The Woodworker cover image for December 13In this month’s issue of The Woodworker…

December 2013

After hours of planning and careful preparation – probably preceded by days of sourcing the right materials, often at considerable cost – there comes the moment when you have to make an actual start to the work. You may find yourself checking and double checking, pausing to sharpen something or check an email, but finally, you just can’t put it off any longer. It’s time to make the first cut.

For me, this usually goes one of two ways. Generally it starts a bit shakily, but soon gathers confidence and momentum, and usually comes off the saw pretty damn near exactly where it should be. It's then that I let my breath out, relax a bit and carry on with the next step, feeling pretty good and looking forward to my tea break.

 

Feel the fear

Every now and then though, usually when I'm in uncharted waters, no sooner has the blade passed through the timber than the fear rushes in. This, thankfully, though intense, is fairly brief; the moment when you're pretty sure you've made a terrible mistake, but have yet to fully face up to the reality of it. Disbelieving thoughts like "No, surely not!" or "I don't believe it!" or even worse "Not again!" rush through the mind, and within seconds you’re mentally rearranging the day to accommodate another trip to the timber yard.

 

Chin up

I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing, but, after plenty of experience of this sort of thing, the initial feelings of despair, frustration and annoyance are soon tempered, and a semi-cheerful resignation takes their place. Yes, things often stray from the carefully planned path and there’s little point in worrying about what might have been. Well, it could have been worse, you might say; no injuries occurred, and I didn't really like that piece of timber anyway! Yes, the only thing to do is to start again, and try and learn from the experience.

 

Keeping me posted

I hope that you, the reader, will not have been experiencing the fear, but however your work has been progressing, remember that I'm interested in hearing all about it. Seeing photos of readers' work is also high on my request list, so keep them coming in and be sure to share your stories with the rest of us. I extend my thanks to everyone who has done so recently, and look forward to communicating with fellow woodworkers around the world.