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by Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

This month:

Early Spring & Upset Schedules

Parting (With A Tool) Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Design Criteria

"Don't Tread On Me" Drawer Liners

Upset Schedules

Mid-March last year we were shoveling snow and mid-April we were packing my shop equipment into a storage container for its move amid sleet, wind, and 33-degree temps. In mid-March this year the daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding, and the weeping willow has a full coat of new leaves. It was 76 degrees the other day, a new record high, breaking the old record set in 1976. Certainly, no one is complaining. Startled, confused, and slightly off schedule, but not complaining.

The corner cabinet that was in process in last month's article is finished. In addition to garnering a bit of additional storage in an underutilized corner, I created a place where my iPod and CD player can reside relatively dust free. For the top cabinet door, clear acrylic 1/4-inch thick material looks like glass but is infinitely more "shop-worthy." I can now easily see what track is playing and the remote control works perfectly, right through the closed door.

The small middle drawer is just right to hold an assortment of remote controls and a few other non-woodworking, but essential creature comfort shop accessories. The bottom cabinet is empty right now, but I have plans for a slide-out vertical shelf that will hold saws. So with that project all but finished, my attention has turned to the last shop fixture I will build for a while...at least until I get caught up on pending furniture projects. But, perhaps just to shatter our faith in Punxsutawney Phil, Spring audaciously and instantly blossomed forth and upset my schedule.

Of course, woodworking takes precedence, but there are some "Spring things" that just have to be done in a timely manner. That pre-emergent fertilizer and weed killer has to be spread before the weeds start sprouting or it will be a losing battle all summer. Those stubborn, reluctant-to-fall leaves that were eventually dislodged by snow during the winter have to be cleared away from the house foundation to discourage spiders, ants, and other critters from being overly neighborly. One must also carve out a little time to tune up the lawnmower, prune the fruit trees, restring the weed whacker, and till the garden plot. For us hard-core woodworkers though, the shop is priority. And nothing can deter me from this next project.

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