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Get busy living or get busy dying..... #1: Not a resolution........

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Blog entry by Cantputjamontoast posted 01-11-2015 03:45 PM 2226 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Get busy living or get busy dying..... series Part 2: some slow progress---tool box/crate »

Most resolutions are plans for the first two weeks of January. Then not so much———- it’s just human nature.

I’m 52 , which I know some guys here will say he’s a mere pup. My problem is in that in 52 years I haven’t built much. I have been sitting on the bench. All my life I loved wood(as I’m sure all of you do.). I was a foul up in woodshop as a kid—-hence my handle on this wonderful site. I have been the biggest woodworking voyeur on the planet. Wood shows, shaker village, mystic wooden boat weekend—-loved it all but it was watching and watching only.

If the notes here can be believed I’ve been here 6 years. The two silver maples I had banded up are dry now.

Couple of my friends had stints installed this year. One, a brilliant RPI trained Chemist, patent holder, one of my Marines from Desert Storm that I thought of as my sons—- or at least a kid brother had a stint put in a month ago.

I’m not fearing death, “when I get where I’m going…...” (dolly Parton and some guy sing it.) But I hear Andy and Red conversing about “get busy living…....

I’m grateful that I can lurk and learn here. From watching Wally’s Workshop as a young kid to Norm, St. Roy, the Schwarz, Patrick Edwards and now the many many others it maybe the greatest time in the history of mankind to look and learn how to work this blessed material.

I’m realizing that I’m tired of watching from the stands.

It is time to get in the game.

Three goals by June 1

1. Transform an old 18”x33”x 66” shipping crate into my tool box- it won’t be pretty, it won’t be nice but it will do two things: #1 It will be the one place to be able to find all my tools—-right now it is a night mare. #2 it will have an al gore light bulb in it to get the heat up in the box and separate from my basement and put an end to rust or at least curtail it greatly from the rate is now.

2. I purchased Karson’s Tormek a while back, and I have various other sharpening tools. Veritas Mark 2 is a great piece of gear and a gatco knife system. I think I can sharpen everything I own except drill bits. I will make a dedicated sharpening station (on wheels) that is always ready. Using a dull tool is like trying to make love wearing an oak barrel.

3. I’ve never owned a workbench. I got a free workbench from a warehouse, I beat the dumpster on that one. It needs a couple of vises(which I have). It will be a rickety thing but it will help me get in the game and build a Lang 21st century bench. Just even to complain about my workbench sucking will be a wonderful thing.

I’m going to keep track of what it costs me to do this, the perverse thing is that it shouldn’t cost me anymore than $50 bucks to do all this because I have been prepping…..some might say hoarding, ahem for this forever and when I say forever I mean for like 38 years. Nothing can hold me back from this except the stuff between my ears.

From my $5 wood lathe to my $80 bandsaw that is a piece of junk and I regret the sight of it. I don’t need another thing to get in the game. There are so many people doing so much more with less that it is a sin. Heck the Turkish marketplace guy turning stuff with a belt and using the space between his toes as a tool rest makes me feel like an idiot. If you have not seen it——it is an eye opener.

I’d like to have a couple of local Cub Scout dens over for some bird house clinics and to be able to hear a #4 Stanley or craftsman, of handyman, or millers falls sing as it takes a shaving but lets stick with those three for now.

I put this up here because it kind of a confession, kind of a proclamation , kind of a public statement that I need to do this thing for me. The kids are gone on to promising things, wife will be happy I’m not yelling about politics.

It’s time to get out of the dugout.

If you made it this far thanks for listening.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"



7 comments so far

View Cantputjamontoast's profile

Cantputjamontoast

416 posts in 2900 days


#1 posted 01-11-2015 03:46 PM

I bare my soul and sure as heck the picture is rotated 90 deg from how it should be

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4226 posts in 3202 days


#2 posted 01-11-2015 07:46 PM

I understand exactly what you’re going through!
I’ve been grimacing for 15 years now, agonizing over whether I should even bother buying something nice for my workshop. After all, after stents, bypass, and other operations over those 15 years, only served to make me find a sense of fatalism, a sense of impending doom and why bother? Cripes, half of my friends are dead now, and I’m only 61! It’s a toxic mindset that I’ve had to overcome!

Truth is, you are stronger than you think you are! Build that workbench, get that toolchest together, and focus on the things you can and will do, rather than focus on doom and gloom.

Find your niche in the woodworking world. Do the things that come naturally to you. Write yourself a letter, explaining to yourself what holds you back, what motivates you, and what form of woodworking makes you feel good about yourself.

As an example: I went into a slump, could not get going on a half-dozen uncompleted projects. My wife, a college instructor, needed an ergonomic solution for the pains she suffered from marking exams. Mostly, due to aggravating neck injuries from a previous car accident years ago. I immediately sprang into action, designing and building a foldable, adjustable inclined writing surface for her desk, compete with pen holder and magnetic bar to attach the student exams to , so she could mark them. And now she’s getting asked if I could make more by other instructors!! So… I found my stride, made life easier for my wife, and got totally flattered by people who were impressed by my work!! I have rediscovered the joy of making stuff again.

All this to say that simply getting involved can result in a pivotal turn of events and help you find yourself. We all need a jump-start now and then. Best wishes to you!

p.s. I like the “1941” photo image!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Cantputjamontoast

416 posts in 2900 days


#3 posted 01-11-2015 10:18 PM

Thanks Poopie!!!!

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2300 posts in 1953 days


#4 posted 01-12-2015 06:41 PM

I was in the same boat for quite a while. Fell into the trap of thinking that I shouldn’t try this or that because I wasn’t experienced enough. Which is silly because it’s a chicken and egg kind of problem.

Experience is something you only get immediately after you needed it. So by all means, dive in headfirst. If you fail, you’ve at least learned what not to do. Then go at it again.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

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Cantputjamontoast

416 posts in 2900 days


#5 posted 01-12-2015 11:19 PM

Thanks B!

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment .

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View DocK16's profile

DocK16

1178 posts in 3554 days


#6 posted 02-09-2015 02:20 AM

Everyone has a different skill set but I have found it only gets bigger and better when you dive in and go at it. I have seen projects on here with carvings that turn me green with envy and I say “I’ll never be able to do that but after studying about carving have found it is a step by step process that is more a learned ability than an innate ability. A lot of woodworking is like that. Have at it.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

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DocK16

1178 posts in 3554 days


#7 posted 02-09-2015 02:21 AM

Everyone has a different skill set but I have found it only gets bigger and better when you dive in and go at it. I have seen projects on here with carvings that turn me green with envy and I say “I’ll never be able to do that but after studying about carving have found it is a step by step process that is more a learned ability than an innate ability. A lot of woodworking is like that. Have at it. Get busy learning or get frustrated.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

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