Workbench #4: Rage quit (almost)

rageI feel at the outset of this post that I ought to offer up some apologies. Firstly, I must apologise to anyone who happened to be in the vicinity of my workshop around the time that this post covers. Secondly, to you dear reader, I apologise because I didn’t take any photographs of the glueing up, for reasons that will become clear.

Seeing as the dry fit went so well – most if not all of the joints were tight, but not too tight – I decided to glue everything up in one hit. I figured that the glue up would be even easier, because the glue tends to lubricate the joint.


sledgehammerThe leg and stretcher assembly went perfectly, but it took an absolute age to apply the glue to all the leg/slab joints, and so by the time I came to put it together, the glue had just started to go off. I had got all the joints half way home when a couple of them started to seize. Panic set in. This is about the time when anyone passing my workshop would have probably learned a few new swearwords. I let out a torrent of the foulest expletives, not to mention a tidal wave of oaths and curses, at the pieces of wood that, as far as I was concerned, had ruined my life forever. I found myself shouting at one of the legs, questioning its honesty, its integrity and the chronology of its birth and the marriage of its parents. At one point, it grieves me to relate, I even issued the unfeasible, yet entirely sincere and solemn, promise to ‘kill’ it.

20160728_141238I was just about ready to give up (and by ‘give up’ I mean selling my tools and workshop, kissing the wife and kids goodbye, running naked and in tears down to the beach, crawling under a rock and beginning a new life as an ormer) when an old Paul Sellers blog post floated into my mind with the words “Never let the wood tell you, ‘no’!”. I ran outside, grabbed my sledge-hammer and, like a frothing berserker, I started hammering and wailing on these cretinous lumps of timber, channeling my rage into the single-minded purpose of showing them exactly who they were dealing with. There was not the slightest possibility that I was going to let up until they bloody well did as they were told.

20160725_162239They took the hint. They won’t mess with me again. They won’t mess with anyone again.

Those bits of wood can consider themselves well and truly joined, whether they like it or not. And just to make it clear that they could kiss goodbye to any hopes they might have had about sneaking apart from each other, I doweled each and every one of the little buggers. Twice.


I ran into the house so that they couldn’t see me trembling and weeping with unalloyed relief.

I had a little lie20160728_134844 down so that I could take stock and re-evaluate my life, and I didn’t give a single thought to the fact that the event had gone un-photographed until I came to write this post. Once things had calmed down I fitted some ledgers to the insides of the stretchers so that I could fit the shelf later on. That will be the subject of a future post.

20160725_162220Anyway, that is quite enough for now. There are times when working wood is a joy. There are other times, times like this, when it damn well rips you a new one.

Humby-ho. It doesn’t do to dwell.



8 thoughts on “Workbench #4: Rage quit (almost)

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  1. LOL
    LOL – I actually literally laugh loud reading your words!!!
    Joint problems can always be solved with a bigger hammer, right? 😛
    A couple years ago I decided to glue a 5ft chest with m/t and 8 grooved panels all in one. By the time that horror show ended my wife (because of the noise) came downstairs and saw me with glue everywhere, covered in sweat, she paused a while and finally said “…you need a bath…”
    Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Had me laughing pretty good. This is the single best reason I decided not to mortise and tenon my long stretchers into the legs of my workbench-in-progress. I just knew something would f-up and the whole thing would be twisted and ruined. Experience is the great teacher. Always expect something to f-up, right on schedule!

    The bench is coming along great. All the pain will be worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hilarious post today. Just wondering, though – after you beat the wood senseless, did you prance around with both arms raised like Apollo Creed after winning a fight? Or did you recite a line from Bill Murrey in “Stripes”: that’s right – we came, we saw, … we kicked their ass!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neither I’m afraid. I believe I contented myself with a simple “La la laaaa!”, in the manner of the annoying little pig in ‘Babe’ before collapsing on the sofa for a nap.


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