Monday, May 19, 2014

"I'LL HANG MY BOOTS TO REST, WHEN I'M IMPRESSED"


I've had this huge beam sitting outside of my kitchen for a year.
 Last week, I escaped from work a little early, so I decided to load up the beam and take it Salvage One the next morning so I could finally do something with it.
 I wasn't remotely worried about anyone stealing it out of the back of my truck, because there isn't a thief on this planet ambitious enough to try to lift it.
 As luck would have it, I woke up the next morning and it was pouring rain. My days project was soaked and there's nothing I can do with a wet piece of wood, but I went in anyway with the intent to just knock out some railroad spike hooks and call it a day.
 When I got to the shop my jaw dropped. I don't know what the fuck happened, but the shop was spotless. I mean, not a speck of dust, everything organized, it was truly incredible.
 I came across a 12' slab of live edge white locust. It's a tree slab so the shape is so funky that you can't do much with it as it is, so I chopped off the widest section with no real idea what I was gonna do with it.
 With the slab in 2 pieces I wasn't sure what I could get out of it, but I really wanted to try to reconstruct that one funky slab into a piece of furniture.
 I can't even tell you how I got from a 12' slab to this. I just started cutting, and shaping, and cutting, and piecing things together.
 I had to force myself to stop because if I continued at that frantic pace, something was bound to shit on me, so I quit while I was ahead.
 I decided to snap a picture so I could digest it for a week. It's on the way to being one of those show pieces, and it's best to walk away and get the mechanics of it right.
 I have a confession to make. I don't have any REAL machinery. I have tools, but no machinery. No joiner, no planer, not even a REAL table saw. In fact, the table saw is so shitty, that it shuts down mid cut from over heating.
 I tell you this so you can understand that everything is by hand. I also tell you this because I know a lot of people use the excuse of not having this or that as their crutch as to why they don't do something they wanna do.
  I don't have shit. I have space and vision and will power and some tools.
A day will come when I will have some luxury machines, but I'm in no hurry. I LIKE doing it like this. Would I be able to produce faster? sure. Would things be more precise? Maybe.
 I remember installing a $15000 vanity for a lady. One of the drawers had to be cut down because it was hitting the drain pipe. I took the drawer to my father-in-law because there was no way in hell I was gonna be responsible for destroying a $15000 cabinet.
 I get it to his shop, and he starts beating the shit of it with a rusty hammer, cutting it up with a bent hand saw that had teeth missing, and planning it with a planer that Jesus probably used because it was so old. I have to be honest...I was almost in tears. All I could think about is how much I would have to pay for a new drawer.
 In about 10 minutes, the tornado had passed, and what was left standing in the ruble was a perfectly sized drawer ready to be slipped into place while accurately dodging a drain pipe.
 That didn't happen with the help of fancy machines, that happened because that man had built 65 years worth of cabinetry with essentially nothing.
 So, if there's something that you want to do, but you don't think you have what you need to make it happen...Go grab your tool box, open it up, and pull out the passion. If it's not in there, it might be laying next to the "drive" or "ambition".
 

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