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As you know from Monday’s article, I am in the process of setting up shop after a long hiatus from serious woodworking. On the positive side, I’ve discovered that some of the muscle memory is still there, at least in how I angle my hands and forearms for holding work. I also seem to have maintained the dogged, problem-solving approach that’s so necessary for this craft. But on the slightly negative side, I have some significant limitations that I’ll be dealing with for the foreseeable future. One of those limitations is budgetary, which most of us can understand. The other one is less common among this audience (I’ve seen the numbers). You see, I am not a homeowner with a garage. I am currently living in an urban apartment. Yup.

There’s no point in (ahem) dwelling on it. Apartments are basically big, drywall-encased boxes inside a bigger wood or brick box, and – to me at least – they no longer seem like super-cool living spaces. While I dig Boston, and cities generally, I really want to own a home on a little land up in Maine. That’s the long-term plan. I’m envisioning approximately six good dogs, along with goats and a garden, and good friends to share it with. It’ll happen!

Chris Schwarz working by hand

Christopher Schwarz working by hand. I can learn a few things from him.

Short-term, there’s plenty to do. I want to hone my woodworking skills to a Christopher Schwarz-like degree, because I know that will come in handy for building said home in Maine, not to mention that those skills are enjoyable on their own merits. I figure I’ll build some new furniture for my place – pieces that will outlast the move to a house – channeling the apartment limitations into creative energy. Curved fronts should help soften the angularity of the walls, for example. And curves look awesome anywhere, in my humble opinion.

But on a more immediate level, there’s the question of what to do this weekend. I’m quite busy coming up to speed with these articles, and will be putting in some additional time this weekend on that, so I can’t take on a big build just yet. Yesterday I discovered the book “Box by Box” that’s available in the Weekend Project Collection, and I was sold. I’m going to make a few of the box designs, tweaking them to involve more hand-tool work. If I surprise myself and find I have a little extra time, I may also take on an outdoor chair project – as a gift, or course, for someone who actually has outdoor space.

If you’re still hunting for a weekend project, give that collection a try. If, on the other hand, you’ve already figured out what you’re making, tell us about it by commenting below!

Dan Farnbach

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