It’s one of my favourite times. Working through last week’s filming I ended up with a bout of conjunctivitis – both eyes bright red. With a week of very blurry vision I couldn’t really present so I took an enforced break resting my eyes as much as I could over five days. This week we finished filming the series and that left me trying to tie up loose ends and catch up; if there ever is such a thing of course then I did it. Today was really my bigger clean-up day where I put things away, cut up, put up and shut up. With no one there I talk to myself and of course I make great progress without any arguments. Some things I’d decided ahead to put away out of prime positioning. The lathe was one thing. I don’t use it that much for it to occupy a permanent worktop I can be in use of.
As I swept and vacuumed I realised how blessed I was to have a workshop like mine. It’s tailored you see. Made to fit. Few people come to it but hundreds of thousands of people see me in it each month so over the past year that’s millions. Order is important to me but not to please others or those watching. Order brings with it saneness and I can make good sense when I put my things in order. I love putting things away after a project’s filmed. It brings such delight to lift things from my benchtop that I kept there for continuity issues with the filming. Chisels duly sharpened and put in the chisel tray, planes too, positioned and ready to go next week. Before we took on filming the projects I simply stayed on top of clean up and swept fairly frequently. Sweeping is never dead time for me, it’s time when I want a break to think but can continue with non-thinking work. I often need to work through issues that need concentration and feel better if I can still keep active. Sweeping and putting away needs little interactive thought so it frees me up to tackle the joinery in my head, or the sequence of the next phase.
The garden benches came together wonderfully. Draw-bore joinery pulled up the mortise and tenons in rapid succession and we will be walking everyone through that as they follow the series. Each of the joints closed up neatly on the tenon shoulder lines. I love seeing the peg bend as it negotiates the offset holes through mortise and tenon.
I like both of the garden benches, the pine version and the oak one equally. They feel identical because apart from the woods they are. It’s neat making two, the prototype and the final version in the two different woods. Not only do I get the experience of the woods but also see how the method of draw-bore affects the work. Placing them side by side, seeing everyone sitting on them in the garage workshop, gave me such a pleasure.
This week I will plan the new project and get my wood together. Every so often I get cabin fever and have to go look at wood. It’s always fun to go in search of something unique and I am glad to have found Surrey Timbers.
They are good people to deal with and I love spending an hour or two there. You can pick through their ‘shorts’ bins and racks and stacks to buy exactly what you need or want and then buy full lengths too. They sell rough sawn or planed and will cut to size for you too. In addition, the staff there care enough to make their wood accessible online so if you are too far away for a visit you can simply buy from them online.