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Butchers Block & Welcome Lochlan Joseph Creane!

July 20th, 2019 No comments

I haven’t had a day fishing since early May. It’s the longest time I’ve gone without fishing probably ever. It hasn’t been easy putting fishing aside while large rainbows were migrating the local river, but it’s certainly been worth it. Our son, Lochlan Joseph Creane, arrived on May 30th. He came kicking and screaming into the world and he hasn’t stopped since! The role of looking after Lochlan has been split equally between the two of us. The little fella is hard work requiring almost constant attention (which is normal of course!)! Adaline was easy in comparison which is why my fishing came to a grinding halt. I’m loving it though, it’s been an eventful and happy time since his birth. Incredible watching him grow and develop and I’m excited to have this little man in my future.

With no fishing for 2 months it’s lucky for me that I’m almost as happy with a hand plane as a fly rod. In fact, every winter I spend quite a bit of time in the workshop making furniture for the house. This year its for our own house which makes it even more special. Between nappy changes over the last 7 weeks I’ve been in the workshop. Even if I only have 10 minutes to spare I can achieve something. Thankfully though, with Iza’s help minding the kids, I had 3 or 4 hours in there most days. Iza wanted a butchers block for the kitchen and I needed a project so the butchers block project was born.

Pretty much everything I’ve made in the last few years has been made from recycled timber. Pallets, old building wood, left over bits and pieces, driftwood, old fences, whatever! I love recycling timber. Least of all for the cost saving although thats a huge bonus. Most of all because the available timber sort of designs the furniture piece for me. I have to work within the parameters of my available material and thats good for me. Without limitation I take off in so many directions that my brain can’t keep up. I think about what I or we need for the house, look at the timber and let my mind wander. I usually start making without a drawing. Some component to get the ball rolling and then, with something to look at, the design / build happens together. Usually at this stage I’ll make a rough working drawing but I adjust it as I see fit along the way. Working to a fixed plan is not much fun. Working freely with timber is very satisfying and lots of fun. I need it almost as much as I need the river!

The butchers block project is fairly well documented in photos below. It was pretty challenging to persuade some of that timber to work for me. The grain was crazy at times, some natural and man made defects were hard to get around but these are the challenges of recycling that I enjoy. I like to fill the holes with timber or filler. I don’t care if the colour does’t match, I just don’t want a hole in the finished piece. If I’m screwing and plugging I do try to match grain and colour. Lots of double standards and often mood related but I can do what I want. Whatever I feel like and I guess thats the point. Miraculously, throughout the build I only hit one nail!

Since I had no fishing to talk about I decided to talk about this – my other life. I probably wont again but this felt okay! It’s worth a mention that the amount of fly fishermen I know that are also woodworkers is quite amazing. Hopefully some of you will enjoy my approach – rough and ready as it is – to woodwork.

Jeff and I are going fishing tomorrow and the next day and then a week or so later I’m off to Malaysia to see Paul and hopefully catch the two species tough enough to break the best of us! In my next blog there will be fish… I hope!

If you’re thinking about a trip to NZ this year or next feel free to drop me a line. February is full at this stage but I have plenty space otherwise. Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website..

   Tight Lines, Ronan..