This is just a little rambling on my part – trying to make a little sense of something I stumbled onto that has helped me a bit in my woodworking adventure.
Recently, I’ve been reading lots and lots of “feel good” books and books on how to lift your own spirits and those warm fuzzy books and articles to help a person get a grip on things. After my accident, I allowed everything to turn very negative and blah in life. So I decided to turn that around and just inundate myself with positive, uplifting and bright things. Whether you believe in that sort of thing helping or not, is not important. All I can tell you it has helped me 100% turn myself around and get back on the path of feeling good, being good and being fully alive. It’s gotten me back to exercising, losing the excess tonnage I put on, I’m not on any medications, my diet is healthy again, I smile more, I’m more helpful to others around me, my job is going so much better, I’m having the time of my life with friends and family, etc. etc. – you get the picture.
One little thing in all that has really given me a different look on my woodworking was a question on how you look at things – that question was – “what do you really see?” When I look at a set of plans I see the lines, the measurements, etc. I don’t see the little things among all those lines, etc. I’ve found that if I study the plans in depth step by step its a whole lot easier than just looking and seeing it. Now let me explain the “in depth” part.
Sitting there at your computer – pick up any object on your table, anything at all. Now put your computer aside and pull out a piece of paper and a pencil/pen. Study that object and start writing down everything you notice/see about that object.
For example—- I just picked up my TV remote and this is what I see:
1) it’s rectangular
2) it’s gray on the front
3) it’s black on the back
4) it’s skinny – 1.5”
5) it has 4 colors of buttons
6) it has round buttons
7) it has square buttons
8) it has rectangular buttons
9) it has numbers on the buttons
10) it has lettering on the buttons
11) it has lettering on the body
12) it has little arrows on the body
13) it has little rectangles on the body
14) its has words on the body
15) It has a Westinghouse symbol on the body
16) the Westinghouse symbol is round with a “W” in the circle
17) it has 54 letters on the body
18) it has 10 numbers on the body
19) it has a battery compartment
20) it has two double A batteries inside
21) It has two little stub feet on the back
on and on, I could probably come up with 10+ other things to list. Do you see where I’m going? If you are starting out on a new project, one you’ve never done before, and if you can tear each step, and each diagram apart piece by piece and really see it for it’s essential simplicity – you can make anything you want! Everything that looks complicated really isn’t if you can break it down into very small parts.
Now understanding your project plans in this depth——is one thing—carrying them out is another. But there should be no reason that you can’t carry out anything that you’ve studied this in depth. You just have to break down each step of the physical doing in the same way you broke down the studying. I think it will really slow down the process – but I also think that you’ll learn more, enjoy the process more and most assuredly enjoy the finished project more.
I’ve been doing this on a couple of projects that I’m working on now – one in the shop and one out—- and it’s helping me to really see and understand what I’m doing.
Just my rambling – but I hope this gives you something to ponder.
As always, thoughts and comments welcome.
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine