Andrew and I have a dream to have a wood shop of our very own. We want a place to teach our kids how to use tools and build whatever idea pops into our minds. Currently our projects are accomplished with Andrew cutting the wood on campus and us gluing at home. This works well but I’ve really missed being part of the entire process. Two weekends ago we decided to take the whole family along to work on the kids Christmas presents. I am thrilled that we have the perfect idea and I wanted to be part of the construction.
We began at home drawing out the lines that we needed to cut at the lab to build the mold. We headed to campus early so we could hopefully be done before lunchtime. Emily loves telling the story of the building being locked, driving to Andrew’s professors house to borrow the key, and then returning to the building and the key working. Once we got in we unloaded all of the wood and the children and began the slightly cumbersome process of getting in and out of the elevator. This step alone had me seriously rethinking our plan.
Nathan found plenty to explore as we got things set up in the shop. Emily packed and unpacked the diaper bag and carried it around. I started with the bandsaw and was completely in my element. Things were admittedly rather chaotic and crazy juggling kids and machines. I loved every minute and Andrew demonstrated his high levels of patience. He kindly let us know that it was generous to say it only took twice as long with us all together.
Nathan and Emily both enjoyed the temporary building blocks from the pieces of our mold.
The last major cut needed both of us to safely operate the table saw. We set up a show for the kids outside the room where they would be undoubtedly safe. When we turned off the table saw we opened the door to two red faced screaming kids. Emily told us at dinner that night, “Nathan was sad that he was left and then I was sad you left us too and we were crying.” Yep.
I think Emily’s favorite part would be cleaning up. She and Nathan played with (and ate) the saw dust and then helped me vacuum it up while Andrew finished a few details.
When we got home Andrew finished building the mold with Emily and Nathan close by. We soaked the wood for a couple of hours. Andrew attempted the initial bending with a crowd. Nathan climbed it all.
We let the wood dry in the mold for about 24 hours and then used our living room to finish drying all the wood in the correct shape. I’m certain I will miss the creative way projects take over our house when we have a shop of our own.
We’ve been gluing three pieces of wood together in the mold the last two weeks. It takes quite a bit of time to make sure they are thoroughly dry. This is a part Andrew does while I’m out with the kids or they are asleep. We need to do some final trimming and apply finish before they are completed. We can’t wait for Christmas!!!