Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Timing really is everything. 

Don't believe me, look at every major point in your life, when something profound changed, and everything was different from that day forth.

Go on, take a minute to think about it.

So now you get it, just how important timing is.

When did you get into woodworking, when did you really know you would hasten down this path, spend all that money, invest all that time? Did timing have anything to do with it? In retrospect, everything has to do with timing, as if each moment happens and the results are already determined. 

I know, you think,  this has little bearing in woodworking, but wait there's more! It really does...

Imaging the timing that goes into a piece, if you have a nine to five or a business that you run, there's so little time for wood, but you find the time and treasure it, slave over a piece for just moments, sometimes get to indulge in a day. Hours at a time, honing the surface, stalking a fit. and then it's over.

Well if you are an optimist it's really only half over. Or, of course, you're one of those weirdo's who likes to caress the material before it's entombed, immortalized, in a mercy killing of odd chemicals. You have reached a point when you really are no longer necessary, it is what it is and it's time to let it go. That first application of finish.

Sure you've made a couple test pieces, slathered on a few candidates, picked by juried vote (you do have two halves to your brain, you know) the aesthetic and convenience you require most, but until this point you've not sullied the piece itself. It's then you see it, the oil picks up the chatoiance, light glimmers, your tools reflect in the pool, and OH GOD, the color. You knew it was there, you've planned for it, you've planed for it, you've scraped and pared, and there it is, and it's incredible, then it's gone, it's dull, the grain raises, the streaks happen, the glimmer fades, and you know it's at least another two or three weeks before that moment strikes again...

So back to timing...
it's always a good idea to time those last two or so weeks into a period when you can be there an hour or two at a stretch and have too many other distractions, so you don't drop hair and eyelashes and skin cells and saw dust into your slowly evolving finish.

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