Turning Archive 2007

Why I haven't been turning + pics and story! *PIC*

David Breth
>I alter between lurking and active on this site, depending on how much turning I'm doing. I've been mostly lurking since September becasue I've been building a dollhouse (from a kit) for my daughter. They give you all the wood cut to size, trim pieces are 1/8" plywood that you extrude. Some pieces actually fit the way they are supposed to.

There's something on the order of 200 hours in this thing and by wag-estimate about $450. Placing the roughly 1,200 cedar shake shingles took about 16 hours. Dollhouses are glued together. I went through almost three bottles of wood glue on this puppy. I know zero about wiring, but I electrified this house.

The payoff will be on Christmas morning. I'll wait until there is a lull in the action, then move it to her bedroom, and suggest that she go upstairs for something. I'm planning to let her have that moment by herself. She didn't ask for it, so while I'm sure she'll like it, you never know if it will get extended play. Also, I'm going to tell her that if something breaks off, I won't get upset, just tell me and I'll do my best to fix it. It isn't a shrine, its a toy.

There are parts of this that were a stretch for me, it was challenging, frustrating, expensive, and it became a major grind at the end, but I can look at that house as a body of work and be pretty doggone proud of it.

And by the way, the entire thing was nearly compromised, along with every single toy we got the kids for Christmas. Last week, at about 1:00 a.m., I was putting shingles on. My daughter walked in on me and busted me cold. I was standing on a stool reaching over my head to place a shingle, and my daughter Jessie, or Cindy Lou Hoo as I have come to think of her (the little girl from the Grinch) appeared in my workshop, right next to me. She had a nightmare that the Grinch flooded the basement of her school. She asked why I was working on that big house. I told her almost exactly the same thing the Grinch told Cindy Lou Hoo. "It belongs to a guy's daughter at work, who broke it, and I'm fixing it for him." Her response? "Cool."

But the worst part wasn't over. Earlier in the evening, my wife and I had laid out every single toy that we purchased for the kids to assess what was there. It hadn't been picked up yet. She literally walked right through all of it to get to me in the workshop, including walking right past the things she specifically asked Santa for. I carried her out of there fast, telling her to snuggle in on my shoulder. When I put her in bed, she asked why I walked so fast. "wasIwalkingfastIdidn'tmeantowalkfastsorryifIdid." I could see her wheels were starting to turn, so I tucked her in super-quick, gave her a good dream, and beat a hasty retreat. Then I promptly went downstairs and blamed my wife for leaving the basement door unlocked, which was patently unfair because it was both our fault and nobody's fault at the same time. Its the kind of dumb thing you do when you're upset. Fortunately, Jessie was just too out of it and upset by her nightmare to notice. She never mentioned any of it afterward. My wife and I were terrified the next morning, convinced there would be unavoidable answers to unavoidable questions.

Anyway, the moral of the story is my heart grew three sizes that day, and it looks like radio silence was preserved.

Sorry this is so long. I've been looking forward for a long time to post these photos and tell the story. Hope you enjoy the pics.

David B.

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