shop cleaning day

There’s often talk on Instagram & other sites about how people don’t present “real” life/work there – it’s all cleaned-up, perfect & presentable. I certainly do that on the blog and IG. I try to compose most of my photos so they show what I wanted to present. Here’s a photo shot with no thought, planning, etc – the camera was set up to shoot every two minutes, whatever was happening at the bench then.

It looks like I work in near-total darkness, which is just the opposite of how it is. If I had to get a shot of this process, I’d either wait til the sun was off those windows, or I’d cover them, to brighten the bench. I’d also bracket shots on the camera, etc.

Well, what could be more real-life than a complete (or nearly-so) cleaning of the shop? I photographed some of it, just in case something good happened. I didn’t shoot the complete “before” picture. Here, I’d already started sorting, so making a mess to clean up a mess. It either ends up on the benches or the floor for sorting.

I emptied the shelf under my main bench, and sorted these three boxes. Mostly it was dumping shavings out of them. These are tools I use nearly everyday (on the right) some of the time (middle) and rarely (left – I hate the tools in this box, mostly. Except the Millers Falls drill).

The everyday box up on the bench – (see, no planning for this photo) – hammer, carving mallet, chalklines, rulers, joiners’ saddles. I use these tools a lot. I’ve been planing some oak for joinery lately and the chalklines & saddles are key in that work.

I have some very straight, slow-growing red oak. Great stuff to plane.

I started planing up joined stool parts, and stuff for a wainscot chair.

Here’s some of that wood all planed or drawknifed. From here it needs to find a place to dry out some:

Under that bench when I was done – it won’t stay this tidy for long. All that belongs under there are those loose tools in boxes, then planes, bench hook, winding sticks, etc.

This stuff was under the other bench. Most of this got burned. A few bits & pieces went back under the bench. There’s an old plane I made that is all done. I salvaged the handmade iron and will make a new plane for it. But the cracked & broken body of that one will go in the stove.

Some views around the shop – this one for JoJo Wood –

This one is by Wille Sundqvist, it belonged to Jennie Alexander.

As I moved around the shop, sorting things here & there, I shifted these two boards for the settle I’m making next. It made a sort of white pine Rorschach test.

I had to clean up the shop to shoot photos for assembling the bedstead. that’s next.

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3 thoughts on “shop cleaning day

  1. Peter,
    The plane body in the discard pile has been something of a Peter Follansbee icon for me since I first saw you using it on The Woodwright’s Shop all those years ago. The utility of the plane, despite the imperfections in the timber was informative and reassuring, given the hyper-accuracy of modern, high-end plane production. Maybe I did not need to buy expensive planes to make stuff after all. Seeing it at the end of its useful life is another reassuring lesson – if something doesn’t work any longer, no need to hang on to it.

    Michael Davis-Cheshire

  2. The settle ends look great, most settle end designs are ugly but these are clean and subtle. No goofy big wings above, not goofy round handgrips, and the right amount of heel. Did anybody contact you about the Fairbanks turned chair in the Vogel sale?

  3. I got just a tad nostalgic seeing Alexander’s Sundqvist spoon hanging up in the shop. Now that both are gone, it is just kind of starting to hit me that we lost a couple of real pioneers in their own right, but steps in the continuation of the crafts journey. They were influenced and in turn, influenced us all to keep making and doing. Cleaning up is a neccessary pain in the back side but it helps keep the clutter at bay. Thanks for sharing this post, it really gave me a lot to think about today!

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