Preparing for an exhibition #1: - My finishing marathon

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Blog entry by Div posted 03-24-2011 10:17 PM 2348 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I feel like a piece of steel wool. My arms are tired, my fingers are numb. My shop is strewn with rags, bottles and tins of various potions, pieces of sandpaper, wads of steel wool, coffee mugs and the odd scraper. Pieces of furniture stand everywhere. I have been sanding and rubbing and oiling and rubbing and oiling and polishing and waxing and polishing all week. The light at the end of the tunnel is faintly becoming visible…

Anyone in his right mind will build a piece of furniture and when the woodwork and sanding is done, take the time to finish it completely. Not me. When the piece is together and the basic sanding is finished, I put it aside. “I’ll do the finishing later,” says he confidently, keen to start on the next piece. Thing is, an idea has been forming in my head whilst sanding, so at that stage I’m eager to begin with another build.

The result of this train of events? I end up with 12 pieces of furniture ranging from coffee tables to chairs and cabinets, and not a single one is finished. Then, a sudden realization that the delivery deadline is less than a week away! Oh sh#$! Let the finishing marathon begin………

Guess what I will be doing this weekend!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

27 comments so far

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 3883 days

#1 posted 03-24-2011 10:43 PM

Oh, procrastinater, thy name is woodworker. ;-D Who am I to talk, I am the worlds biggest procrastinater! ;-0

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3937 days

#2 posted 03-24-2011 10:53 PM

I hate finishing. Well, I guess I hate prepping for finishing worse. I like that initial pop when the oil hits the grain but after that, I’m not enjoying myself. I guess I’m saying that I feel for you, my friend.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4184 days

#3 posted 03-24-2011 10:56 PM

Saddletramp, we are not procrastinators, we are EVENT planners!

Bertha, I sing this all day long: “I love finishing, I love finishing”. I have to! Thanks for the feeling.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View PG_Zac's profile


371 posts in 4633 days

#4 posted 03-24-2011 11:20 PM

My heart goes out to you – I’ve done this before and it is definitely NOT fun

Please remember to post some pics of the show

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 5158 days

#5 posted 03-24-2011 11:22 PM

Some people love to create, some to build and some to finish. Guess which one you are? Time to get an apprentice :)
Though, like most things, action breeds motivation, not the other way around. “Sink into the ugliness” ( from the poster behind Mulder in the X-files)

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4184 days

#6 posted 03-24-2011 11:40 PM

PG_Zac, thanks for the support dude!

Steve, I am the first, then the second. The last one is the necessary evil, umm, I mean pleasure! Apprentice, no way. No employees, low overheads, I sleep well, thank you!

Action breeds motivation – INDEED! Well said! “Sink into the ugliness” – Well said too! I think I will write this on my wall!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Schwieb's profile


1921 posts in 4706 days

#7 posted 03-25-2011 12:03 AM

My Dad taught me that preparing for the finish starts as you are preparing the wood parts and all the way along during the assembly. You can’t hide with finish what wasn’t done well to start with. I’m with you, in that I like to finish in batches and not necesarily single pieces, that’s not procrastinating that’s planning it as a process. Div, man I wish I could come by this afternoon and tomorrow and help you out. I can wipe and rub with the best of them for awhile anyway. Good luck!!

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 4332 days

#8 posted 03-25-2011 12:16 AM

Procrastiatory is the side effect of rapid multi-ideas that you want just to see each of them sooner not later. Finished or not doesn’t matter….lets see the next. Unavoidable, we all have it.
Thanks Div for putting it in writing.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4740 days

#9 posted 03-25-2011 01:57 AM

I’m right there with you Div….... King of the procrastinators here in my home! My wife will surly agree…..
I ALWAYS wait until the last minute to complete my projects and then, well, you know….. you are right in the middle of it. Maybe we truly are not procastinators, we really are just “planning for that last great event” !

Good luck with the finishing and hope to see some pics of the end results.

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4359 days

#10 posted 03-25-2011 04:12 AM

may the sanding bee minimum and the finish dry fast and shine to your satisfaction
so we don´t have to play the old Mick Jagger /rollingstones song (I Can´t get no satisfaction) for you

take care

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4578 days

#11 posted 03-25-2011 01:44 PM

Anyway Div, it’s good to hear that you are human like the rest of us. I think most of us don’t like finishing much. On top of the dislike, most of are not motivated enough to learn a lot about it and to provide a dedicated place in our shops and the stuff necessary to do the work with. Also the nature of woodworking with all the dust isn’t very compatible with doing finishing. On top of all that, it’s a messy business with a lot of cleanup to do afterward. I’m not complaining, but I suspect many feel the same way as I do about it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4132 days

#12 posted 03-25-2011 07:26 PM

Guess what you’ll be doing this weekend?

Trying to think of somebody else to blame? (grin)

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4184 days

#13 posted 03-25-2011 10:07 PM

Dr. Ken, thanks for seeing it my way…! If you could come in for the afternoon, I’ll…...give you my best piece of steelwool!
Sam, thanks for the moral support, all the way from down under!
Gene, nice to know I’m not the only one.
Dennis, that song might as well become my theme song in the shop!
Stefang, I hear you. I have the necessary stuff, I’ve learned a fair bit about it, it is the DEDICATED SPACE that is the problem!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View mafe's profile


13345 posts in 4333 days

#14 posted 03-26-2011 01:08 PM

Hi there my hard working brother in the African savanna. I just came in from outside (kind of logic…), here it’s almost five degrees outside… So perhaps a little finish could keep us warm.
Finish!!! I hate finish!!!
I love the thinking, the planning, the preparing, the act and the putting together – but the finish!!!
I think also there are two kinds of people, those who like to make, and those who likes to finish, I admire both eaqually. Some say the piece is made in the finish, I do not agree on this, but the finish can make it stand out so much more that even a bad design can get more eyes that a good design – guess thats the story of diamonds and woman…
Whis I could give you a hand.
In the mean while try close your eyes and imagine you and your beautiful wife on a beach, now you put that oil on your hands and you wipe it all over her! I better stop here, but this I’m sure will help on the motivation, and the furnitures are going to be full of life.
Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View mafe's profile


13345 posts in 4333 days

#15 posted 03-28-2011 09:42 PM

Hi my dear Div,
I hope life starts to show a light.
Look forward to hear how things are going.
Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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