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A Winter Woodworking Vacation

A Winter Woodworking Vacation
A Winter woodworking vacation! I just got back last Friday from the ultimate winter vacation! Was it in the Caribbean?, Florida?, the Bahamas? Nope, it was in the West Kootenays of British Columbia! Yep, high up in the mountains with the snow, snow and more snow! Those who know me know that I don’t do snow very well so why was it the ultimate vacation? Well, my wife and I, along with our daughter and her boyfriend, spent a week visiting our son and his better half at their lovely new home in the Southeast corner of the province. It was a wonderful week with the whole ‘fam damily’ being together for the first time in a couple of years but what made the trip extra special for me was the chance to do some woodworking with my son. It was several years since we worked on a project together.

He showed an interest in the small boxes that I made and although he runs his own home construction company working on smaller projects is relatively new to him so happily, ‘dear ol’ Dad’ was there to give a ‘leg up’. We decided to make one out of Birds Eye Maple and Walnut.

A Winter Woodworking Vacation

It measures roughly 8″ X 4″ and is about 4″ high. It was finished with a few light coats of polyurethane.

The Walnut was from a couple of pieces of flooring cutoffs that he had and the Birds Eye Maple was from right here, from the forests of Nova Scotia. That is a story in itself. 🙂

He still had an acoustic guitar here at home and my wife decided to bring it out to him and since there was no case for it we wrapped it up in bubble wrap. We needed something to protect the neck of the guitar so what better than to use a 6″ X 1″ X 4 foot piece of down-home Birds Eye Maple running up the back as support? 🙂 It worked great and got across the country all in one piece! (Sure wish we took a photo of the wrapped guitar. It was wrapped so well that if you dropped it from waist level it would bounce 6 inches off the floor!)

Here are a couple of more photos of the finished box:

A Winter Woodworking Vacation
A Winter Woodworking Vacation
A Winter Woodworking Vacation
A Winter Woodworking Vacation
A Winter Woodworking Vacation

Before we started to build the box we took the time to make a few table saw jigs. We made a couple of cross-cut sleds, a dual spline jig and a picture frame jig. Once completed, it surprised me just how much these helped him get started. I always thought of them only as time savers but they also added so much to the simplicity of making his projects, and therefore, confidence, that he was quickly on his way to making small boxes and picture frames on his own.

A Winter Woodworking Vacation

The four jigs only took us a couple of hours to make but I’m sure they will save him hundreds, even thousands, of hours over the course of his new found hobby. The confidence they’ll give him in creating safer, accurate and repetitive cuts is priceless.

Although we weren’t able to spend a lot of time in the shop (family outings and snowboarding took priority) we were able to finish a few projects and had a great time doing it.

The snowboarding? Oh no, not me! The kids went snowboarding while Mom and Dad stayed at home and made hot chocolate and cinnamon biscuits for their return. 😉

Yep, it was the ultimate winter woodworking vacation.

Although, with his new interest in box making it looks like I won’t be getting any more flooring cutoffs for my own small projects. I guess I’ll just have to make do with the photos he sends of all his creations… 🙂

Btw – He’ll be coming home for a week this summer and we’re already planning some shop time. He’s keen on trying out the lathe. I can’t wait. 🙂

Back to the shop…

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