Monday, February 27, 2006

Persona non Femma

Chalk up another weekend spent validating that completely unintentional soft-butch persona I can't seem to shake. Still riding the crest of the mad-carpentry wave that rolled in with the New Year, I spent much of Saturday and Sunday building a CD shelf out of the scrap lumber left over from the dismantling of the former bookcase. I was quite pleased, as the total investment on this project was $3.22 for a small bottle of Titebond wood glue. For something different, I left the original dark walnut stain in place on most of the boards, just sprucing it up with a new coat of glossy polyurethane, and sanded others down to raw wood to be re-stained with the trusty Pecan Gloss. The result is a nifty contrast throughout the piece, with dark and light alternating shelf by shelf, inside and outside. It wasn't a huge gain in storage capacity, but it looks much better than the former veneer-over-fiberboard contraption that leaned perilously in away from the wall.

There's a palpable difference in the feel of the spaces with their new shelfy additions. The warmly stained wood glows in the lamplight at night, and the pieces finally built to the scale of the room lend a sense of completion and integration. Much better than the mishmash brought from other houses that didn't quite fit, either together or to the room itself. It feels good to me to be surrounded by wood, and when it is the work of my own hands it's immensely satisfying. It ain't perfect, not by a longshot, but for bargain-basement pine and a limited workshop, it's fine. I could go on about the minor imperfections here and there being an obvious metaphor for the human condition, but will fall back on the stock rationalization of "it gives it character" instead.

My grandfather was an amazing carpenter. My first experience with wood and saws for something that counted was helping him build a fence with a latticework top in his back yard. My dad is a pretty fair hand as well; he bought me my first circular saw and gave me a tutorial by having me help build a table for the model train set he put together in the basement for me and my brothers. It's been my only circular saw, actually, a Black and Decker that will probably last forever. Perhaps a power planer will be my next major power tool purchase. I'm getting into the salvaged wood thing, spurred by the seemingly endless supply of scrap lumber in Tucson (refer to the Brush 'n' Bulky post). Found wood provided all the shelving in my shed, but if I had a planer... oh, my, just think of the end tables and shadow boxes I could build!

So yeah. Carpentry
, with Tom Petty as the soundtrack, and then soccer on Sunday (1-1 against Ragtags). No injuries save for a punctured thumb on Saturday (courtesy of the anti-kickback spur on the table saw, which was a little too zealous in its mission to keep a board in place) that is still oozing. Soft-butch persona preserved through use of calendula and a band-aid instead of big badass butch super glue (which I did, admittedly, briefly consider, but decided against because I didn't have any other super glue-worthy projects in line and didn't want to open a fresh tube that would just dry out before I needed to use it again). Legs still unshorn going on six weeks, not in service of any statement, but simply being sick of dealing with it.

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