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Everybody’s a woodworker

I bumped into a woodworker last week. How did I know? Well, he was making something out of wood, and for me that’s the only proof I needed.

The guy was working outside the entrance to my local grocery store, building a display rack for potted daffodils. (Yes! It’s finally Spring here.) Since his only tools were a jigsaw and drill/driver, and since he was wearing a yellow jacket with the store’s logo on it, it was clear he was a store employee. Probably volunteered to do it to get out of cart-fetching duty. He hadn’t even come close to finishing when I left, but I saw the result of his efforts yesterday.

The rack he’d build was simple. Basically, it was a little set of bleachers: a pair of stepped end pieces made from 2x2s, with a pair of 1x12 utility pine shelves laid across. While it was clear he wasn’t a skilled carpenter, he wasn’t stupid – he’d wisely made an additional stepped support at the center to handle the weight, and had screwed a 1x2 brace diagonally across the back for rigidity.

The display wasn’t particularly pretty. He’d split the wood in a couple places, and had clearly stripped out some of the screws, but it was plenty solid and functioned exactly the way it was supposed to. The daffodils, the real center of attention here, were lovely.

Could this guy have made fine furniture, or even knocked out a decent set of cabinets? From what I saw he was making it up as he went along, and didn’t seem particularly sure of his skills. Still, he started with a pile of wood and a box of screws, and with a jigsaw and driver managed to create a sturdy, serviceable display piece. I’m sure he was pleased with his work.

And as far as I’m concerned, that makes him one of us.

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