Life, Window Seat Bookcase
Comments 16

A Crazy Week and Some Progress on the Bookcase

Today is June 30th which is my self-imposed deadline for the Window Seat Bookcase project. Guess what? I’m not finished with it. But I’m close. Last week, my woodworking was displaced by some life issues. I now join other woodworkers who write about having trouble fitting woodworking into their schedule. Life gets in the way and woodworking has to take a back seat. Life has been front and center over the past few days, but I am happy to say I have made at least a little progress on the bookase.

I had an unfortunate thing happen on Father’s Day; a day which was going to be all about woodworking. But, Sunday morning, while mowing the yard, I inadvertently ran over a yellow jacket nest. The pain was excruciating. Once I realized I was being stung by them, I escaped to our screen porch where I counted eight sting sites; mostly concentrated on my left ankle and right leg. The next four days were a combination of pain and itching, and little sleep. I wore flip-flops to work because my left foot swelled to a grotesque size. And I wore shorts because pants led to more itching. I have told people that a goal of mine is to have a job where I can wear flip-flops and shorts to work, but not because of yellow jackets. I did that much of last week.

We went to court. It is an odd thing to wait outside the court room and then take your seat inside (wearing flop-flops and shorts). I won’t go into any details except to say my wife’s side of the family is in a frustrating elder care situation. Our court case went pretty well, but it is an unfortunate, worrisome, sleep-depriving situation.

I bought a new car last week. A mini-van actually. If you follow me on twitter, you know that I often re-tweet car stuff because I am also a car guy. It is ironic then that I drive a mini-van. It’s a work thing. I thought about having a bumper sticker made which reads “Charter Member – Men Who Drive Mini-Vans Club”. I had a guy from work ride with me one day; I told him we have to wear cool sunglasses while driving because when riding in a mini-van, men should call on all things available to look cool. But, as mini-vans go, the Honda Odyssey rocks (a close second is the Toyota Sienna). It has a great stereo – cool music is also a requirement for men driving a mini-van. A cute girl may pull up next to me at a red light; I’ll at least have good sunglasses on and some good music playing loud.

Buying a car is a long, drawn-out process. The paperwork is incredible: “sign here and here; initial here.” I told the sales lady that she must have scored high in paper-work training. Amazing.

Then, on Friday, I quit my job. I’ll be starting a new job tomorrow. I sell flooring; mostly carpet, but I have been lured away from my job by a niche manufacturer which sells medium and high-end carpet and rugs. Beautiful stuff – there are wool products; a first for me. In addition, I’ll have a traditional and contemporary rug line.

Trust me, what you see above is drool worthy. I have never sold products which focus primarily on the higher end of the product spectrum. Buying the mini-van was related to my new job. I’ll travel more, so I might as well have something more comfortable to drive.

Leaving my old job was tough though. Nerve wracking. Even after turning in my notice, I wondered if I was doing the right thing – also sleep depriving. But, I feel good about the change and as you can see, I have received some of my new samples; they are gorgeous.

But I did get some woodworking accomplished. I wedged some woodworking into my day here and there over the last couple of days. I finished the construction of the seat for the Window Seat Bookcase. This involved actually gluing the seat ends in place, adding dowels and then creating some blocking which will give me a way to attach the seat to the bookcase.

Also, a little woodworking this week: gluing the seat ends in place.

Gluing the seat ends in place.

Pegs prior to trimming.

Pegs prior to trimming.

Two dowels per side were driven into elongated holes in the seat tenons. The front edge of the seat end was locked in place with glue.

Blocking added with pocket screws.

Blocking added with pocket screws.

I had an original goal of using no metal fasteners with this project. That changed about half way through the project when I attached cleats for the lower shelf using screws. Now, I have added more screws; this time pocket screws for the seat blocking. The blocking will give me something substantial to attach the seat to. Pocket screws are fast and effective, especially when adding 8 screws per blocking. They are rock solid.

So, tomorrow I start my new job. I have a long weekend ahead of me in which I hope to get all the construction finished for the bookcase. I’ll then have a few parts in which to add polyurethane to, then this project WILL BE FINISHED!

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16 Comments

  1. Ouch. All that going on is have taken some time off. I know all about wasp stings. When I was a kid my grandfathers po slide was a haven for them and I can remember being stung myoe times – at once. Even stung in my ear and eye lid once.

    The bench/bookcase is looking good. Given any thought to the finish?

    Good luck with the new job.

    • Stung on your EYE LID??? Dang. You got me beat. I have been using wipe on poly. The satin sheen is still too glossy for me. I may put some wax on it to try and tone it down. Thanks for wishing me good luck. I am pretty excited about it.

    • I’ll work for the Dixie Group which manufactures Dixie Home Carpets, Masland Carpet and Rugs along with Fabrica Fine Carpets and Rugs. Very nice; still discovering all the things I’ll sell. 🙂

  2. Jeff,

    The book case looks great. Also, I hope you’re feeling better and good luck on the new job. I wish you the best.

  3. I feel your pain of the stings. I used to work in forestry cutting brush, stepping into a nest was a daily occurrence for any member of our crew. Not that it was funny that someone was getting stung but we always had a good laugh at the wild dance of a man running away from the bees. Nice looking project.

    • “not that it was funny” – I’m glad you said that. While I know my neighbors wondered what in the world was going on, I had an allergic reaction to these stings. I was yelling quite loudly from the pain. I guess the men you worked with became acclimated to yellow jacket stings. I never want to go through that again.

      I checked out youR blog and nice work. 🙂

      • Thank you. No one in the crew had an allergic reaction, that is no laughing matter, but everyone could usually shake it off and get back to work after a couple minutes. If you panicked and dropped your saw right on top of the nest then it was another story altogether, it usually involved a group of men emasculating you to the point where neither fear nor common sense could keep you from braving the angry bees.

  4. Terry Holmes says

    Congratulations on a new career journey!
    I have been clobbered by yellow jackets in the ground several times over the years. It ain’t to fun!

  5. I was supposed to finish a major piece last year. Which was a project I had started the year before. My wife (who commissioned it) ridicules me mercilessly, but I choose not to care. It’ll be done when its done.

    Tell us more about the wool rugs! Might it be cost-effective to order by mail?

    • Jim, I know what you mean about ridicule. This more than year long project is now a source of jokes. I will stay away from major projects for a while.

      I’m not sure yet about my rug line. I suspect that they are sold only through brick and mortar retail stores.

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