The Oh Sh*t Moment

The Oh Sh*t Moment

Walnut and Maple cutting board with handA friend asked me to do a Bazaar with her last Christmas. I told her I would; however, to do this I needed some more inventory sell.  I looked at my scrap pile to see what I could come up with to make to sell at the bazaar. Keepsake boxes are always a good seller, along with kitchen cutting boards, and hand turned wooden bowls. These items I can usually batch out in a production line type of build.

I went to work on building them, with a goal to have enough products to sell at the bazaar to make it worth my and to recoup the entry fee. However, on this particular bazaar the entry fee was reasonable. Sometimes they are so steep they are not worth doing, as it is too hard to recoup the cost and still make a profit.

The days went by as I worked bringing me closer to the deadline. The last day came, and I looked at my pile of products, proud of the quantity and quality for a production build. The only problem was my cutting boards looked dry; They needed some oil to make the color of the wood pop. I applied a coat of food safe mineral oil that night so they would be ready to take to the bazaar the next day. While I was boxing up all my products, I decided that I didn’t like how the products were banging together. I was afraid that they would dent or mar each other, as a result I decided to wrap them in newspaper to protect them.

I got to the bazaar and started unwrapping and setting up my products. Everything was going great until I got to the freshly oiled cutting boards. As I unwrapped them, I got a sinking feeling in my gut. There was typing on my cutting boards. The oil I used on the wood had not completely dried and had soaked into the paper dissolving the ink, allowing it to transfer to the wood.

I became panicked; the shop was a 45 minute to an hour drive away. Driving back to the shop, sanding out the print, re oiling, and driving back to the bazaar was a half day in itself. I tried to use my finger to rub off the print but no avail. I frantically looked around for something I could use to remove the print. There was a stack of brown paper towels setting on a counter in the back of the room next to a sink. I made a beeline to it, in hopes that I could make that work. I buffed and buffed switching between dry and wet paper towels. Luckily, I was able to buff off most of the print. I think the paper towels where just abrasive enough to do the job, and all that extra buffing burnished the wood leaving a nice smooth finish.




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I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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