a confusing and difficult problem or question.
Perhaps I’m easily stumped, but as I’m approaching the weekend I feel a building sense of panic over what I’ll do with my shop time.
You see, I finished the Greene & Greene sconce I’ve been working on last weekend and I haven’t decided what to do next. I’m dying to start a new project, but I don’t feel ready. I haven’t fully decided what to do next, and I certainly haven’t made plans or bought materials for anything specific.
I’ve been heading towards a major overhaul on the entry to my property, building a new G&G style driveway gate, street number and a pair of copper lanterns. But I have more design work to do before I can start that. I also want Santa to bring me a mortiser to speed up the process.
Not that I have any shortage of things I could do. Just as a for-instance, there is a customized (albeit unfinished) Studebaker pickup truck in my metal shop that has been languishing for 10 years. My buddy Ron and I chopped the top 6″ and cut a 4″ horizontal section out of the body of the cab. I built a new, smooth firewall, sectioned the hood and heavily modified the frame so that it had airbags to lower it, independent front suspension and a Cadillac 500ci engine. Then I got distracted with starting a chopper parts business. Before the Studebaker I’d been into making furniture (don’t get excited, I was pretty clueless).
There is plenty to do on this, including making new floorboards, welding up about 20 linear feet of seams in the cab from where it was sliced-and-diced, making a custom grill, fabricating a steering column, making a dashboard… It’s quite a long list, which is perhaps why I’ve postponed starting on it again. But, it would be really fun to get it to the point where I could drive it to work. Between the body and suspension modifications it’s considerably shorter than stock and compares favorably with my Mini Cooper.
I also have several unfinished knife projects. One is a stainless chef’s knife made from a purchased cast stainless steel blank. I did the finish work on this blade years ago and had it professionally heat treated (heat treating stainless is a specialized operation). I forged the dagger from a stack of discarded power hacksaw blades that I forge welded together with thin nickel foil. When it’s etched it should have an interesting twist pattern in the steel. The small blade at the bottom is forged from a scrap of 1″ round O1 tool steel. All three need some more detail work on the blades, handles made and attached and guards fabricated.
And I have a long list of “someday” furniture projects. Two from the top of the list include:
Reproducing this bookcase from the Blacker house:
And reproducing this light fixture from the Gamble House for my dining room:
But I’m still left with the question of what to do next. Sigh.