Weekend Woodworker

I really don't know why "weekend woodworker" has implications of casual dilettantism and lack of seriousness. After all, when it comes down to it, almost every worthwhile experience is better done for love than for money, and I'm pretty sure that most weekend woodworkers aren't in it for the latter.
Even though I'm Monday-to-Friday-by-the-hour sort of chap (now there's a word I'd never thought to use: "chaps" wear flat hats and smoke pipes and prefer rugby to football, as distinct from "blokes*", who are altogether more blokeish), there's a special pleasure in working on weekends and evenings. Saturday is particularly pleasant: Joanne is home, so the house is warm and busy with bustle and bread-baking. The radio takes a different route through the day, with science programs (the weekly ironing can only be done whilst listening to Quirks and Quarks) and Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and other less quotidian aural scenery. It's uncounted time - free time - and there should be more of it. Of course, there is in fact an almost unlimited amount of it, if only one knew how to find it.

Last Saturday morning presented a difficult choice: plunk down 40.00 for a pair of uncomfortable seats in our local theatre (Artspring) for a "live" performance of Der Rosenkavalier from the Metropolitan Opera, or play in the shop for an hour or two, listen to "Perdido Street Station" on the iPod,  and work on Felicity's drawer fronts. This was not an easy decision, but opera as a Saturday Matinee in a crowded theatre on a small screen was the loser. ("Rosenkavalier" is also an opera that will not stand much daylight. To emerge blinking from four hours of Viennese sensuality and intrigue into the bleak watery January afternoon of downtown Ganges would perhaps be anti-climactic?)

* "Bloke" is actually an interesting word: It comes from the Shelta, which the OED defines as "an ancient cryptic language used by tinkers, gypsies, etc, composed partly of Irish or Gaelic words, mostly disguised by inversion or by arbitrary alteration of initial consonants".


One of the two drawer fronts has been screwed to a faceplate. The inner penciled circle marks the limit of the hollow to be turned; the outer line marks the position of a bead.


This is where things can get exciting. The drawer front has turned into an almost invisible propellor. It's almost inevitable that I'm going to stick something - the chisel or my fingers - into its path.

As shown, the recess has been cut, and a small bead formed at its edge.
(One advantage of the old Coronet Major lathe is that the entire headstock assembly (plus motor) can be rotated to lie at 90 degrees to the lathe bed, thus allowing this sort of operation.)
In the end there were no disasters, other than one drawer front flying off the spindle when I started the lathe (forgot to screw the faceplate on before answering the phone). The did necessitate a small repair, though not in a visible place.


Routing a recess in the front for the drawer handle.


Two drawer fronts ready to make up into complete drawers.