I Should Be in the Shop

I hate Florida. It’s 3 days before Xmas and it’s 73 degrees and raining. I’m sure for some that are located in much colder and harsh weather you wish you could be in my shoes, and while I would happily decline, I’m just saying that I’d at least have to be in more than some shorts and a tee shirt when I step outside. Although it’s perfect weather to be in the shop, it’s been at least a full week since I’ve been in out there. My wife and kids have all been helpful in preventing me from leaving the house during my time off from work.

With being an instructor we get a pretty nice break this time of year. I got to Pensacola in Oct ’08 and learned how nice the holidays can be even in such a crappy place. At the schoolhouse I instruct at, we make it a point to make sure all the Marines go on either recruiters assistance or leave because all training ceases for about 2 weeks. Pretty much the same time frame as schools get. Well if all our Marines are gone, we don’t need to be there. Yeah we still have to show up but it’s usually a show and go when we do. So it’s a nice break from work.

Back to the shop. I would usually go out during nap time and after bedtime. That started to change with the newest edition to our family, Gaby. Then there’s my oldest Andy who turned 5 on the 9th and we determined that he was now old enough that he no longer needs a nap. The combination of those two things plus what seems like a never ending pumping cycle for my wife, I’m usually watching someone during nap time now.

After bedtime is a little different. The past week I would have to say is my fault. I’ve been introduced to something great! Dogfish Head. If you’ve never tried, you’re truly missing out. After a beer or two, I’m just too relaxed to go out. Since I’m no longer dealing with power tools, I don’t mind having a drink or two and going out to work in the shop but like I said, I’m just too relaxed. So in the mean time, I have been “working” on projects.

My wife hates that I don’t have a place for my things (keys, wallet phone, etc.) which causes me to constantly loose and ask her if she’s seen them. I came up with rough Sketchup of a potential table to build.I’m thinking either walnut with birdseye maple or red oak with padauk . I’m leaning more towards the red oak with padauk mainly because I don’t need to buy any materials. I would be short on some walnut if I did go that route.

The top is overall 15×19 of a panel of padauk between red oak that has breadboard ends. Never done breadboard ends but a little side table for myself would be the prefect test. I wanna go breadboard ends because I wanted to add contrasting elements to the top while still accounting for wood movement, plus keep the top flat. I plan to go the mortise and tenon route but if all else fails, I’ll settle for tongue and groove and change the dimensions. The only thing I haven’t decided is where to add the drawer. I’m thinking a wider/shallower drawer on the side vs a more narrow/longer on the end.

I’m just hoping to get in the shop sometime soon to actually get started on this bad boy.

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Author: Dan

Husband, Father of four, active duty Marine, and amateur woodworker.

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