Production Mode; It’s all about the Process

Ready for final sanding and finish

Ready for final sanding and finish

The work has progressed nicely on the Beer Boot servers and although my preference is building furniture, this is a good experience!  I’ve often said that the process of making anything is what’s exciting.  That planning stage where you’re working out any potential problems in your mind and actually watching the project take form mentally — that’s the magic.  The icing on the cake is when you see that 3 dimensional object before you and you realize you’ve accomplished the goal of turning your mental image into a real item.  Here are my 5 prototype servers next to the sample I was given when I accepted this commission.

Templates for Boot and paddle ends

Templates for Boot and paddle ends

In the first post I concentrated on making the template to fit the shape of the boot.  There was a bit of a challenge since the boot is somewhat bulbous but after 4 attempts I had a pattern that had the right fit.  Putting them at an angle of about 60 degrees allowed me to minimize the width of the paddle (4 1/4″) and placing it at an angle also presents it as a boot more than a glass.  Once the template was made it was attached to a fence to insure that the cutouts would line up.  Another template was made for the shape of the handle as well as the opposite end.  After marking the center of the opening, lines were drawn on the paddle blank so the opening could be traced.  What followed was a production mode to make the blanks with three cutouts each.  Here’s where it would have been nice to have a Festool router and vacuum cleaner set up — routing is messy!

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Making the recess this way may add another step on the drill press but in my opinion it’s easier and not nearly as messy as doing the entire process with the router.  Here is an application where CNC equipment would be ideal.  Next, I turned my attention to shaping the remainder of the paddle.  A 1/4″ hole was drilled in the end for hanging.  Once again, time for templates and pattern routing.  This time the pattern is an external route rather than an internal one used to make the cutouts.

You probably notice my “bench on bench” in these pictures.  That is such a back saver!  It’s always used for carving and joinery work but I found that for routing like this it’s equally valuable.  Bringing the work up so you’re not constantly bent over is a God send.  It’s not the bending over that gets tiresome, it’s trying to straighten up again!  You younger guys will appreciate that as you enter your sixth decade of life.

About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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