Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shop Talk - Rough Milling

The first tool I pick up when starting a new project doesn't have a cord or a motor. It is the dullest tool, yet it never needs sharpening. And I bought it in the children's isle of a craft store. What is it? It is a piece of chalk.

With all the lumber laid out and grouped by color and figure, I begin the enjoyable task of marking out the parts. Guided by the cut list, I search for pleasing part combinations that make the best use of the wood in an aesthetic, efficient and structurally sound way.

This step, performed with the humble stick of chalk, has tremendous bearing on the appearance of the final product. It requires vision and is a skill that is improved upon with experience and thoughtfulness.

I am proud to say that this step is what sets my work apart from the mass produced home center and discount store offerings. Those who look at the finished product closely will notice immediately. Those who don't have a trained eye will be bugged by something in that value piece that just isn't quite right. When it is done right, it feels just so harmonious that, again, you might not notice right away, but it will feel right from the very beginning.
This stack of lumber is the beginning of something great. I can feel it!


Don't look too closely, the shop is a mess ;).

David J. Ulschmid
Designer / Craftsman
~ Wisp Woods ~
Arlington, SD 57212

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