Monday, January 13, 2014

Underhill Nail Cabinet and a Sneak Peek

In case anyone has noticed, its been a bit quiet around here lately. Two reasons. The holiday season is our busiest, and we've been hard at work getting our new leg vise in order. So shortly before the New Year, I set down my drafting pencil, engineer's cap and mug of spiced cider and headed out to the shop to use some Benchcrafted product.

I started this nail cabinet purely on a whim. And I finished it with an equal amount of surprise. I didn't know it at the time, but this little cabinet caused a big change in the shop that I hadn't planned. The wall behind my main bench is not exactly inspiring. Unpainted drywall, steel shelf standards and mdf shelves with eight years of accumulated detritus. I wasn't about to hang my new cabinet in that mess.

This is what the back wall of the shop looked like a couple years ago. I desaturated it for your benefit.

So I tore the shelves out (we've already repurposed one in an adjacent building--you've got to have a little Sanford and Son here and there) and piled all the garbage on the bench. I had two or three empty cans of linseed oil on that shelf. Yeah, empty. Too lazy to throw them out? Nope, the garbage is lower than the shelf. If you have the answers, please, I'm searching.

A call to my local lumberyard ---okay, wait, for you kids, local does not equal Home Depot (even though the words home and depot sound local) and no offense to Home Depot, actually, yes, offense to Home Depot---yielded a couple hundred square feet of prefinished natural hickory flooring, which I nailed to the wall and part of the ceiling. Admittedly, not my ideal look.

My first choice? Wide, unfinished quartered white oak run vertically. Cost: much folding money.

Cost on the hickory flooring: $0. (see kids, I told you to be loyal to your local yard)

The hickory definitely has the cheesy "sawmill office" look. But who doesn't like a cheesy sawmill office? All I need now is a circa 1987 Mr. Coffee with sludge rings in the carafe to complete the ensemble (pronounce that as if you was French.)

Now, lest you think I stopped at sawmill office, think again. I went all the way with it. All. The. Way. (I always wanted to try the single-word sentence, three sentences worth, with periods. Never. Again.) I could have stopped, lived with the cheese. But what is cheese without.......crackers. Yeah, cheese and crackers. The age-old combo that can't be beat. Like a guy walking down the street with an open jar of peanut butter, then unexpectedly bumping into a woman carrying an open-air chocolate bar. Or the Wonder-Twins putting out a forest fire by taking the form of eagle and the shape of water bucket. Yes, I combined cheese with its natural partner and Cracker Barrelled my shop.

I couldn't resist hanging up some of my French workholding devices on my new Dean & Deluca-class cheese-and-crackerized southern wall. Lest you think I went whole hog and installed the track lighting just for this, no, they were already there. But get this, I installed them retroactively in the future, during the past. So they were there already, even before they weren't, in anticipation of them not existing anticipatory-ily.

After I finished the decorating, I called in my shop stylist for a Feng Shui check before hanging the nail cabinet. There are some balance issues with my garbage can and scrap bin, but I think the new cabinet's Qi more than makes up for this slight imbalance.

Oh, and lest I forget, here's the sneak peek: