Obstacles abound. The arrival of COVID-19 and Shelter In Place initiatives have resulted in consequences and changes for every human being on the planet, including Superheroes! Booth construction has come to a grinding halt. All public events have been postponed until the fall at the soonest.
I have been fitting together the walls of the booth on the floor of my kitchen. the space is a little awkward but surprisingly efficient, as everything is within an arms reach. I manged to fit and align the components for the walls, including the acrylic windows over the weekend. The doors, held together with tape and string, lean against a shelving unit in my kitchen. I am now waiting for hinges and mending plates to arrive so that I can glue up the doors.
Today's confession: I am surprisingly nervous about gluing up the walls. Especially, since I lack a number of more sophisticated tools which would help insure that the walls are square. This is a serious point of no return for the project. So, I am kind of glad that I have a few days to wait for parts. Measure twice, glue once!
Today's insight: I think my superpower is making due with whatever is at hand. I have discovered that I can usually figure out a way to get something done by using whatever is available. For example, I have no large clamps to hold things together. So, I used twine, pencils, cardboard and tape to make a simple version of a band clamp.
It was a night of failures, lessons and insights. I worked at the shop again, tonight. The frame for the booth is coming along. All the pieces are cut to size and the dados are done. It was time to focus on cutting the tenons. Initially, I thought that I might cut these by hand. But, since there are 40+ tenons needed, not including the door side, I decided to take Scott's advice and do them using the old table saw. This, turned out to be a lesson in the benefits of patience, precision and overcoming unmet expectations.
After learning how to change and align the blades on the saw, and best process for making the tenons, I cut a few small test pieces. I was happy with the results. However, the first few "live" pieces which I cut, were not square. The tenons were uneven front to back. Perplexed and a bit frustrated, I sought expert advice from Scott and Rollin. After a thorough investigation, they determined that the miter gauge and the fence were misaligned. and made the necessary repairs and adjustments to calibrate the saw. Once that was done, I made the cuts.
It took me three times as long as I thought it would to finish my work tonight. But, it did get done. And, I learned a few things about old table saws and unmet expectations.
Today's confession: The kind and caring people working next to me at the shop are a source of encouragement and a great example for me. They are patient, understanding and resourceful. I was perilously close to giving up and going home early tonight. I could feel the frustration boiling up inside me, my patience evaporating rapidly. The arising awkwardness and mind chatter, palpable. I wanted to leave and be free of these feelings. But, what good would come of avoiding or postponing such things for another day. So, I leaned into the frustration, the agitation, the anger, the impatience, the self doubt, the insecurity about my project and my abilities rather than running away or giving up. Which, have been habitual strategies. Tonight, I stayed and saw it through, feeling awkward, insecure and squirmy. And, it was ok.
Today's insight: Things take time. Machines need maintenance. Precision is equal parts skill, care, effort and patience. Clinging to results and expectations leads to frustration, impatience and disappointment. Disappointment arises from unmet expectations. It is the direct result of not getting what I want when I want it. Disappointment perceives unmet expectations as inconceivable and goes looking for someone to blame. More often than not, that someone is me. And, I allow myself to be pulled into its spiral of criticism and despair.
Today's insight 2: I think I may be a bit of a diva and a drama queen!
When things go awry ...