Monday, August 25, 2014

SWEAT SHOP

This project had been started about a month ago.
 What is in the works is a solid industrial grade Hickory breakfast table.
This material is fighting me, and usually when that happens, the best results evolve.
 It's very heavy and very dense which makes it very difficult to work with. I had cut all the pieces for the base a few weeks back, and started mortising all my joints yesterday. It was super hot and humid in the shop so I felt like I had a saw dust sweater on after mortising the first base.
 When I was getting ready to work on the second set of legs, i realized that I forgot 2 pieces.
I was kind of bummed out, because I was on a roll, but I'm way beyond crying over spilled milk.
 This particular table is the type of table that I had envisioned in my dream house. A small breakfast table nestled in the kitchen underneath a window that showcases a mountain view. A table where great coffee is served while dreams are discussed and plans for the future are concocted.
 This will be a heartbreaker for me to put up for sale.
I made a mistake while making the base. I made it exactly 1" too wide.
 I LOVE mistakes.
That mistake forced me to come up with a very cleaver way to rectify the situation for the top.
 I'm not going to reveal my solution, you'll notice it when it's complete.
I'm taking my time with this piece. Once or twice a year I make something that stands out. Something that defines my place within my craft.
 While I usually knock stuff out pretty quickly, this is one that is gonna take some time, and you're all welcome to follow me on the journey.
 In the world of social media marketing, it's important, actually crucial to give your viewers constant content.
This project isn't going to allow that, and I'm ok with that.
 I'll do my best to keep things interesting along the way, but y'all are gonna have to bear with me.
As summer is winding down, the little dude is back in school, my girl is about to embark on a couple of new ventures, and we are possibly going to move the family into a bigger living space, I don't feel so guilty about slowing down my production pace.
 Life only happens once, so I have to be in the moment during all the changes.
Being in control of your life means that YOU dictate how shit goes down, and how you capitalize on each situation. In my case, the speed of my production goes down while life happens, but the quality goes up.
 What you all have to understand is that I'm a workaholic,and every moment that I'm not creating something tangible, is torture. But I'm learning...and aging....and that's not a bad combo.
 I've discovered that when you pay attention to everything that's going on in the now, you can benefit from it in the later.

Monday, August 11, 2014

SEWING WITH STEEL...KIND OF


People have been joining wood for table tops the same way for the last couple of hundred years.
 I would follow in the footsteps myself, but my situations dictate differently.
I don't have a jointer. I have access to one, but it's a huge pain in the ass to get to it. We have one at work too, but I don't have the time at work to change the blade as well as raise them. I could have planed the edges by hand, then glued the 2 pieces up like everyone else, but any ol' schnuck can do that.
 I used this same method on the "HARDWOOD FLOOR DESTROYER" table, only this time I used thicker steel on the bottom.
 The way it works is like this...
1.Bend 1/2" steel round stock
2.Mark your holes in your piece
3.Drill your holes
4.Chisel holes from the inside towards each other to receive your bend
5.Drill holes in 1/4" thick steel flat stock
6.Feed round stock through the holes
7.Secure steel bar to the bottom of your piece
8.Tack weld round bar to flat bar
9.Cut off excess round bar
10.Complete weld
11.Grind flat
 Fuck...Gluing it up doesn't seem like such a bad idea after all.
There's a guy in Chicago that has been getting some press lately. He takes old suitcases and puts speakers in them. He may be a nice guy or he may be a jerk off, I don't know him, but in every article he's boo-hooing that people have stole his idea.
 Ok...I've never seen the product, and I had no idea there was a market for suitcase speakers, but if there is...dude should be happy people replicated it. It's a compliment.
 I just effectively changed the way wood can be joined, and then told you exactly how to do it.
Fucking run with it.
 No one will most likely do a write up on me, and if they did, the last thing I'm gonna do is complain that someone took my idea.
 What good is an idea if you're the only one that applies it?
Did the guy who made glue complain that everyone was using his idea to join things together?
 I seriously think not.
Just because I haven't seen someone join wood like this, doesn't mean somebody hasn't done it before.
 For me, this method isn't a signature. It's effective, and gives a cool aesthetic, and I could only hope that someone applies it.
 The next time that I use this method, it will be to such an extreme that no one in their right mind would want to replicate it.
And when that happens, you just move on to the next one.
 Always forward...never backwards.
Next week, I'm heading out on vacation, a much overdue vacation.
 We're going with my brother-in-law and his family. Our boys are the same age, and that age is the age where mom and dad are kinda boring to them, so now they can hang out together and have the time of their young lives. Me...I'm gonna stare at trees and water as much as possible.
 A long weekend in the country is always good for dreaming up new ideas, as well as quieting the mind.
Ya'll take care now, ya hear.


Monday, August 4, 2014

GIVE IT AWAY-GIVE IT AWAY-GIVE IT AWAY NOW...


I had mentioned that I started a new 9 to 5 about a month ago.
 The job is located 10 minutes from my home, at a building that takes up an entire city block.
It's a building that houses artists, musicians, small business's, and hosts events.
What we do, is build out spaces using as much found material as possible.
 Dream job for a guy like me.
There is a designer who implements the concept, then sends us off running, and then there is the owner...Joe.
 I've worked at a lot of places, and for the most part, there is a thick line drawn in the sand between blue collar muscle and owners.
 Not here.
Joe gets dirty.
 Not because he has to, because he wants to.
Quick story....I worked for a guy a long time ago who started a car wash in Miami.
 He lived in a 10 million dollar house and drove a Bentley.
For the first 3 months he worked at the car wash...WASHING CARS.
 Why?
In those 3 months, he learned everything there is to know about washing cars. He also learned how to make his employees more comfortable (which reduces employee turn over) and how to be more efficient (so they didn't have to work so hard).
 He also gained the respect from his workers, because they know that he isn't above scrubbing someones tires.
 What does that mean for his business? Zero theft and zero employee turn over.
Cute story Brian...what's up with the lamp?
 I made this lamp for Joe as a gift.
He's moving into a new place and it's a sign of appreciation. Joe could buy 50 of these lamps cash money and his pocket wouldn't throw up in itself like mine would.
 Although I embrace the "fuck you-pay me" mentality, there's a time to give, and there's people deserving of your hand.
 It's not a tactic, it's a sign of appreciation.
I've never felt obligated to give.
 The ones that I give to are usually the ones that have shown me a respect above and beyond the norm of human nature.
 Johnny Reynolds of j10Customs, Zack Meyers of ZACEUSA (wait till I do my handmade review from this guy!), Collin, Marcus, Linda, Randy, Fred One, Phil Cisco of Maximum Tattoo, Rome, The Music Exchange, TeTe', Juno, and now Joe...Those are all people who have earned a Breclaimed door prize for their exercise in humanity.
 For me, an act of kindness never goes unnoticed or unrewarded.
Kindness and respect hold more value to me then the dollar ever will.
 There's a lot of people who aren't interested in my Buddah-ish tirades, and for you guys...It's a lamp. Wood and steel and wire and sockets and glass and tungsten, all blended together, by hand, with heart and soul sprinkled on top.
 For everyone else...share your heart, share your hand, share your art, with those deserving.