The day finally came. I needed poplar drawer stock for a project I was building and there was nothing usable on my lumber rack. But sitting peacefully in the corner of my shop was a poplar project I was not too fond of , it was a relic from my early days of woodworking.
How early? When I was in high school (the doweled construction had to give you a clue), I built a small chest for the girl I was dating. She was very happy with the piece, so I decided to build a shelf unit to sit on top. As happens with high school dating, we broke up , before I finished the unit. The incomplete bookshelf stood in my parents’ basement for many years before moving to my shop.
Once it was in my garage shop, I used the unit to store things. Over time, cobwebs collected at the base and there were numerous spills, scratches and whatnot on each shelf, so the idea of actually finishing the unit was not in the cards. The outer surface was working back toward the dirty brown color of yet-to-be-milled poplar.
Since rearranging my shop, I discovered there was no practical use for the unit , no place to hang the unit and certainly not enough coveted floor space to sacrifice. And, I had long ago gotten past the idea that the girl and I would some day hook up again.
And because the pieces were a full 7/8″ in thickness (back then I believed that building thicker meant building better), I knew I could salvage 1/2″ stock from these 30″-long fatties. So the shelf met its demise.
I have another project from my early days of woodworking taking up space in my basement. There’s no high school connection, but it was my first attempt at cabriole legs and that bad boy may meet this terrible fate next.
After knocking apart the unit, I wondered if I was the only woodworker de-building a project from their past. There must be a few others like me. Fess up. Post a comment. I need to know I’m not alone.
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