Friday, November 5, 2010

Back on Track

I try to do something new every day. I'm easily bored and I've found that trying something scary is a sure-fire way to stay out of the blahs.
Life is very accommodating for these activities. Almost daily, something I spent good money on breaks down and I'm faced with two possibilities: I can tear it apart to find out how it works, and maybe even fix it; or I can throw it away and try to find a replacement. The logical and most appealing choice is to try the repair, but if I take that approach with everything, I'm soon drowning in a deluge of nonfunctioning crap...
And I'm already way behind on a lot of projects.

Anyone who's dropped a vase knows that it only takes a second to break something, and a lot longer just to clean up the mess. And if you're going to glue that vase back together again, you better set aside a good chunk of time.

Then there's the stuff that just seems to appear on its own.
Last year the 1st Mate had a new room built onto the condo and I volunteered to build in the back door and create a design for the rear entrance. Then the topic of tool storage came up and i agreed to build that into the new room. These projects have me working in new mediums: adobe brick and mortar, glass brick and white cement. After constructing the doorway in 2x4s and plywood, I'm now sheathing the outside in parota, an indigenous wood that resists bugs and rot. It's also very beautiful and lightweight, but the sawdust is highly toxic. Any cutting, routing or sanding has to done with a good respirator mask. Pictured is a cockpit table I made from parota, butterflied and inlaid with strips of Mexican cedar. I build without plans or instructions- just some basic measurements. The fun is figuring out how to do something on my own. I know there's tons of how-tos online... if I was repairing my iPhone (which I have) I would do that. But this stuff isn't that big a deal, and discovering processes and techniques and tricks is a blast. Then you end up with something useful.