I feel at the outset of this post that I ought to offer up some apologies. Firstly, I must apologise to anyone who happened to be in the vicinity of my workshop around the time that this post covers. Secondly, to you dear reader, I apologise because I didn’t take any photographs of the glueing up, for reasons that will become clear.
Seeing as the dry fit went so well – most if not all of the joints were tight, but not too tight – I decided to glue everything up in one hit. I figured that the glue up would be even easier, because the glue tends to lubricate the joint.
The leg and stretcher assembly went perfectly, but it took an absolute age to apply the glue to all the leg/slab joints, and so by the time I came to put it together, the glue had just started to go off. I had got all the joints half way home when a couple of them started to seize. Panic set in. This is about the time when anyone passing my workshop would have probably learned a few new swearwords. I let out a torrent of the foulest expletives, not to mention a tidal wave of oaths and curses, at the pieces of wood that, as far as I was concerned, had ruined my life forever. I found myself shouting at one of the legs, questioning its honesty, its integrity and the chronology of its birth and the marriage of its parents. At one point, it grieves me to relate, I even issued the unfeasible, yet entirely sincere and solemn, promise to ‘kill’ it.
I was just about ready to give up (and by ‘give up’ I mean selling my tools and workshop, kissing the wife and kids goodbye, running naked and in tears down to the beach, crawling under a rock and beginning a new life as an ormer) when an old Paul Sellers blog post floated into my mind with the words “Never let the wood tell you, ‘no’!”. I ran outside, grabbed my sledge-hammer and, like a frothing berserker, I started hammering and wailing on these cretinous lumps of timber, channeling my rage into the single-minded purpose of showing them exactly who they were dealing with. There was not the slightest possibility that I was going to let up until they bloody well did as they were told.
They took the hint. They won’t mess with me again. They won’t mess with anyone again.
Those bits of wood can consider themselves well and truly joined, whether they like it or not. And just to make it clear that they could kiss goodbye to any hopes they might have had about sneaking apart from each other, I doweled each and every one of the little buggers. Twice.
I ran into the house so that they couldn’t see me trembling and weeping with unalloyed relief.
I had a little lie down so that I could take stock and re-evaluate my life, and I didn’t give a single thought to the fact that the event had gone un-photographed until I came to write this post. Once things had calmed down I fitted some ledgers to the insides of the stretchers so that I could fit the shelf later on. That will be the subject of a future post.
Anyway, that is quite enough for now. There are times when working wood is a joy. There are other times, times like this, when it damn well rips you a new one.
Humby-ho. It doesn’t do to dwell.