Not perfect, but made with love

I have just come in from my wood shop. It has been a very busy place this past two months and I am struggling to finish the last project to go under the tree. One gift was delivered on Saturday evening and I hope the person who received the gift will get decades of enjoyment from it.
Sitting under my Christmas tree is a present to my new granddaughter.
The first of these was created 36 years ago for my son. I was so proud of that rocking horse that three more were made shortly there after and given as gifts.
That first rocking horse has aged well taking on a deep golden color that in some ways hides the blemishes of my work.
One can tell by looking at that original and the rocking horses that sit in my garage, that I have learned a great deal about woodworking in the intervening 30 some years.
I receive great enjoyment from giving gifts that I have created in my workshop. I know each is created separately and no two are identical.
I learned a great many of the tricks of woodworking while learning the trade as a lithographer putting ads together in hot metal so that they wouldn’t fall apart over 55 years ago.
That profession disappeared only seven years later at the Fort Frances Times.
Square mitered corners were demanded. The height of lead pictures had to be exact and free-hand routered to eliminate shadows.
I no longer have the skills for free-hand routing and the last time I tried, the router seemed to take on a path of its own ruining the piece I was making.
For this last piece of woodworking, I have been forced to learn new skills.
The base has been mitered in to all four sides of the tray. The base was joined from four boards by jointing and gluing them together.
My original plan was to have nice simple dove-tail joints, but I have been mesmerized by the style and strength of box joints.
Glued together the multiple parts of each joint, make these perhaps the strongest corners.
Several years ago, my eldest son gave me a dove-tail jig for making drawers and boxes. I had used it once previously and had to relearn all the tricks of making dove-tail joinery.
My shop is now filled with many experiments and trials as I worked on my skills to try and master the process. It has produced a lot of red oak kindling.
After two days of learning, I thought I was ready for the real deal. Only in the end did I find that my skills were much like the first rocking horse that I had created 30 years ago.
The tray looks good, but I can see all the imperfections in my work.
It will be sanded to a 320 grit and then stained to a deep almost black red cherry colour to match our family room floor.
It will be a treasured Christmas gift; not perfect, but made with love.
Merry Christmas and may you share the love and joys of Christmas with family and friends.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail