With the year end having just passed, I spent most of my free time writing. This is between dinners and family and friend get togethers. People I know were coming and going, leaving on trips... a nice time of year overall and an opportunity to catch up with friends. The writing I refer to is a highly detailed tutorial on building a display cabinet. In this tutorial I cover every aspect of designing and creating such a cabinet with all the techniques and knowledge I have accumulated. There is a considerable amount of photography and sequences in the tutorial. It is almost complete.. and I'm getting excited about getting it out there.
On another positive note, I read the economy is improving. I guess people are getting tired of all this recession talk. As all cyclical economies go, we might have crested bottom and be on an upturn. This bodes well for the woodworking community, tool makers, machinery makers and wood suppliers. I also see a continued movement towards hand tools, although it is tempered with a mix of both machinery and hand tools. The realization that using hand tools is very often not much slower than setting up a power tool is less and less of an impediment to hand tool use. Advantages such as no noise, no dust and the need for smaller workspaces make hand tool use more and more appealing in this new era of smaller homes, smaller budgets and more awareness of environmental concerns.
I also spent some time acquiring some interesting wood. I like to hand pick the boards I use in my furniture pieces and often seek out either clean, straight grained wood or wood with interesting graphics, figure, colors, and tones. It really depends on the application. In the past few years I tend to place more and more emphasis on the woods which will form the furniture as well as the design of the furniture piece.