Woodworking in iambic pentameter


Just finished this weekend’s project. I’m not sure what to call it, other than “clipboard box”. This actually started out when I got the desire to do a woodworking video in verse (don’t ask), then come up with a useful project. So this is the product of that design.

If you are interested in the verse, it’s pretty strict iambic pentameter. Three, 14-line sonnets with rhyming couplets at the end of each. I really wanted to work in the line, “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a sawhorse!”, but it didn’t work out. Haha. For what it’s worth, and to appease your inner geek, here’s the whole bit:

Begin with lumber begot from fine tree
Nigh but one and three quarter inch its heft
And about one half inch its thickness be
Ere ye sever a single kerf, be deft!
Nay, with readiness rout rabbets anon
One ledge for the top, one bottom indent
Mine eyes be pleased, but alas and along!
This is the splinter of my discontent!
Forty-five, forty-five angles abound
“Wherefore,” thou ask, “what folly hath he wrought?”
Maketh a frame, ample glue all around
This, thou already knew, that’s what I thought.
Two panels become a ceiling and floor
Say ye, “Wow. A box.” Say I, “Wait! There’s more!”

Ease the edges, nay so sharp as thy wit
Now for a test of bravery and guile
Aye, with a vorpal blade, one is now split.
A lid and its mate, it took not a while.
For thy clip: a block, chamfered on three sides
By heaven I think my love is as rare –
Earth magnets! They hold great strength in their size.
Glue them in pairs, two seated here, two rest there.
What is a limb, but an arm like a jib?
A thin strip and screw go forth and attach.
Bore a number of dimples ‘neath the lid
So when the arm swingeth thus, it will catch.
The parts are all done, thou art nearly complete
Fasten the hinges to where they will seat.

Friends, Romans, woodworkers: lend me an ear
More magnets ensure the lid will hold fast
A fortnight of sanding, then grab a beer
Bring out the grain; any hue thee may cast.
Lacquer, varnish: no finish is wrong
Protect thy project like a lover to woo
Polyurethane! (Fit that into song!)
And spread sev’ral coats, at least more than two.
This above all: to thine own shelf find glue
Affix thin plastic: smooth, firm and opaque.
Thy box is complete, now what to do?
Sit back, relax. “Til ne’er a muscle doth ache.
This project is done, it could have been worse
(I) thank ye for viewing this video verse.

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  1. I thought it was brilliant. I did a post in verse a while back too. I thought I was doing iambic pentameter, but now I am not sure. I may have been writing in iambic jumbled mess, a much rare form.

    I would give you the link, but I am too lazy to dig though January to find it. It is ok, it wasn’t great, you haven’t missed much. Your poem was much better.

  2. I’ve been going back over your older postings and just came across this gem. Actually, I finished watching it about 15 minutes ago. It just took that long to stop laughing.

    You and I share a lot in common. We like making stuff with wood. We never have enough clamps. Some of our projects come out exactly as we envisioned them. But the scariest thing is: I think we have the same sense of humor.

    Keep up with what you’re doing. I very much appreciate it.


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