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Pick My Project to Use Up Some Abandoned Wood

Do you have any abandoned projects in your shop? I’m not talking about projects you haven’t finished yet. I mean projects you have no intention of finishing. Why? What went wrong?

Ball and claw footI may be a bit unusual since I do a lot of demonstration work for my school but at least in these cases I never intended on making something in the first place. I was just practicing or filming a lesson and I kept the piece around for some reason. I’m not sure if I was thinking I would eventually integrate it into a project in the future or not, but there they lie on a shelf collecting dust. These legs were demonstration projects. One on turning a pommel and the other obviously in shaping a cabriole leg and carving a ball and claw foot.

frame and panel doorThese were Hand Tool School lessons. One on compound angle dovetails and the other on frame and panel doors with hand cut cope and stick joinery. I keep thinking I could make a cabinet to go around the door but it hasn’t happened yet.

Still these are all things I made without an intended end. However on the other side of my shop stacked in a pile where my miter saw used to sit is some really nice Cherry. I had started building a toolbox back in 2009 to carry some tools to Woodworking in America (back when they did hands on classes) and I was tired or carrying tools around in a canvas bag of shame. My plans changed and I decided not to take my tools and this project was abandoned. abandoned Cherry toolboxYou can see the tails already cut and the center chisel rack divider is shaped and glued up. Grooves are cut, dados refined but this project just stalled. Ironically I have since built 2 tool totes and a major toolbox/mobile workbench.

Have you ever had the passion just drain out of a project and you just can’t get into it again? Its funny because this particular wood has some emotional baggage with it from when I was working in a terrible job and going no where fast. When I look at it now I can’t help but shudder at where I was at the time. You know when the day job sucks the life out of you and you can’t even bring yourself to get excited to go into the shop? At the same time, it is a talisman of how far I have come and just how fortunate I am now. I can’t help but wonder if this is why this project never came to light and still sits where I left it.

So what would you do with this Cherry?

Should I leave it as a marker of how my life has change dramatically for the better, or do I build something and make an even more poignant talisman. You tell me. Pick project and I’ll make it, and film it, and publish it. I only have about 6 board feet of material here and the largest piece is 8×24. So let’s crowdsource this. Pick a project, joinery, whatever and tell me what I should do with it.

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