Using small boats is great when weather is good for flip-flops and lift offs, bikini tops and cutoffs (Thanks Travis). One needs to wade into the water a bit to launch, have water drip off the paddle shafts into your lap, and even though the seats in the boats are off the bottom, there’s usually enough water brought aboard that it wicks its way up pant legs that hang over the edge of the seat. It’s no longer that kind of weather, and the water temperature is dropping fast. We could outfit ourselves with cold weather gear, waterproof breeches, boots, and such, but that’s not our style.
Our wardrobe is not full of special purpose costumes for each of our activities. Watching bicyclists in their brightly colored spandex costumes brings chuckles. Good lord! They’re riding along NY country roads, not the Tour de France! The spandex must be helpful in keeping jiggly parts in place as they bump and bounce along the potholes and ruts of our horrendously maintained roads. (Did anyone ever tell you that the tax rates in NY are the highest in the nation? Don’t know what they do with all the money, but it’s not used on roads.) Those bright colors must be so they won’t get shot by the turkey hunters or run down by the Bentley drivers.
So, without special costumes, our boating season is over … and it’s the time of year to start thinking about building another boat. Well, not exactly. There are lots of boats that I think would be fun to build, but we have a couple of constraints. First, some are too large or heavy for cartopping and there’s no place to park a trailer on our property. Second, the boat shop is getting full and I’m not yet keen about building outside storage for a flotilla of boats. And no, I’m not going to start renting storage space.
Hmmm, maybe I should sell boats to make more room? Nope! That could bring liability problems and New York has way too many lawyers. NY is second only to D.C. with 20.4 lawyers per capita. OK, 20.4 for every 10,000 capitae.
Woodworking includes a huge number of variations. In fact, boatbuilding is a relative back water when compared to many other variants. Maybe the most popular, if the magazine rack at the bookstore, or the number of blogs mean anything is “fine” cabinet and furniture building. Unlike boatbuilding, all of that furniture stuff needs straight boring lines right angles and fancy joinery. No sweeping sheer lines, no wonderfully twisted planks, no rolling bevels, no intriguing acute joins, just straight lines and square corners. I don’t think I’ll ever want to master the dovetail joint. Besides, our house is already full of furniture, and I have no interest in building it for sale, dealing with 20.4 lawyers, etc.
Of course, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other interesting wood working paths to follow: houses, decks, specailty furnishings (think Shaker), boxes, decorative devices of all sorts, and more! Kari Hultman, “the Village Carpenter,” is a one woman show about the variety of woodworking one can enjoy.
Wood turning? Maybe soon. That partially finished treadle lathe only needs this ole crank to make some cranks and finish fitting it out.
Wood carving? Getting warmer (as in the Hot & Cold children’s hunting game). More in the next posting.