The really cool thing about getting new art projects is that I usually get to learn something new. We're working on building an orrery currently. An orrery is one of those old fashioned solar system models that you used to find in old museums and libraries. Nobody seems to make them anymore.
When we talked with the college that wanted one, we said "How hard can it be?", so we took the job. It has turned out to be Very Hard, but certainly worth it, and will come out beautiful when we're done.
For building the base, I got to get me a brand new toy! The base is solid cherry wood with 8 posts around it. I looked into buying the posts or having a woodworker make them for me, but what they were going to charge was outrageous. As is usually the case, we look at the cost of getting the work done versus the cost of us getting the equipment, doing it ourselves and then having the equipment in the future. Almost every time, getting the equipment wins out. We get new capability, learn a new trade and the pieces come out exactly as we want them to, rather than someones "Good Enough" (which usually isn't...).
So I got to get me a brand new lathe to make these posts. It took me a day to set up and practice, and then I was going full tilt! Very fun. Very calming too. Sure is messy though, but it's outside, so I don't breathe in too much of it. Besides, a good coating of sawdust lets you know you did good work that day.