Quick Poll

I will be the first person to admit that I have not built everything that I have wanted to. I guess that’s a good thing, otherwise, you might be looking in the classified ads for Tom’s Big Tool Sale.

Some of the project I have yet to build because the time isn’t right ( a pendulum cradle for my grandchildren – with my boys both 14 and 11 – might be a bit premature). Some projects haven’t been built because space is an issue (I would really love to build a 16-person dining room table, but come on…).

And, some projects I haven’t yet tackled because – gosh darnit – I’m just plan intimidated. Yes, I’m afraid that I don’t yet have the necessary skills to build a chair.

No, I’m not talking about your average do-it-yourself Adirondack chair with some screws and pressure-treated lumber. I’m talking about stuff like rocking chairs. Or dining room chairs. Or an easy chair you can sit in at the end of a hard day, kick your feet up and let your cares just drift away. It’s something about the angles. And the joinery. And getting it to sit stable on the floor.

That’s my block, but I’m sure that most of you have other challenging projects you can only dream of building because they intimidate you.  This week, I have put together a brief list of project types. Be sure to tell us which one you think is the most intimidating to try. And, if we didn’t include your most intimidating project type, tell us what it is in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Quick Poll”

  1. I really want to do some decorative shoji work (a la Des King) but imagining all the tiny precise parts intimidates the heck outta me.

  2. A dresser with several drawers. I just can’t get my head around building a 4 or 5 drawer item and having all the drawers fit and work correctly.


  3. some of the best advice I ever heard regarding being intimidated was in an interview with Alec Guinness. he was speaking about being nervous about his ability and whether he was up to some challenge or another and mentioned that he had come across a quote from G. K. Chesterton which read “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly” to which Guinness said “Oh thank god!”

    it is worth considering when you start a project that you should probably budget for 2 or 3 copies. and use the first one(s) as something to get all (some) of the mistakes out on. (a good wood-burning stove is a great way to perpetuate the idea that you never made any mistakes.) if you don’t make any, you have enough to start the next project…

    fwiw, I’ve been building a wooden boat for the last 2-3 years and someone recently asked me “when you started, what made you think you could do that?”

  4. I think I’m ready to try a really nice Morris Chair, but a rocker like the one you have pictured is a little over my head at this point.
    I’d like to work up to a beautiful high boy with bonnet top and cabriole legs and ball and claw feet, but I’m going to have to increase my skill level.
    There is also the trouble that room for bigger projects in my house is getting pretty scarce.

    I have learned on some of my more complex smaller projects to just concentrate on one thing at a time, before trying to move on to the next part. And is has worked out pretty well so far. I used to get too anxious to get it done and then I’d goof something up.

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