Thursday, September 25, 2008

The State of my Soul

Most people would say that I'm easygoing, with a neat limitless supply of patience. I'm also somewhat environmentally conscious/aware.

Most of the time I can square this with being a woodworker; we aren't wiping out entire species of trees, most places have a renewal program that include planting and not over harvesting, and we are creating pieces that last more than just a lifetime.

Some days however, my soul dies a little inside. Today was one of those days.

I got to work on the drawers for the chest and dresser today. The ones with the curved faces to match the curved case front. Mark decided that we'd be served best by making the faces from 8/4, giving us enough room to keep the drawer structurally sound while being able to curve the front. We could also keep the interior flat, giving us easy machining of the dovetails as well as not having to bother with curved drawer bottoms.

The other option would be a bent lamination, which above all else, would be very time consuming.

After giving the heads up to the rest of the company, and getting permission we dove into the brand new, very nice bundle of 8/4 walnut. I found great lumber very quickly, made my drawers, and everybody was good with it.

But then our fears that the drawers would be too heavy with that much wood came true. Mark sent me off to curve out the inside of the drawer as well. I had already cut a fair amount off the face, and now I was carving out the rest.

This is where that little bit of my soul screamed and died. AA walnut, 8/4, 4 chest drawers and 6 dresser drawers, and all we are left with is curves 3/4" thick all the way down.

The drawers do look beautiful, and definitely the correct weight now, but so much great wood went into the trash. And we didn't avoid most of the problems with the lamination process.

The only other time I remember my soul dying at work is when I saw a 8' slab of 8/4 mahogany ~20" wide, and thinking 'that was a great big beautiful tree, and someone hacked it to bits'.

1 comment:

bradly said...

it is nice to know that you are still a sensitive sensitive man... that's why i love you.