It has been... a while, since my last post. It is rather remarkable what all has transpired since then. I got hitched, we had twin girls, who are now 4 years old, and for most of that time I did zero woodworking. The tools just sat on the shelf.
I am now in the process of a bit (!) of a resurgence. I'm trying to get down to the shop semi-regularly, and I'm in the process of reacquainting myself with basic skills. I am embarrassed by how much I have lost.. things that I used to do without a great deal of thought now require a moment to ponder before I get going. The manual skills are definitely rusty.
The even-more-embarrassing thing is how much skill I suspect I never had in the first place. I think my standards weren't as high back then.
I made painted pine shelves for the girls to have over their beds to hold their 'stuff'. The girls helped. It was agony. :) Their idea of helping is to try to pick up each shaving as I create it, and sweeping sawdust off of the bench and onto my slippers with every stroke of the saw. And they want to use tools. I need to have 'beater' tools that they can play with without making me crazy. They have destroyed the Crappy Crown Gent's Saw almost beyond repair, and their 'kind attentions' to my workbench have required much deep breathing, but I've survived it so far, and there are rewarding moments in there. I'm sure I still have a couple of Stanley #4's in the Closet of Unloved Tools, so I'll have to get them whipped into shape. The girls have a much easier time with highly cambered blades - much less resistance. I thought the girls would like wee little squirrel-tail planes, but I was wrong. They love the scrub plane with a very light cut. It's effortless to push, but makes a nice shaving for them to look at and show off.
I hope to keep this blog updated regularly now, and I'll be sure to get some pictures up.