The carpenter's brain


I'm sitting here asking myself if carpenter's brain is any different than artist's brain. I spent all day yesterday working on the headboard and footboard for a queen size bed. And when I say "all day", I really mean it. I was fully absorbed from early in the morning to dinner time. I didn't even have a midday nap, something I always do.

The wood I was using all came from a century old barn from the St. Paul area that came down last week. One of my brother-in-law's work colleagues arrived with a huge load of barn wood on a long trailer as we were completing the tear down of the shed. It contained hand hewn timbers, shiplap barn siding, and some lumber from cattle stalls.   

My brother-in-law gave me to keys to his wood shop while he went off to work in town. Some tools were very familiar, like the table saw, that was once mine. Other tools, though less familiar, helped me create the holes and cuts that I needed. 

Time flew by as I was transported back to a different time when I spent hours and hours in Birdsong Studio 1.0 in Fort McMurray, which started out as primarily a carpentry shop. 

Measure twice, cut once. 

Think three steps ahead, while focusing on the task in front of me.

I did pretty good overall. I made a couple of slight errors along the way, but nothing that anyone would notice. 

The big difference from painting is the need to think in three dimensions. Also, functionality is very important. This project as an art piece could be considered done. However, it also needs to function in a bedroom. I'll need to do some sanding and finishing to make sure the wood doesn't snag blankets. The rails and support rails need to not only fit the mattress, but make it easy to make the bed.

Today I will focus on the side rails and the support pieces that will hold the mattress. I'm really excited to install it in the guest bedroom where we are sleeping. The mattress is currently on the floor and is a little awkward to get out of when my body is aching. I'm no longer a young man. 


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