Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sanding boards

Sanding boards
Originally uploaded by daveterry.
This day was a board sanding day.

Mission: sand a stack of boards for reuse on the remodel. Why buy more wood and kill more trees when I can simply sand, nail, caulk and paint? So that's what I did.

I always forget just how rough the sandpaper is on my hands. Days later, when my hands have dried and the loose skin of my fingers flake as barbed wire, I wish I'd worn gloves. My fingers snag the material of my silk ties and create pills.

And when I shake a hand at a business meeting, I receive a questioning look, from the person who doubts my office profession. "How can this be," they wonder, "his hands feel as rough as a sanding block"? I feel an impostor. Business by day. Laborer by night. I choke back an excuse.

Truth is, I love wood. I love working with wood. Especially oak. White oak. Specifically while plying the wood with a plane and sander, it's fragrance is wonderful. Wood shavings snow the workbench and my work boots are dusted with a golden glow of oak sawdust.

I sand beyond the paint and wonder over the insanity of painted wood. I sand to see the grain, I sand to feel the texture, I sand to reveal the beauty of the natural tree.

I often have wanted to plant an oak tree in the backyard. Watch it grow to a full height. Cut it down and build something. A table, a chair, a rocker. Someday maybe. I hear oaks take years to grow.

Perhaps I'll plant some grape vines nearby. After building the table and oak barrels, I'll pluck some grapes and make some wine. I know I'll need lots of time for this. I wonder if it's too late to start now. Maybe I ought to get started. Tomorrow.

For now I'll draw trees and oak boards and stacks of wood sanded down. It's what I have time for.

Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. - Warren Buffett


Jim said...

What a great idea.