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A Headboard … Some Day

Feb 21, 2008

It’s Thursday, and I am just getting around to talking about last weekend. It was wonderful. I spent a lot of time in the shop. I made it through the stack of 4/4 cherry and started making boards 4 square and laying them out for the headboard project. (This weekend, I’ll be selling GSA cookies with my middle kiddo, so don’t know how much shop time I’ll get.)

One of the hard things about making stuff out of wood (for me) is the art factor. It’s what separates a woodworker from a carpenter. I don’t mean to disparage carpentry in any way, but framing out a house is a different thing than building furniture.

When you’re framing out a house, a lot of the work you do is going to be covered up by sheet rock, brick or stucco. When you’re building a piece of furniture, it not only has to go together with fine joinery and have sufficient mechanical strength, it has be be aesthetically pleasing. This transcends the design and carries over into things like grain layout and finish.

In this headboard project, there is a 40″X30″ panel that I’ll need to glue up. Technically, that in itself is going to provide plenty of challenge for my meager skills. Even more difficult for me is the realization that I need to not only cut out the right size pieces for this panel (and two smaller ones), but that I should cut out the right pieces with regard to grain pattern and color. That’s where the art part comes in…

I have to balance this against the fact that I don’t have unlimited funds. For the sake of my wallet, I need to make sure I waste as little wood as possible. In the past hardwood was more plentiful and cheaper, so craftsman were at more liberty to pick the exact spot in a board from which to take a piece for any given project.

I started laying out the boards with an eye toward choosing what will go where. I am nervous about making those choices final with the saw! There is some beautiful figuring in this wood, I’d like to show it off, but not have it create undesired focal points by making this unbalanced.

Here are some pictures:

New bench back!


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