Winter is coming, and take a close look and tell me what you see

Author: Rob Brown
Published: October 29, 2021
rob brown at his workbench
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I much prefer working in the warmer months, with the windows and doors wide open, welcoming the sun and wind. Maybe it’s an obvious thing to say, but I really do miss it already.

Peterborough, Ont., where I live, has had single-digit highs over the past week, and the 10-day forecast doesn’t include any warm days. It’s not a surprise, as it’s almost November. Our warm fall spoiled us, and now reality is setting in. The first few weeks of cold temperatures are the hardest, as the warm breezes that once took away much of the airborne dust and the warm sunlight on my shop floor are still a fresh memory. Two weeks from now I’ll love my heater and will have forgotten what it’s like to have the windows open. It will be the new norm, and that will be fine.

Goodbye to the Open Doors and Windows
Here I am, enjoying the last warm day of the year.

rob brown at his workbench

Everyone Should Have One
This is always in my shop apron, ready for action.

Everyone Should Have One

A 'Flex'ible Helper
I mentioned carving wooden spoons a few weeks ago. This helped with that task.

A flexible helper

Shave and a Haircut
This fun tool has always spoken to me.

Shave and a Haircut

Center Ice
This pointy helper is great to have around.

Center Ice

Never Have Enough
Used to shrink the gap.

Never Have Enough

Take a close look

In each of our issues we run a “Micro Mystery” in the Web Shavings section and include the answer in the following issue. These are an extreme close-up of a woodworking tool, accessory or item and it’s often a lot of fun to try and guess what the object is. I also usually make a “Micro Monday” post on Instagram and Facebook to kick off the week, so follow us on one of those platforms.

The other week I apparently posted a pretty easy one, as the correct answer was guessed about a half dozen times within an hour or so. I’ll include it here, along with a few I recently posted on our social media channels and include the answers in next week’s column. Try to guess what product is pictured before reading the caption, as I’ll add a short clue in the caption under each photo. By the way, I’m not sure why all of the clues sound like crossword puzzle clues. That does give me an idea, though. Maybe I should add that to my winter project list.

In the warmer months, I notice a local cat walk by my shop door fairly regularly, and the birds making noise are regular shop sounds. I’ll say goodbye to them for a while, too. On the up-side, I’ll have fewer splinters in my legs now that I’m wearing pants instead of shorts, and the wind won’t startle me as it slams a shutter closed with a gust.

However, there is something nice about spending time in the shop in the cooler months. Snow may be falling outside the window, yet my shop is nice and warm and there are fewer things to take up my free time, compared with summer. If you have a heated shop, winter is a great time for working wood. I do still hope for even one or two warm days before we see the white stuff, though.

I’ve got a sideboard cabinet planned for the next few months. It looks like I’ll make a floor-standing jewelry cabinet for a client. Likely a few Christmas presents as well. I might even get the kids in the shop so they can make a few presents. Do you have any big projects planned for the winter?


Rob Brown - [email protected]

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

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