In this closing point of the year, knowing my greenhouse is still as yet unfinished, I spent some of my Christmas holiday moving it forward. I have ordered the glazing panels and they will be here next week. The roof glazing spars are bird’s-mouthed angle cut and ready to install. I just lack the four-meter ridge board to form the roof and tie in the end frames.

I plan to make the door and window lights as frames with mortise and tenons, rebates, etc and they will have automatic openers that are thermally controlled to open according to internal temperatures. Tie permitting, I will video making the door and the window sash frames and although technically the joinery and construction is all the same but with nuances that make them subtly different too. I plan to make this another COVID lockdown series as we are not far off a total lockdown once more. I will glue up the sections starting January 1st, 2021. The components for the sashes and the door will be from secondhand and offcut wood. I plan to make the door frame, glaze the door, rebate the stock and then hang it, all of course by hand. Can I make a door like this in two hours? Possibly! Maybe! Probably! who knows? We’ll see. Gonna try!

The methods are exactly as any standard exterior/interior house/office/cupboard door, so as a series this will be invaluable for anyone missing some of the tricks of the trade in traditional door fitting and hanging. Oh, and these will be free videos via masterclasses free subscription and then YouTube. I think this will be helpful.

It stayed around freezing the past few days, but I stuck with it and felt warm enough just in the doing of it. I started to think about how life is changed by the pandemic as I worked but for me little has really changed because my work etc is pretty much the same. In fact, I have to say that IO did enjoy the work we accomplished last year and especially tackling the additional challenges for social distancing in a studio setting. I think that we have the most remarkable staff in that their willingness to shift and change to make things happen for the greater good is always there with such readiness. It’s not that long ago when I rode the few miles out through the countryside to deliver my camera SD cards to Natalie’s house so that she could edit them. We had an exchange system where I would toss a tiny white envelope onto the grass two meters away from e and she would toss another back to me with the empty cards for my next video work. It did look a bit suspicious and we did have a laugh. Mask wearing at first felt no different for me because I regularly wore them for five decades when machining wood. For the others, though it felt quite weird to them. Nowadays it is as normal as putting on a jacket against the cold, or shoes to walk out in.

I can see my garden starting to develop with three-inch leaves to my onions and the garlic and shallots poking through the black soil too as a close second; that’s despite the hard frosts every morning. In our Tier-4 restriction area, the current efforts to curb the COVID virus, the garden has become a special place for most to go to. This is hard for everyone here and many are fearful of contracting the disease. With three of my sons dotted on other continents giving me feedback and a vaccination program rolling out, I am hopeful that 2021 will indeed be a much better year. There is no question that we all need a ‘shot in the arm‘ as we close the years to boost morale on every level of society and in every different culture. 2021 promises that and we must all do the best we can to help control the virus. I am looking forward to completing my greenhouse, filling the seed trays I have made from scrap pallet wood (not a species) and such, and then too planning and planting out my 2021 spring garden. This year I will hopefully double the size of my beds in the ground and perhaps add some more growing boxes. Comparable yields of like varieties gave me more potatoes from the boxes — what a great surprise!

Oh, this headshot came as a result of a recent haircut at the latter part of this year’s pandemic. This is the first sign of my going grey in my hair aside from my beard. I have good genes to that end as my mother never went grey before she passed in her mid-eighties and my father only when he was in his late seventies!

My last task of the year has been sharpening all of my tools. I like to have everything sharp, clean and in order at the close of a year so that is what I have done. See you nice and sharp in 2021 everybody!

24 Comments

  1. nemo on 31 December 2020 at 5:45 pm

    A video on making doors and frames, and hanging doors, would greatly interest me, as I have quite a bit of such work to do around the house. I expect the skills will also benefit window frame making. Would be especially interested in how to select for the proper grain / grain direction to prevent warping.

    I recall you saying a few years ago that you didn’t want to go that way (house doors, windows, frames, etc.) with your woodworking program. So I’m happy to see that you will be making a video of this. I’m sure I’m not the only who will benefit from such a video. Making a cabinet is a bit of a luxury, but making a door or window often a necessity.

    I have got a headstart on you as far as garlic goes, but then again, we haven’t had any frost worth speaking of over here (just across the North Sea). Rest of the vegetable garden looks a bit sad though, all empty.

    I’ve always considered grey hairs a mark of distinction, find that it looks good on men. I recall back in university that a fellow student, of my age back then (19-20 years old) had already gone completely grey. So you’ve got about 50 years ‘head’start on him.

  2. Richard Harnedy on 31 December 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Happy new year Paul and team. I finished the dovetailed box today… next is the hanging wall shelf. I think the expression that best suits is cutting my teeth with these projects. Good health paul.

  3. Sylvain on 1 January 2021 at 11:41 am

    -Happy new year Paul and team.
    And most important, as every year, but especially this year, because without it happiness and prosperity are more difficult to retain or achieve: a good health.

    – Just finishing a wooden toy for the grand kids. Something I would have not tried without your excellent teaching.

  4. Samh on 1 January 2021 at 11:55 am

    Happy new year paul

  5. Andrew on 1 January 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Happy new year to Paul and family. I think of all the good things you have given us, each time I use my potted oil rag on the refurbished second hand Stanley No 4!

  6. Rich on 1 January 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Happy New Year Paul and family. I really enjoy your blog and videos! My goal for 2021 is to incorporate more hand tool work in my creations.

