I started a woodworking class through the local community college this week.
In college, I worked extensively in the college theater scene shop, so I have a comfortable working famialiarity with woodshops and a variety of tools. I mainly intended to take this class as a way to get access to a decent woodshop so I could tackle some projects of my own. Schya, right.
Within the first hour of the class, the instructor unintentionally drove home the fact that I dodn’t know squat. More to the point, theater carpentry is an odd beast. You’re mostly working with cheap softwoods, because a staggering amount of a set gets thrown away after a play’s run. And you’re not building with extreme precision, because the closest observer is at least 15 feet away (the audience in the front row). So, you can get away with a lot.
But now I have it in mind to make a few simple pieces of furniture, starting with some bookcases; objects that I would like to last for many years, and should be a pleasure to look at up close. I’m chagrined to admit, maybe I should learn what I’m doing before I embark on such a journey.
So, instead of diving into my own projects, I’m going to follow the instructor’s tried and true path towards teaching one about the necessary tools and techniques for making lasting objects out of quality hardwoods. I will be making… [dramatic pause]… a breadbox. I know, you can hardly stand the excitement, huh? Oh well. I can take the class as many times as I want, so I’ll save the bookcases for next term. In the meantime… anyone need a rolltop breadbox?