Take One Off the Bucket List

Some projects take long than others. As an example I built a work bench for my shop in 1992. The bench is the first project I built with my new Craftsman table saw. At the time my favorite can’t get enough, watch everyday TV program was The New Yankee Workshop on PBS, channel WTTW. The host was Master Carpenter Norm Abram. I bought his book and fell in love with the workbench. It was a good learning exercise for the new saw, and it developed my carpentry skills as well. There is one tiny detail I left out. It is the tiny detail I left out. The workbench included a unique built-in flush wood workers vise. I built the jaw part, but didn’t buy the screw mechanism for another three years. When I finally got the screw at a cost of nearly $100, it was too long for the bench. Oh well, someday, I’ll have it cut down and make it fit perfectly. The screw sat for another seventeen years until my oldest son asked me what I wanted for my birthday. “You know, what I really want is for you to take my vise screw and talk one of your machinist friends into customizing it.” Mind you, I worked in a place with ninety-three tool makers under my supervision and I couldn’t bring myself to ask one of them for the favor. That would be showing bad example. How would it look if the boss conveniently asked the company machinists to work on his G-jobs?

My son graciously said “Sure Dad.” I gave him the screw never expecting to see it again. After all he is a busy father with young boys who demand his attention and time too. The screw didn’t get here for my birthday last year, but it did show up for Father’s day this year.

The screw disappeared again, this time for three-months in my workshop. For the last month I have searched for the dang thing so I could finish the job. Then last night I saw the screw in a dream. It sat on top of my surplus TV in the basement out of harms way. The problem being that the TV was now so covered with stuff that make up all workshops that the screw became invisible. For that matter the TV was invisible too.

This morning I got up at my usual time fully expecting to get to the shop early to put my hand on that screw and to install the last piece of a twenty plus year old project. Wrong! Grandma Peggy had an agenda. Rather than piss her off I said to myself why not surprise her and take her on the rounds early, then go to the shop. And that my friends is what finally clicked. She hasn’t bothered me once all day long. I had two hours of fun installing this screw to the sliding block that is the vise jaw.

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The large black crescent at the bottom of the picure is my belly sucked in as far as it will go. It is still not far enough.

 

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Note, the many scars on the bench surface. This bench has been used extensively for twenty years.

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I lied, the bench is still not 100% complete. A wooden handle must be installed on the end of the screw. I promise the handle will be added this year.

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