It’s been a horrendously long time since I have posted any sort of update on this page; please forgive me dear readers, the last two years have been diffcult to say the least.
Since my last post where I spoke about the difficulties I encountered with the Combo Jointer/Planer, much has transpired. Long story short, I replaced that machine with two separate machines which work wonderfully; spent much time making custom pieces for friends and family, took a few repair jobs, and did a lot of maintenance on the house that we were living in.
I also attended Woodworking in the 18th Century conference hosted by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and after much conversation with the folks in the Cabinetmaker Shop there, with my family, and with friends and mentors that I trust, we decided to leave North Central Massachusetts and purchased a home in Newport News, Virginia. The move and the decision to undertake this new chapter in our lives was difficult, but at the end of the day, it was an excellent choice.
So, in June 2020 we closed on and moved into our new home in Newport News; Wendy was asked to take over a store in the same company that she had worked for in Mass and has been managing that store since. I, on the other hand, spent a goodly amount of time laying out and setting up shop in the 2 car garage attached to the house and at the same time working on the “punch list” items needing repair.
With the Shop set, home improvement work going, and working for myself as a sort of subcontractor to the family, I have been rather busy. One of the first undertakings which were absolutely critical was to completely redesign our kitchen area. Wendy and I both love to cook, we love the time spent in the kitchen and at the preparation of food (of course, I love to eat and that helps also). The kitchen as it was when we bought the house was not suitable for cooking in the manner that we do, nor was it suitable to feed the five adults living in the house with us. So, before we even started packing a box, Ryan and I came down and started renovations by removing some of the built in cabinets, wall mounted ovens, and flat top range, replacing all with a suitable gas range/oven to suit our needs. Among other things, we spent a great deal of time measuring and mapping out the floor plan in order for me to be able to design our new kitchen. All of the drawings are done; the floor layout, the new elevations, everything is set down on paper. Now the bigger task of putting aside the money required to undertake this renovation. It makes no sense to tear down the old before you have the replacements built and ready to install. Moreso when that is the heart of the home and needs to serve five people meals each and every day.
With that well planned and cost estimations in hand, I finally was able to get back into the shop to do some woodworking. What a relief and joy to my heart it was to finally hear the machines whirr and the singing of the handplanes, handsaws, and to feel the peace of working wood in the furniture world again.
In my next post (I’ll separate the two in order to keep this shorter than it otherwise would be), I’ll talk about building the Windsor style rocking chair that is my first finisher project in this new shop.