Beginning a new piece of custom furniture is always exciting and can only start after construction drawings have been made. I use the design process to figure out how to build the piece. Once a cut list has been made, the fun can begin by selecting the boards, which includes matching color, grain patterns, and width of the boards to the different parts of the item to be built. Once the boards have been selected, the rough cutting goes fairly quickly since I already know the designation for each board.
The rest of the process is more time consuming, and includes sanding to the thickness dimension (precision is very important), cutting all the boards to their final dimension, gluing up the panels, and cutting all the mortises and tenons. All the pieces get sanded prior to assembly. Depending on the size of the piece, these steps can take several days; however this is when I get into the “zone”. I am able to forget about the rest of the world and “get into” the task at hand. This concentration on craftsmanship and time-tested technique provides a form of meditation that leaves me energized and at peace with the world.