Whenever two or more woodworkers find themselves within shouting distance of each other, conversations erupt. Talk of project accomplishments and challenges spews forth like sawdust from a kicked-over dust-collection bag.
So, it was no surprise recently when I heard one leather-face, callous-hand fellow with a tattered ball cap say he was in the gloss-finishing stage of a cuckoo clock he intended to be an heirloom for his grandchildren. He made no attempt to suppress his smile.
Another gent with pleated pants and button-down shirt collar shook his head slowly after describing an exotic plank that split when he drilled a pilot hole and countersink for a screw.
I was a bit shocked, however, when one elderly man told of his frustration. Did his project collapse in a late stage of the process? Were his mitered corners not squaring up? No. Turns out he was dismayed because he was unable to think of a suitable task to tackle.
Nothing seemed to meet his needs: not too much time required for completion; no need for a high-end shop; and, for similar reasons, no great expense for supplies.
I understood his predicament. We all have time pressures and, often, we want the gratification of project completion not too far beyond our beginning point.
Sometimes, simple, quick and inexpensive are just what we need.
So, I gave those specifications some thought.
Having already written and published two instructional woodworking books based on more elaborate and time-consuming projects, I decided it was time for another one that aligned with these other desires.
This build can be completed with simple, common tools and even limited work area. It also can be accomplished fairly quickly—in a weekend for basic construction and water-proofing.
The book includes nearly 200 process photos and detailed instructions with tips, tricks and shortcuts for easy and fast production. The designated template is sure to make the build a breeze.
On a subsequent meeting of the aforementioned sawdust makers, the crusty codger took news of the book well. With widened eyes, he said he was going to jump into a wood-and-foam boogie board project immediately.
As my mind was formulating an image of this septuagenarian splashing and dashing along the face of a pitching and pounding mammoth-size wave, he interrupted my thinking. “Maybe when I’m finished constructing it,” he said, “I’ll give it to my grandson as a gift.”
I encouraged him to give it a ride or two before making that decision. He just might want to put some nautical miles on it before passing it along to someone else.