American Woodworker

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Today I finished this king bed. It’s made of cherry wood and and a wood some people call tiger maple, or curly maple, or fiddleback maple. I call it amazing.

The best moments in woodworking are the very beginning of a project and the very end. Like a pilot, I live for the takeoffs and the landings.

In the beginning my heart races as I pull wood from the rack and try to imagine which part I will make out of which piece. I get positively chirpy as my mind reaches wide to wrap around the days and weeks ahead of me, all the fun I’m about to have.

And at the end, like earlier today, there is always a moment when I push the last drawer into place, or lock the last bedrail in, or wipe the table top off with a rag, and I suddenly realize that there is no more work to be done on this piece. I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I set the piece in the middle of the shop facing my workbench. I turn away from it and walk over to the bench, hoist myself up to sit, turn back to the piece, open my eyes, and take it in. Sometimes I’ll sit there for half an hour, most of that time saying only three words to myself: I made that.


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Attachment: sunrise bed.jpg