that screwed
plywood around a beer cooler is "period".
There are some useful sites around on Norse work, but that's a whole
A few pictures from one of the few useful sites:
This site also says there's an ark in Abergavenny museum - there
isn't, it's a flat-topped clamp-front coffer. Couple of bible boxes
and an armada chest too. Worth seeing, but it's not an ark.
Thanks - go right ahead.
I wouldn't copy mine though - go back to original sources and copy
them, not some half-assed second generation.
Like I said, I have _no_ evidence that arks were ever built in this
half-size manner. I just made it from the timber I had and sized
accordingly. Most of the details came from the photos on the Early Oak
site, and looking at a few other period chests. No ruler or
measurement used - just a square and a pair of dividers.
I was really planning to make one from riven boards, but my froe
technique isn't good enough to split big flat boards in oak. Those are
pretty good radial boards, but they're sawn and parallel, not split
I _might_ sketch some drawings of it. Might do.
Do something else for a while. If you don't do any woodworking for a
while the answer will become clear, you either like it or you don't.
If it's still not clear, wait longer.
Don't rush into selling things, replacing them will be a pain if you
miss the activity.
You need a diversion.
For me, I spend most of the spring/summer working in the yard, mowing grass, trimming
trees, maintaining the pool, etc. I hardly
get a chance to do any WW. Come fall/winter I can't wait to get back to the shop.
SHMBO always has a long list of stuff she wants.
This year it's a table, chairs and bar stools, more picture frames, shelves for her
sewing room and an island for the kitchen. I
can't wait to get started.
At the risk of sounding flippant I'll say "been there, done that" but you'll
probably get over it. I don't know what all of your circumstances are, but
a few years ago we moved into a new house and I was happily looking at a
full basement finish. We had the contractor sheetrock the basement and
install the bath tub. I did all of the doors, trimming, cabinetry, etc. I
no more than started when my dad's health took a dive and he died. After
funeral and estate matters I was able to convince myself that the basement
was good therapy and it really was. But it took almost a year to get the
final item, a pretty ornate wet bar, built and installed.
By this point I didn't give a damn if I ever looked at another piece of oak
again and the West end of my garage (shop) collected a lot of dust from
neglect. I even considered selling out and using the money for something
else. Thankfully I didn't. Within a year or so I started diddling with
small projects, then took early retirement. Since then I have built some
pretty nice rocking horses for grandkids and friends. When my son wanted
some unique coffee and end tables for his new home dad spend quite a bit of
time designing and building them. I have taken on some other pretty
challenging projects and have enjoyed building my competence in the craft
like no other time in my life. I have acquired some new equipment and find
myself rolling design and construction ideas around in my head quite a bit.
I am truely enjoying the constant frustrations and challenges of being a
woodworker and antique rebuilder again and think it will be my small
- Back off for a while.
- Keep the tools. Another smart poster hit it on the head - they are cheap
to keep and expensive to replace. Besides, you can probably use some of
them for normal home maintenance.
- Don't start any projects that are not fun for a while.
- Hit the wood and craft shows now and then. There are woodworkers out
there that can provide real inspiration. Newsgroups like this one and abpw
can do the same.
- If you have kids or grankids, you might find real rewards in planning and
building simple projects for them. The same goes for wife, and other
- When you start to feel inspiration, don't go nuts. Take time to think,
plan and rethink before you start. At least for me, this is the most
enjoyable part of the craft and reduces the frustration that comes from
Hang it there!
I think it's a natural process... you've probably been too focused on
it for too long and your brain is telling you to "get a life"...
DON'T sell any tools!! Just put your shop and all projects on hold for
Tell your daughter that you'd rather spend quality time with her than
be in the shop working on her desk... no matter what age she is, she
should be suitably impressed.. if not, take the wife out for an adult
beverage or 3 instead..
The mind is a weird and wonderful thing.. if, as I suspect, you have a
real love for woodworking, it will be in the "back of your mind" and
you'll eventually either come back to the shop with the old interest
and energy, or decide that it just isn't your thing anymore (which is
ok, too) and then decide if you want to keep or sell the tools..
damn... starting to feel like Dr. Phil here...
Maybe you just need to have a beer and get laid?? *lol*
The answer to this is pretty much dependent on where you live. If, for
instance, you live anywhere near Pittsburgh, PA, then you are
completely sick of woodworking and will never enjoy the hobby again.
In that case you need to sell your tools immediately and for a great
loss. You MUST NOT sell any of them to a friend or a neighbor as you
will then constantly see them and be reminded of your dislike for
woodworking. As a favor, I will take them off your hands and not even
charge you for transportation or nuthin'.
On the other hand, if you are far from Pittsburgh, then you just need
a break or you need to build something for YOU. Do some project that
is not needed and not "rational" but that is kinda cool. Build a
present for a friend or co-worker who doesn't expect it so that they
can give you lots of WOWs and THANKS and "You MADE this ?!!!!".
But I really hope you live near Pittsburgh.
Greg, In my case, the joy my kids give me after I give them a finished
project, IS the motivation to build the next project. Although I do burn
out now and then, the cure usually is switching gears and make something
from steel. I get to turn, weld, grind and pound until I'm ready to start
Side note on selling tools:
A few years ago I sold my old 1952 Logan metal lathe. I have regretted that
decision everyday until I recently replaced it (at a substantial cost
increase). I will never sell another tool.
If nothing helps, you may just have to watch one on the inane home
improvement tv shows.
Yes. You are hereby sentenced to watched 7 days of Changing Rooms,
Carrol Duvall, BlobVilla's Restore America, and DIYNET's wonderful
offerings such as "Woodworking."
That'll larn ya.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
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