Thursday, December 08, 2005

Biscotti Weekend

This past weekend was "Biscotti Weekend" - my opportunity to spend time with my middle nephew while his Mommy is busy baking biscotti and his Tama is busy working. This year the weather cooperated , and I made it to Princeton in time to pick D up from school.

The last couple of years I've had a house improvement project to do while I was there - shelves in the downstairs bathroom, new shower curtain rod. This year there wasn't anything they needed done. So, I came up with a project.

Before I headed down I prepared the pieces for a serving tray (think breakfast in bed). This was my first attempt at through tenons and they came out fairly nice (if I do say so myself). I took the pieces, glue, clamps, finish and paints for the bottom with me so D and I could finish it together.

We sanded the parts - that's what he's busy doing here. Next came the glue - which he applied with great care, and then clamps. As it turns out the optimum clamping strength is that which is produced by a 4 year-old. While the glue dried I pulled out the paints and D painted a picture on the bottom of the tray. I added a couple of coats of shellace to the frame, and then once all was dry we tacked the bottom in place in the rabbets I'd cut for that purpose.

He was very excited to show off the results of our efforts to his Moms, and we had wonderful conversations while we worked.

During the rest of the weekend we played games (he's much better at Tiddly Winks than I am - guess I'll have to practice), read books (and I had my book reading technique critiqued), and sang. We finished off with a viewing of the movie "Monsters, Inc" before I headed home.