It’s hard to recognize your own progress over a short period of time. But if you wind up able to see a comparison over a longer stretch, it can feel pretty significant.

Stained Glass Chair

'Stained Glass' Chair

I’ve been making an older chair design this week; one that dates back about 20 years. I still like the design, although eventually I’d like to devote some time to updating it. Right now, I’m just making some subtle changes to both construction and design as I proceed. This chair used to be one I considered really difficult to do. Not any more. Later designs have called for greater mastery of many more challenging techniques. And so this is a refreshing change.

That’s one of the big advantages of always pushing forward, and not staying too comfortable in your work. Taking on new challenges adds to your level of experience, your skill-set, and your confidence.  If, on the other hand, you always stay comfortably within your capabilities, you’ll simply remain wherever you are.

Next project, find (or design) something you don’t quite know how to do, then figure out how to do it. Seek out help if you need it. But push yourself. You might have trouble (I certainly have). You might even mess things up the first time. But you’ll learn. And you’ll be a much better woodworker because of it.

Arch Table

I recently finished up an article for Popular Woodworking on my Arch Table, a piece I’ve been making for at least 20 years. It’s a something of a signature piece for me; perhaps because it’s part of my logo (thanks to my graphic designer), but more importantly, because it was one of the first pieces I did using flowing and branching curves, and a lot of my work since then has grown out of this piece.

The Arch Table in cherry

Megan at Popular Woodworking asked me to do the article about two weeks after I had shipped one out to a customer in Florida, so I had to make a new one. And now I’ve got a beautiful table sitting around looking for a buyer. It’s not exactly the same as the one on my web site (but is the same as the one shown here) but it’s available for $2795 (plus tax and/or shipping). That’s $200 off the standard price for this version, and $500 less than the version on the web site. Let me know if you’re interested.