The work continued into the night. Curly wisps of fragrant shavings arced through the air, pushed forward off the end of my workbench and spiraled down to gather atop the prodigious pile on the floor. The pungent “green” almost herbal scent of poplar sapwood mingled with the thick tannic acid smell of chestnut oak and the slight hint of seasoned cast iron stovetop as the fire cracked and popped.
To my left, rough sawn and sun blackened boards leaned against a purlin. To my right their transformed brethren glistened in tried and true elegance, feint pencil marks for Face side and Reference edge graced the mottled patterns of the swirling wood grain.
Throbbing aches pulsed through sore muscles unaccustomed to this “new” work. This finer work laid for a time to rest at the lonely bench, while the rougher jobs of timber framing and crude joinery devoured my days over the past many months. The heavy lifting and high climbing replaced by the push of the try plane and the swish of the tenon saw. Bold snap lines and fat pencil marks transformed into sharp knife walls and clean bright polished joints.
Stooping to add a handful of wood to the fire, I stopped transfixed by the dancing flickering light as it cast long deep shadows across the timbers. Shock at the memory of the job done last summer, the true enormity of that effort, sweating profusely in the sweltering heat as each joint was meticulously carved. Yes, how grand to be here, warm in winters might, nestled in the womb of my creation, resting worn tendons and sore bones while chasing a line into the night.