That damn bench

I can’t unsee the skew now. It’s like a curse. Perhaps it was because I was working on the floor immediately in front of it, which is not it’s best angle. There’s no correcting the legs, but I could realign the trim. I just have a couple scraps of trim, so I’d need to fudge it a little. Or maybe I should just let it be.

I made $100 on craigslist today by selling a few things from around the house. People just gather more and more things; you can’t stop it, so you need to constantly shed things to maintain a balance. Also, I spent a lot on ebay over this past month, and I’m trying to make up for it.

A clunky turquoise ring on my finger

Speaking of eBay, I got the clunky turquoise ring I mentioned. It’s pretty bulky, which I like, but the color is less a deep forest green and more an aquamarine. As such, it just doesn’t match my palette, and I’ll return to seller. I originally planned on getting a tattoo wedding band, but I’ve yet to do that. After almost four years, it’s probably time.

Bench Pre-Postmortem

I woke this morning and expected some praise for my nearly complete bench project, but Monica’s immediate reaction was that the legs looked skewed. She’s right, but I was a little disappointed there wasn’t any praise. I got up for the praise. She followed up the skew statement with “I’m impressed that you finished” which is almost a compliment. The thing about marriage is you often want to hear your spouse’s honest opinion even when you don’t.

Looking at it objectively, there are a few changes I could’ve made to improve the look. I think the legs look especially crooked because the front trim follows the leg’s bow rather than trying to hide it. I didn’t correct that bow in the legs because it was too laborious, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be as obvious as it actually is. Monica did admit that it was most noticeable from her view, which was playing with Zavian on the floor immediately in front of it. Hopefully no house guests do the same.

I am happy I (practically) finished and that we have a bench. We’ve spent the past year sitting on the steps when we slip on our shoes, and this will give us a sturdy location for that specific task. If my projects tend to be more functional than aesthetic, so be it.

I didn’t miss yesterday

I emailed yesterday’s blog post to myself from my bed last night, but it seems to have disappeared. It was about how Monica and I are starting to learn the Scrubs/Donald Faison/Bel Biv Devoe dance that has since become a Fortnite dance. It’s tough; we’re only a few steps into it. Also we saw Le Weekend, which was a 2014 film about a couple in their sixties visiting Paris and going for broke. We both gave it a solid B. I guess that’s pretty much the extent of the lost blog post.

A homemade bench nearing completion

I spent a lot of my freetime today knocking out more on this bench. I’m narrowing in on the finish. I attached the legs via some 1″ dowels. I don’t know why I thought I’d have to drill those through the surface, and I’m glad I didn’t. The rest of the time I poured into the trim, which I’ll admit is not the best color right now. I have some stain that should darken and enrich the grain. I also need to remove the screws, drill out the holes, and insert some dowels. That’s all for tomorrow.

I hid a lot of crimes in this bench. Nothing’s really square, and the slabs themselves are still really bowed. I see a lot wrong with it, but hopefully the average visitor to our house won’t scrutinize my handiwork. It is sturdy as hell, though.

The USPS website says they delivered my turquoise wedding band, but it’s no where to be found. I asked the mail carrier, and he said he was pretty sure he delivered it. He told me that I can call an 800 number, and they’ll check on the GPS coordinates of that “delivered” scan. Maybe he left it at another house.

Bench Project 2

A wooden bench made from bowling alley floor

Hey, that looks the same as yesterday, doesn’t it? I spent another couple of hours on it at ADX. I mentioned it’s all warped (or bowed, really), so I cut two channels into the bottom of the seat via the table saw. I chipped them away really, only about an eighth of an inch deep. I didn’t want the table saw to hit any of those hidden nails.

I also evened out the edges and cut some trim for the top. Next comes assembly, and I can fortunately do that in my basement. I’m not quite sure how I’ll attach the legs to the seat. I think I may fudge some pocket screws to secure it, and then drill down holes for large dowels from the top. I’ll put some dowels in the trim too. We’ll see if I need to use a router on the edge of the trim.

Bench Project 1

Wood is in surplus here in the Pacific Northwest. People leave perfectly good lumber out by the street for other people to casually take. Compare this to the midwest where the only thing people give away are the copious and amber waves of grain. It always comes back to the trees with me.

An unassembled bench made of slabs of bowling alley lane

I spent the evening at ADX, a shared maker space, hacking away at a slab of bowling alley lane I found out behind a furniture making shop. I should’ve realized that there’s gotta be some terrible reason if a furniture maker threw out this wood. Actually, there are plenty of terrible reasons. When the bowling alley contractor assembled this, they dispensed nails by the handful. I cut through this by hand because I was afraid I’d break the table saw blade on all the nails scattered about like dozens of baby Jesus inside a king cake. Also, it’s warped to all hell.

It’s a terrible craftsman who blames his wood, or his tools, or his general lack of experience. Let’s see if I can assemble this properly. If not properly, at least to the level of novelty collapsable bench.