  7. RODNEY MAGEE on 1 January 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Happy New Year Paul from across the pond in upstate New York.

  8. RS Hughes on 1 January 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Happy New Year Paul.
    As I write I imagine you’re in the workshop, as I was until half an hour ago. I had a great morning. Peace and quiet and all my maintenance tasks now up to date.
    I’ll look forward to the door video. Some years ago I had a new front door made by a carpenter at great expense but I’ve never been completely happy with it. Time to have a go myself I think.
    It’s a big Georgian house so the doors are huge and there isn’t a square corner in the place, plus I have to conform with Georgian styling. Raised panels etc…. Wish me luck!

  9. Patrick Y. on 1 January 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Happy New Year Paul & Crew!

  10. Mike Towndrow on 1 January 2021 at 2:04 pm

    It’s New Years Day 2021 and about 4 degrees outside.
    Never mind, I have a small fan heater that keeps my shed warm enough to keep working on my floor lamp; just one of Pauls inspiring projects that he’s given to us over the past year. The lamp should be finished soon, as I’m not far off the glueing up stage.
    So, Happy New Year Paul and thank you!

  11. Christopher Johnston on 1 January 2021 at 3:52 pm

    I think ,although a simple observation of yours,that it is a great idea as a closing task to sharpen ALL our tools ready for the new year.

  12. Roberto Fischer on 1 January 2021 at 4:36 pm

    I could swear you dyed your hair! No grey hair on your head (other than beard) at that age is incredible.

  13. Matt Sims on 1 January 2021 at 5:34 pm

    The door one is of great interest to me… I need to replace by back door and wish to make one… something that wouldn’t have occurred to me to attempt in a million years in my “pre-sellers” days!
    Thanks, and Happy New Year,
    Matt

  14. Jerry L. Brasier on 1 January 2021 at 5:40 pm

    Happy New Year Paul, and thank you for all of the great tips you’ve provided through your teaching. I’m a bit older than you are (eighty this April) and have been playing with wood since I was about 13, but I still continue to learn something from each of your videos. Keep up the good work.

  15. Pe McC on 1 January 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Happy New Year to you Paul and your family and crew!

  16. Peter Littlejohn on 1 January 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Happy New Year to you and your family Paul. It’s fantastic to see you so active building your greenhouse and gardening. I’m 66 and find it difficult to do much without taking a break to catch my breath. As for grey hair I’d be happy just to have some now days, with most slipping around my chin. A a friend says “God only made a few perfect heads….the rest he covered with hair” LoL.

    Over this last year it’s only been from zoom calls and posts like this from Paul that I realise just how lucky we are in New Zealand where travel and meeting others continues mostly without restriction.
    For everyone I wish you the very best for 2021 and that lock-downs and Covid 19 can become a bad memory from the past.

  17. Mo on 2 January 2021 at 9:07 am

    Happy New Year Paul, your team and your loved ones.
    Your greenhouse project inspires me a lot, as a permaculturist. In a garden, a greenhouse is everything but a luxury.
    Also, built on a trailer and with some enhancements (insulation, bracings …), it could become a tiny house on wheels. And you can always build the greenhouse AND the tiny house, adjacent to each other, to benefit from the the accumulated heat in the greenhouse.
    With the knowledge Paul transmits and some thought, a dedicated handtool woodworker could build its own place, happy and healthy for him and the planet. Downside : A LOT of thought will be needed to deal with the local regulations … But it’s doable and if things go really bad, you can always move a wooden structure.
    I’m looking forward to your videos Paul and I thank you in advance.

  18. Bill H on 2 January 2021 at 8:53 pm

    Happy New Years Paul!

    If I may make a suggestion for 2021, I think some Plantation Shutters would look great in the living room of your project house.

    Would love to see how you tackle these as my wife has them on my to do list. 🙂

    We have larger windows ~ 70 X 70” so I imagine they’ll have to be split so the top shutters are independent of the bottom section with 4 panels across both sections. Daunting task the more I think of it. Lol

  19. Simon Bacsich on 2 January 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Sash frames and full size doors? Really excited about this one!

  20. John M Morrison on 4 January 2021 at 6:53 pm

    Need a ridgeboard? Send me your requirements and favorite local lumber shop and I’ll get it paid for and waiting for you to pickup. Cheers john.morrisonATgmail.com (change the AT)

  21. JIM TAYLOR on 4 January 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Thanks Paul, have a good new year. Like your greenhouse project. Finishing up 6 weather stations cut from Walnut from our farm. Air dried and just beautiful as walnut can be. Stay healthy.

  22. John Latchford on 5 January 2021 at 11:12 am

    Happy New Year Paul – thank you for your continued inspiration to woodworkers everywhere.
    John
    Chairman, UK Men’s Sheds Association

  23. Ken Nelson on 6 January 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Happy New year Paul and thank you for your continued inspiration to all us woodworkers.

  24. Paulo on 15 January 2021 at 10:25 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing your video of the greenhouse joinery!
    My greenhouse is already in place for a while (made almost entirely with shower doors and panels, such great source of toughened glass), but due to COVID, and the need to working from home more often than elsewhere, I had to create more space.
    Out of question to repurposing my (tiny) woodworking workshop… so somewhat begrudgingly I’ve deforested a square of the backyard – building a studio there.

    Doing it cheap meant buying used doors and windows, and in some instances I ended up with gorgeous, 100yo native timber sashes, but no frames.

    I don’t know how to frame a window or a door …but I think I know where to find out 😉

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