Canadian Woodworking

The very last minute

Blog by Rob Brown
April May 2023 issue

I don't know about you, but it's the perfect time of the year for me to bring in the outdoor projects that we've been enjoying over the summer months.

Most of you are probably wondering why these projects haven’t been inside for the past two months, but I like to leave it to the very last minute.

Leaving things to the very last minute allows me to use my bare hands to handle the frozen hardware on the railing bar I made two summers ago, and ran in our Aug/Sept 2023 issue. As a bonus, if your hands are at all moist, the hardware will fuse directly to your hands.

At the very last minute, I can scrape ice off the teak tables I also made two summers ago and ran in our Apr/May 2023 issue. Thankfully teak is durable, as it needed to stand up to my car’s ice scraper.

Waiting until the very last minute also allows me to learn mud has filled the tracks of my old metal shed before it froze solid, causing the doors to not open, as I try to fit the teak tables inside the shed for winter. So enjoyable.

At the very last minute, I was able to spend some quality time outside in the nearly freezing rain trying to get all the dead flowers and rock-hard soil out of the two cedar planter boxes I made this spring and included in our Aug/Sept 2023 issue. Those flowers were so old and shriveled that the term wabi-sabi wouldn’t even come close to describing their state.

Although I didn’t include it in our print pages, I did write about a small deck reno I did for my mother in a weekly blog back in April 2021. I eventually put a fabric shade over that small deck, though it needs to come down for winter. If you thought standing on a narrow wooden railing while trying to undo knots that the wind has pulled tight over the previous six months was hard, try doing it while the railing is icy and the sun is beating down on it. There’s nothing more slippery on the face of this earth. It’s an experience that I will remember forever, all because I waited until the very last minute.

Now, onto Christmas. Always a busy time of year, especially during the few days before the 25th. I guess you could plan ahead and make lots of gifts now before wrapping them and placing them under the tree a week in advance of Santa’s arrival, but that’s no fun, is it? Panicking, rushing and swearing you’ll never start making gifts on the 24th gets the adrenaline going. You don’t have to be like me and wait until the very last minute, but I recommend it.

My Teak Tables

The warm sun was out when I took these cover shots last spring. It was nowhere to be seen when I attempted to put these teak tables in the shed for winter.

Canadian Woodworking
Last modified: November 30, 2023

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement. Instagram at @RobBrownTeaches


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  2. Good article! Reminds me of my usual practice of waiting to put the Christmas lights on the house until we have a nice dark day about -10C with a brisk breeze keeping everything nice and stiff.

    1. Hi Bart – Many of the project plans featured on our website could be made out of construction lumber and plywood. However, we don’t have any projects that specifically use this material.

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