The Barony of Irony

Yesterday I took a trip to my local hardwood dealer to buy the material for my Anarchist’s Tool Chest.

Metro Hardwoods is not the kind of old school lumber yard where you’ll find forgotten gems in some dark corner (they opened in late 2007 and moved up the street a few years later), but they’re only four miles from my house, a nice feature on top of the friendly service. They don’t carry white pine, but they had plenty of 4/4 and 5/4 poplar.

As hardwoods go, poplar is nice and light, a little over half the density of the swamp white oak I’ve been working with.

Most of these boards were 10 and 12 feet long, so I laid them on the floor to plan out a use for each board. I was in a bit of a hurry and feeling confident (always a bad combination), swinging boards around like a baton twirler.

So naturally, after a few ten foot boards, I managed to strain a muscle in my back.

A cynic might see this as tragic irony, an early injury foreshadowing a life of misery, always bending to retrieve a tool from a chest. Yeah, that thought crossed my mind while I was feeling sorry for myself.

For now, I prefer to see it as a more cosmic (comic?) irony, the gods poking gentle fun at a man who’d gotten full of himself.

It happens that way sometimes.

On Father’s Day, for example, I sliced open two fingertips trying to sharpen my drawknife with a slipstone. I knew it wasn’t safe, that it would be better to use Curtis Buchanan’s method, which keeps your hands safely away from the cutting edge. But I was in a hurry again. Luckily, a wash with hydrogen peroxide followed by an application of superglue saved the day that time.

So while I rest my back, I guess I’ll catch up with my blog and think about woodworking safety.

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