Extremely Average #60: Uncle Merle's Table

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Blog entry by Ecocandle posted 03-03-2010 05:04 AM 1685 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 59: Flatening with A Router Part 60 of Extremely Average series Part 61: Eyeballing Challenge »

Tonight’s blog is more of an update. I am sort of in a zone with flattening my router table top, and don’t have much new to add. I did buy a 1” Freud bit, which has helped considerably. I am also getting better at making consistent passes over the wood, which has cut down on the slight variation from one pass to the next.

The most obvious part of this that has jumped out is that I have only done one side of the table top, and I just can’t bear to not do the other side as well. So there is quite a bit more work to be done.

My great uncle Merle liked woodworking. I was pretty young, the last time I saw him, and I don’t think I ever knew about his woodworking. I only found out, because I became interested in learning and my father mentioned it. A couple of weekends ago I was admiring a little round table with a lamp on it. It turns out that it was made by Merle Meeks. I know this, because he had written Merle Meeks and the year, 1977, on the bottom of it with some sort of burning iron thingy. I am sure they have a name, but alas, I don’t know what they are called. It is a lovely little table, made from what I believe is walnut. The leg is turned and I am told that he was a big fan of working on his lathe. It has a nice finish on it and is a lovely piece of furniture. He did not, however, take the time to sand the underside of the feet of the table.

Now, I am sure my parents have had this table for some time, and like most people, spend very little time examining the underside of the feet. Of course, they haven’t contracted woodworkers obsessive examiners disorder, or WOED. The first sign is when one notices the molding on a nice cabinet. Before contracting this disorder, which I am hoping will be covered under Obama care; I wouldn’t have paid attention to such things. Now I open drawers, check for dovetails, salivate at the sight of lumber trucks, and generally think about woodworking all the time. I am hoping that once congress passes health care reform, I will be able to buy all the tools I need, for medicinal purposes, and only have a small co-pay. That would be lovely and I am sure it would improve my quality of life and make living with this terrible affliction, more bearable.

The second sign of being WOED is when one starts to obsess about the areas that are not going to be seen by anyone, like the underside of the feet on my Uncle’s table. For me though, it is too late. I saw the saw marks on the bottom of those feet and thought, “I would have sanded that.” In truth, the feet were eerily similar to the feet on my saw horses, of which, I did sand the undersides.

So that is where I am right now. The top side is nearly done and I am ready to move on to the other steps, but because of WOED, I just can’t. So I think I will get back to work, flattening the part of the table that nobody will see, unless they are in the room when I am changing the router bit. This is unlikely, since I live in a town of 280, rarely get visitors, and if I did, wouldn’t make them watch me change a router bit.
I like to push the writing envelope whenever I can, so I would like to conclude today’s blog with the original intro I had written. Has that ever been done? Finishing with the beginning? I don’t know. Surely I am on the cutting edge of blog writing technology? I digress.

(Original Intro) I am suffering from a mild case of ‘writer’s block of cheese’. This is commonly defined as “A cheesy writer who has, more than usual, nothing to say, though that rarely stops him or her.” I could mention that today is the two month anniversary of my blogging journey, but that isn’t terribly interesting. I could talk about the flattening of my laminated router table top, but that is probably getting a bit tired. I was even thinking I could do an episode of Henry Wood, but alas, I just don’t feel it.

The end…or the beginning…I am not at all sure.

[Editor’s Note: If anyone has any other symptoms of WOED, please leave them in the comments, as this will help us to get attention we deserve from the AMA.]

-- Brian Meeks,

19 comments so far

View Kacy's profile


101 posts in 3413 days

#1 posted 03-03-2010 05:15 AM

Critical symptom is the almost overwhelming urge to quit a comfortable six figure a year job to live as a pauper and spend your days making big pieces of wood into progressively smaller pieces, much of which ends up fueling the wood stove.

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View sras's profile


5034 posts in 3457 days

#2 posted 03-03-2010 05:32 AM

For not having much to say, you did pretty well. Looks like the table top is progressing nicely. This thread may correlate to WOED…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#3 posted 03-03-2010 05:48 AM


Really great symptom. I loved ‘making big pieces of wood into progressively smaller pieces’. That was brilliant!


The link didn’t work. :-(


-- Brian Meeks,

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 3409 days

#4 posted 03-03-2010 06:03 AM

Maybe the following is a symptom of WOED: I walked into Walgreens (drugstore) just the other day and was struck by how unnatural was everything in sight. I’m sure Walgreen’s is not isolated in this..maybe it just felt like an appropriate place to endure the pains of WOED…

I think another symptom of WOED may be the way I look at a salespersona when they tell me a particular piece of furniture is “all wood”. I just nod as I look underneath and examine the particle board.


View sras's profile


5034 posts in 3457 days

#5 posted 03-03-2010 06:17 AM

OK try it now … (dopey me ;)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#6 posted 03-03-2010 06:21 AM


Those are definitely symptoms. Thanks.


It works now. I read the first page. Very funny. I better check out some of the others (700 Plus) Good stuff.


-- Brian Meeks,

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4318 days

#7 posted 03-03-2010 08:26 AM

Owning more wood than you can work in one lifetime is definitely not a symptom of any disorder. It’s called being prepared.

-- Jim

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3394 days

#8 posted 03-03-2010 08:34 AM


I couldn’t agree more, but of course, I am already full of WOED, so what do I know?


-- Brian Meeks,

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3436 days

#9 posted 03-03-2010 01:16 PM

Two symptoms that I have noted is the tendency to pull poor, unfortunate sales clerks over in the furniture aisles of discount stores and explain to them why their furniture will break within a short amount of time. On a good note, nobody asks me anymore if they can help me :)

And I have noticed, lately, after talking to the mailman about my flower boxes, he no longer strolls to my mailbox, but makes a mad dash and throws my mail on the porch. I guess isolation sometimes is a bad thing…


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.



56 posts in 3436 days

#10 posted 03-03-2010 02:15 PM

Brian I was wondering if you would ever get to a point where you had a block. You’re amazing. JIM

-- A day without sawdust is like a day without sunshine

View wayne's profile


6 posts in 3385 days

#11 posted 03-03-2010 02:28 PM

I knew I had something,, I’m glad to now to know what it is..

View Trikzter's profile


42 posts in 3584 days

#12 posted 03-03-2010 03:51 PM

Sitting in church yesterday for a funeral, I studied the pews and thought I would have made them better and I have no experience or expertise in such things. In my fantasy world I am good at woodworking, but it is just a fantasy.

-- Rick... A tree knows more about wood then I do.

View SPalm's profile


5332 posts in 4210 days

#13 posted 03-03-2010 04:12 PM

I am way too embarrassed to mention to normal people where my mind is traveling. I do enjoy it, although. I never get bored. Come to think of it, the phrase ‘getting board’ does raise some interesting thoughts.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3578 days

#14 posted 03-03-2010 05:05 PM

i hate to tell you brian – these are early stages , only to get worse – next thing you know you have spent you’re life savings and sold everything you own to buy tools and wood – worse than heroin!!

-- -erik & christy-

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4056 days

#15 posted 03-03-2010 05:44 PM

Trikzter and I are in the same boat. I’m delusional about how great a woodworker I can become when I plan out my next project. Thankfully, I often actually attempt the project and it brings me right back down to earth.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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