My relationship with woodworking began much like anyone else’s with the discovery of the pile of sawdust underneath my dad’s table saw. It was awesome. I helped my dad with his projects by nailing random nails I found on the ground into a scrap piece of 2×4. I built my first wooden airplane in elementary school – two pieces of scrap wood I found in the garage, held together with a nail. You had to look really hard to see it as an airplane.
My affinity for woodworking has continued though, and my skill has progressed only slightly.
Several years ago I got careless around my own table saw… I don’t do that anymore. Thanks to that, I can’t really type ‘W’s or ‘E’s the way you’re supposed to, or hold a plate as easily, or pick up a pencil with my left hand. ‘X’s are a bit easier though, and I get to have some unusual moments of celebration!
Yet, I love working with wood, and making things, and when several of my worlds collide, nothing makes me happier.
My joy came to a zenith almost a year ago when our office moved upstairs in Boomer Theatre. Our video team had a new video studio, and a ton of equipment to give a home. Kam Stocks asked if I would be interested in putting together some storage for their equipment, and I was only slightly enthused to have been asked to help.
FIRST: THE SHELVES
These are the shelves Kam asked me to put together. I had mentioned to him an idea I saw on Frank Howarth’s YouTube page (my Internet crush), and with Kam’s blessing, I adapted it for our own office use. It’s a French cleat system, so every shelf or hook that you see can be moved anywhere else. There’s a reverse 45-degree angle on the shelves that rests in the opposite 45-degree angle of the rails on the wall. The greatest challenge of these was cutting an 8-foot sheet of plywood longways on my table saw. The shelves are rabbet jointed to the cleat, then have dado joints for the support legs. The supports are joined together by a beveled piece of wood as a spacer from the wall. Without that spacer, the shelf would lean out and pull the rail OUT from the wall as opposed to pushing down into the cleat on the rail. Well, check them out:
And here’s a timelapse of Mason and I putting those rails up. I’m using tiny super strong magnets to find nails in order to in turn find studs, but it wasn’t helpful. Every once in a while I would get lucky, but an irritating number of the mounting screws didn’t hit studs.
SECOND: THE OKLAHOMA
I’ve made a number of these guys, and they seem to be a big hit, and the team was on board with us having one for the office. We are the University of Oklahoma, so the state seems to be only fitting for our office. The shape is actually pretty accurate proportionately, as I draw it out in Illustrator first, then use those measurements for it.
We play some b-ball outside of school. We only really have a handful of doors, and even those are poorly placed for sweet dunks, so I made a little jig to hold the goal up in the middle of our open entry zone. I wish I had made the front a bit longer, because when you dunk, the thing flexes and swings like crazy, but it works.
FOURTH: SHAKO FLOATER
That’s a real word; look it up. We did a shoot for the Pride of Oklahoma to help announce something pretty special (you’ll see soon!) so I put this together one night using some cutoffs off the ground of my shop and some finishing nails. It worked quite fantastically. You’ll have to wait to see evidence of its existence, or, lack thereof, because we don’t give away ALL our secrets.
And hopefully, there will be many more wood projects to come for #TeamWebComm.