MIWG Newsletter – December 23, 2019

‘Twas the Night Before…

’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shop,
The unfinished projects lay on the bench top:
The unsanded carving lay alone by itself
Awaiting attention by pre-occupied elf.
The dust on the floor from incomplete work,
Lay thick and untended by the unfocused jerk.
It was home to the spiders who lay in wait
For rare winter-time flies to soon take the bait.
Behold, the door opened, and on came the light
The fat elf himself had entered the site! 
He gazed at the workshop’s array in distress
And resolved to immediately clean up the mess.
He planned his attack, and rubbed hands with glee,
But the unfinished reindeer he soon did see.
He headed for switches to turn on the fan.
(For that is where sanding always began.)
But then he remembered the new downdraft table,
Its unfinished condition would not enable,
Efficient collection of dust from the sanding.
And so he moved on to tasks more demanding…
Of his rapid attention... like the glue without lid,
And the many lost tools that somewhere he hid
Within the realm of this confusing clutter.
When suddenly it seemed right to mutter…


He circled the shop and espied something big…
The incomplete bits of a router-based jig.
“Oh yeah! I needed that too!”
He declared as he took in the view.
He reached for the jig but fell hard to his knee,
For he’d tripped on a box that he’d just failed to see.
He rolled on the floor, and sprawled in the dust
As he opened his mouth and loudly he cussed…


And then he recalled what earlier he'd planned -
A cabinet support for new drill-press stand.
He’d downloaded the plan and changed it a tad,
But somehow "I've lost it", he cried — "How sad!"
So on now to more of those important chores
Like clean-up, and tidying, and sweeping the floors
But wait! There’s the drill that he needed to find.
To finish a project that lagged far behind.
He reached for the drill with his calloused paw, 
But in that moment with horror he saw
That the battery was dead and he wouldn't be screwing,
Or joining, or fitting, or finishing gluing!
And so with a sigh he reached the light switch
And keyed the alarm with nary a hitch.
As stepped out the door with a dancer-like twirl
He shouted, “Hey spiders! Enjoy that Squirrel!”

Dear fellow woodworkers,

As you can see, I am easily sidetracked by suddenly more important/interesting things, and the lame poetic effort above was just one more sideshow that encouraged the “Squirrel!” effect in me. As usual though, I had fun and I guess that is what counts. (It may be a long time before our Shop Tour Chair ever decides that my workshop should be seen by anyone else!) 

Meanwhile, others, like my wife, our President and our Wood-recovery Chair help to keep me focussed on time-sensitive events such as yard-work, Presentation agendas for the upcoming year, and completion of Frost Field projects such as our newly expanded wood storage area.

  1. On the issue of upcoming presentations, I have asked François Lavigne to show us some of his work with Scotch Broom carving. He will be at our January General Meeting;
  2. For February, we will most likely have Richard Brown from Saanich who will show us how he built his boat “Moonfleet” from dimensioned lumber;
  3. And as for Frost Fields, there will be many exciting projects to work on in the new year, and I am looking forward to working side by side with many of you as we expand our activities including workshops and presentations at the mill site. Plans are also afoot for a platformed seating/coffee area, construction of a biffy, and the addition of drying racks for the expanded wood storage.

My best wishes to all of you for a wonderfully happy and safe Christmas holiday season – shared with family and friends! Enjoy the successes of your woodworking endeavours, even as you learn to cope with distractions!


Tony Dobson, Vice-President – Programs and Events

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