My Next Project

I go to bed at night thinking about a wide range of things. Most of us do, I think. I usually read  before then, and by the time my head hits the pillow I’m usually asleep. When I wake the sun is just rising and I get up. By 7 I’ve left the house and by 7.05 I am at work getting my bike to ride into town for coffee and a chat with my mate David and sometimes one or two others. What’s significant is that between going to bed and waking up I have a new project design together with the methodology for its making. Did I dream it up? Not really, but I recall opening my eyes three times over about four hours for five minutes each time and my ideas all jelled. That’s often how it develops for me. Now that doesn’t mean I never think on an idea before that time, just that designs usually begin with a problem and problem solvers can’t usually help themselves but be a solution. How can I store this or hold that? I have a space and I need something for this piece of equipment and this place here seems like the ideal spot to build something for it. Most designs start with a problem or a question first and then a space comes into mind that will accommodate a project. Soon the overall appearance of something comes to mind and in this case I wanted to reduce the impact one thing was having and replace it with something, well, more appropriate. Following that, the joinery of parts gets framed, the weight of parts as design elements become solidified; thicknesses of tenons, depths of grooves for this or rebates for that play for attention. So in the case of this next project these were the resolved elements. Then of course there are the methods I might consider using to make the parts, the joints, the shapes. I remember waking with a method to make eight jointed rails with half of the joints all done at once and to a standard that each joint would fit any counterpart with perfect union no matter the part. I remember weight being a key factor too. It must be stout, sturdy and strong enough to sustain digs, bangs and toppling through perhaps occasional rough treatment yet light enough to lift and move readily. I make myself a a few written notes, some mental ones, a sketch note or two and show myself a construction method that will speed up the process. I drift back to sleep having made the whole project before I do in my head and when I wake again I am fully refreshed from resting and with another project worked through mentally and ready for yet another workday.

On Monday I will talk to everyone at work in our beginning-the-week meeting. Sound-boarding for feedback brings clarity and questions answered early on.

2 comments on “My Next Project

  1. I am supposed to be building a 3 drawer Chest of Drawers for my 9 yr old Grandson….About half way along, right now. maybe a similar “Dresser” could be done, just to supply a child with a pace to stash his/her’s clothes..besides all over the floor?

  2. I apply your macro level approach also on the micro level of my projects.. On my way to the workshop, thoughts are already conceptualizing form and function. Once arrived, I don’t go to the bench straight away, but first prepare a coffee and with that coffee I start sharpening at my bench. Once that meditative process ends, I find that I usually know how to start and how to proceed. Instead of running into dead ends I find myself sailing in the wind, hardly any frustration and most importantly: good quality and great satisfaction of my work..

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