Well. It’s no pipe organ. But it’s a start!
Yesterday in class I completed my third and final project of the class, my first attempt at dovetails. It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight weeks since starting this adventure, one that I had a bit of mixed feelings about. I have been so certain of my desire to be involved in pipe organ building, but equally as apprehensive about whether or not I’d be able to learn the skill of woodworking I’d need to pursue this dream. As this class comes to a close I think God has given me an answer to that! The answer is, yes, I can learn this stuff. And not only that, I’m finding it very enjoyable!
Admittedly, I’m somewhat relieved. My lack of woodworking skills were on full display back in an interview I had this past October (a factor that I feel is making any organ builder stop and hesitate about me, and rightly so). But, I decided to do something about it. This first class is a very tiny step towards doing something about it. I didn’t build much, but I learned a whole ton.
Another thing I found validating about the last eight weeks, is something I kind of suspected all along–that my background in art/design would be an advantage. Maybe more the design background. In some ways the similarities of laying out a project in wood and building a page layout for my church’s newsletter are greater than I thought. I think that has been a huge contributing factor to my enjoyment of this class!
It was also validating to hear my instructors say how well I’m doing in the class. They’ve been impressed with the results of my work, which gives me a confidence boost as well. Everything pictured above was made with hand tools, with the exception of using a power drill, twice. And given this was the first time I’ve done some joint work (by hand) and all, I have surprised myself. This class has been very rewarding.
I still long to find a job with an organ builder. And I still firmly believe that is the direction God is slowly working me in. But it’s taking lots and lots of time. And I’m impatient. I have to keep reminding myself that the skills and things I’m learning now, will only help me in realizing my dream. And perhaps this is not something to be rushed.
Next week is the last session of the “101” course. We’ll mainly be setting down the groundwork for the “102” course in which I’m going to be building a small side-table, with much of the focus being on mortise and tenon joinery, as well as an introduction to the various shop machinery to be used in that and future classes. (You should see all the wonderful tools this shop has!) I plan on taking the “103,” the cabinetry class, and possibly the more advanced hand tool class as well. This of course, all assumes we have adequate funds to do so. But I’ve been told we’ll make it work!
I’m really looking forward to continuing this new education. It’s been fun and looks like it’s going to be even more fun! I just pray that in the end, this was all worth the time and money we’ve invested! My hope is once I have a few more substantial projects built, it will be a fair demonstration to any organ builder I talk to that A) I really am serious about this, and B) I CAN learn this stuff.
Oh, and if you were wondering. My “façade” project is coming along. Very very slowly. But here’s a picture of some of the progress I made the last time I was in Indiana!