The garden is of primary interest beyond but including my woodworking. Roughly that translates into garden growing boxes, in-ground planting, fruit beds newly planted and of course harvest time.
My winter project is my new greenhouse. It’s going in and up and the superstructure sitting on top of the deck I put in place over the weekend. Covid this year made me ever more aware that we need to take back control of what we sold out to imports.
In my case, I usually buy in seeds but this year couldn’t buy what wamted soon enough and ended up buying what I didn’t really want at overly high prices. Ultimately I didn’t get the seeds I wanted in the ground and the alternatives didn’t give me what I truly wanted, even though they grew just fine. It made me aware that I need to get a greater incentive for longer-term garden planning.
The greenhouse started with a mixed resource of materials, some of which came from more sheetrock pallets and so on. That front frame came from a pallet made from 3″ x 3″ in 8′ lengths. It wasn’t my plan to make the whole from pallets but from some new and some recycled. I have gained a few good pieces from the side of the road and inside or beside skips.
It seems more and more that my days and my weeks seem filled with frames. As my greenhouse framework at the back of the house stood clamped together, so too my Brazos rocking chair parts were jointed and framed. With most of the mortise holes cut, today I worked to tenon the back slats and side rails.
It struck me here again that most frames prior to say the 1960s were held together with the single mortise and tenon joint. Was it because something better came along to replace it? This question ran through my mind for a second at least. My answer? Of course not! Mostly it was because something quicker and skilless came along. I remember once seeing some beams from an old barn that stood for over 200 years. It had a 22″ wide tenons. The beams were 25 foot long, 14″ x 24″ sections with scarcely a knot in place and it was impressive to me. With our modern trend of dominoes and biscuits, Glue-lam beams and such, it made me think how unimpressive the things are that seem, well, to impress some of us.
How would I feel if I glued and screwed a jointless chair together that looked just like my Brazos rocking chair here? You know, sold it to a customer! Well, I would feel like I cheated them, true, but I would feel more that I cheated myself. That’s why I have never ever used a power router to cut a dovetail or much of anything else. I will be all the happier going to my grave knowing that I never used a pocket hole system too, but not in some self-righteous way! No, not that, just that my work will always come from the skilled work of my hands, my own judgement and my own power. This matters to me.
Anyway, seeing all the work I do come together is heartwarming. Nothing like it for job satisfaction!