With a fresh coat of varnish, the chart holder hangs from the overhead. To get it to this point, I had to gather things from everywhere in the shop. I used a measuring tape, a combination square, the table saw, a table-saw sled, a stop block, a clamp, the dust collector, the bandsaw, the drill press and its hold-down, a plug cutter, the belt sander, a random-orbit sander, the compressor and nail gun, a cordless drill, a 1/4" bit, Titebond III, a flock of drafting ducks, superglue and accelerator, a disposable bristle brush, nitrile gloves, my painting apron, a foam brush, lacquer thinner, a piece of a T-shirt for a rag, scissors, a paper cup, sandpaper, a foam pad over the table saw, a sanding block, a scraper, a chisel, a hot knife, the shop vac, a length of wire, and wire cutters.

When I read David Cockey’s article about chart holders, I knew I needed to make one for myself because I use paper charts exclusively—they can indeed be awkward to handle—and I also enjoy woodworking projects. Unfortunately, spending time in my shop can be a mixed blessing. The tools and supplies I’ve accumulated since I began building boats in 1978 have overwhelmed the one-car-garage workshop they now occupy.While there is a place for everything in my shop, there just isn’t enough space. The stocks of wood and metal I have leaning up against the walls and the tools piled on shelves are as unstable as mountain talus slopes. “Debris piles up to a characteristic angle of repose,” notes Encyclopedia Britannica, and “when new debris is added to the slope, thereby locally increasing the angle, the slope adjusts by movement of the debris to reestablish the angle.” It’s not uncommon while I’m working at the bench to hear something fall on the opposite side of the shop: an angle grinder, for example, sitting on a shelf 10′ away from me, spontaneously rolled off, dropped onto a box of soldering equipment sticking out from the shelf below it, and took it to the floor with itself, breaking one of the firebricks that was in the box.

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