As I was doing a dry run before gluing the pieces together, the wood and I were chatting. The subject of football came up and we talked a bit about the pros and then college. I asked the pieces of my future mallet who his favorite college coach was, and he replied matter, ‘I like Jim Tressel, but my favorite would have to be Woody Hayes.’ I ignored the rare double pun and replied, ‘O…H’ and the hard maple quickly said, ‘I…O’. It was then and there that I decided that ‘Archie’ would be a good name for the mallet.
The mallet pieces agreed and became excited to get the gluing show on the road. So I cleaned off the workspace, applied the glue and then clamped ‘Archie’ into mallet form. I ignored the taunts of the mallet as I tightened the clamps. He kept saying “Tighter…come on wussy…tighten those clamps like you mean it.” When the taunting stopped I asked if it was acceptable. It was and I was about to turn off the light and let the mallet become one, when I remembered that there had been a couple of nice comments about the joke.
“Archie, several of the blog readers indicated that they liked your termite joke.”
Archie seemed pleased by this and said, “Do you think they might like another one?”
“I believe they would…pun intended” I said. If the mallet had eyes, I am sure that there would have been considerable rolling.
“What does a comedian who is getting a lot of laughs, who is ‘on fire’ as it were, do?”
“I don’t know; what?”
“He should stop, drop and droll.”
I rolled my eyes and turned off the lights.
Yesterday, amid all the storms, as I waited for the power to go out and a massive tornado to hurl me out of Jones County, I did some more tweaking of the handle. Shaping the handle with my selection of tools was a joy. I have no doubt that using a lathe would have been much quicker, and given a choice, I would have used one. I was not given that choice. Having an understanding of what is possible with a 50 grit belt and a belt sander does cause my mind to delight with what might be.
This brings me to the thoughts that have been running through my head. I have been considering all sorts of projects. Fanciful thoughts of museum quality pieces dance through my head. It is hard, but I do try to remind myself that, “One mallet handle does not a Sam Maloof make.” There is so much more to learn. I have cut but 5 sets of dovetails. I need to build something with a drawer in it. I need to learn how to do inlays, marquetry, carving, many more joints, planning, and to improve in all the areas I have already started to learn. My understanding of wood is limited at best. I need to continue to build shop stuff. If I keep focused on my original goal, I should be ok, but it can be hard. Talking about it though, is a help. Thanks for listening. And by listening I mean reading.