In The Groove

As many of you know, I am a partner in Time Warp Tool Works.  Yes, I make awesome woodworking tools. Yes, I use woodworking tools to make crazy sculptural dining tables.  Yes, I make the wonderful food that brings happy people to the table.  Yes, I also wash the dirty dishes.  And yes, ladies, I’m single.

This past week, I was making moulding planes because our supply of yellow birch had acclimatized in my workshop and there are orders waiting to be filled.  (Relationship Study has not been sold yet.  Hint, hint!)

The first day, I was having trouble focusing.  I was not in the groove.  I was waffling over decisions and getting frustrated by the nuances of my tools.

 When I am not in the groove:
  1. I am disorganized and have to halt progress to find other parts or tools;
  2. I am constantly bumping into, knocking over, or damaging things;
  3. Not a single one of my dozen tape measures or two dozen pencils can be found;
  4. I cut pieces too short, cut them backwards, or cut the wrong ones;
  5. Glue-ups don’t fully close no matter how many clamps I apply;
  6. Every minor hiccup irritates me; and
  7. I am frustrated, impatient and overly aggressive.

But then I settled down and began making progress.

When I am in the groove:

  1. Every move is fluid, decisive and deliberate – almost like a dance – and the results are just as they should be;
  2. I know exactly what to do and how to do it;
  3. No matter how messy the shop may be, I know exactly where everything is;
  4. I remain focused on the current task, but also know the next step;
  5. Glue squeeze-out is an even row of small beads along the joint;
  6. Problems are challenges to which I already have solutions; and
  7. I am calm, relaxed and confident.

Today, I worked 14 hours straight, stopping only for a quick sandwich and probably a washroom break.

I made great progress.  My glue-ups were smooth and efficient with only a moderate amount of excess squeeze-out.  Parts were fitting together perfectly and nothing was getting to me – not even my dished workbench top or the two separate incidents when I ran the blades of two of my finely-tuned bench planes into metal.  (Note to self – build a new bench and install wooden bench dogs, you fool!)

In a follow-up article, I discuss strategies to get in the groove.

Overflow, Part VIII

You know that I, Chris Wong, make woodwork with much flair at Flair Woodworks.  However, you may not know that I also make fine woodworking tools at Time Warp Tool Works (read more about my role at Time Warp Tool Works).

It is a well-known fact that quartersawn material (where growth rings run vertically along the end grain) is very stable and for that reason it is used extensively for Time Warp Tool Works projects, including Moulding Planes and Ash Bench Dogs.  When selecting stock for bench dogs, I always notice that some ash doesn’t look as exquisite as other ash.  The best ash is tight- and fine-grained and quartersawn.  Ash with curvy, figured grain or that is flatsawn (where growth rings run horizontally along the end grain) is not as desirable when long-term stability is a primary concern.

Fine and Purdy Flatsawn Ash

Up for grabs are a total of 14 pieces of kiln-dried, flatsawn ash, each 7/8″ square and 8′ long.  (I can cut them shorter if you prefer smaller pieces of ash for mailing; what you do with the ash once you get your hands on it is up to you!)  Each piece of ash is perfect (free of defects) and needs love and attention that I cannot provide.  I am giving it all away as one package so that I don’t end up with a stick of my ash.

If you would like for this lovely ash to be all yours, please leave a comment below indicating your interest before April 2.  I will then draw the name of a lucky ash-grabber at random.  Even if you don’t get this trunk-load of ash, remember that there is MUCH MORE that I want to give away.

I am also giving away FLATSAWN CHERRY, 1-1/2” X 1-1/2” IN VARIOUS LENGTHS in Overflow, Part VIII.5.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you can be notified as soon as I post something new!  And please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

In The Spotlight

Next weekend, I’ll be in Cincinnati attending Woodworking In America (WIA).  I can’t wait.  It is at WIA that Time Warp Tool Works will be officially launching and taking orders for moulding planes.  (In case you missed my post a couple weeks ago, Time Warp Tool Works is my side project (a term from the music industry, as in “a project undertaken by one or more persons already known for their involvement in another band” – Wikipedia), a partnership with Garth Schafer.)

Garth and I will be sharing Shannon Rogers‘ booth for The Hand Tool School.  There has been a lot of buzz about Time Warp Tool Works and WIA on the various social media platforms and woodworking forums so I’m expecting it to be a busy show for us.

In case the show won’t keep me out of trouble, there are a number of events outside of the WIA Marketplace hours.  First up is a Blogger Community Party on Thursday, the night before the show starts.  Friday night at 6:30pm (EST), after the Marketplace closes, Garth and I will be joining Shannon for a live video Q&A session with members of The Hand Tool School.  After the Marketplace is closed and finished, there is a dinner with members of the talkFestool forum that I’d like to attend.  Oh, this is going to be a lot of fun.  I hope you can make it and stop by to say “hi”.  I’ll be the young guy with long hair and a big grin.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to my friend Paul-Marcel who has invited me to stay with him.  He, like I, will be there to work the show – the poor soul has to demonstrate the Jointmaker Pro for Bridge City Tool Works.  Yup – it’s tough work but somebody’s got to do it!

I’ll try to take lots of pictures, but if you don’t hear from me by next Sunday, you’ll know why.