Inordinately proud

It’s natural to take pride in a job well done. But have you ever been ridiculously pleased with a project so small that it feels weird to be so enthused with it? I’m doing that right now.

My books on Civil War woodworking cover as much as I can cram in for folks wanting to make perfectly accurate reproductions of 19th-century items. From major projects requiring lots of time and effort to simple things that can be done in an hour, I put lots of research into them all to ensure that they are “period correct.” In that regard, I just finished the simplest, most basic project I’ve done to date, these cherry tent slips.

I got the overall size and wood species from Army regs of the period, and based the visual appearance on studies of wartime images from the Library of Congress, one of which – featuring President Lincoln and Secret Service director Allan Pinkerton in 1862 – you can see above. The only difficult part of the project was turning stock that wasn’t square, which I discussed last week, and that turned out to be not all that difficult. In truth, this is one of the easiest, least complicated projects I’ve done in years.

And yet I can’t stop obsessing over it for some reason, and couldn’t possibly be more pleased and proud of it. There’s something about it that just tickles me to no end, and I don’t know why.

I’m thinking that my reaction here isn’t all that unusual, and that you’ve probably felt similarly about one project or another over the years in spite of how simple it may have been.

A.J.

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