LumberJocks

some days.....

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Dusty posted 2749 days ago 689 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Today was going to be the day I finished a project I have been working on and off project- for over two weeks now. The trouble with this project isn’t that the project is so difficult – it’s the fact that the intrusions this week have been non-stop. I some times wonder if it’s only me -or if somehow I invite them. I have had to set some rules in my shop regarding unexpected guests, or friends just stopping by with out me knowing ahead of time – or a specific invitation to do so. I am curious how others handle this. I like company ,don’t get me wrong and its nice to share my projects with others-however, it seems to really cut into to the limited time I have in my shop. One thing I have found is the longer a project drags on- the more mistakes I am likely to make and – it’s easier for me to loose interest. The likely hood for the project to feel more like work- or a “chore”, rather than fun seems to increase also. In this case its double trouble because I am doing something I promised my self I wouldn’t do again. That is, build a custom piece of furniture for a family member. I so- know better. I guess I am a sucker for punishment. Of course I’m behind on the project and they will be here tomorrow -to stay with me before they ship out on a 10 day cruise. I know full well they would love to see it done when they get back. I’m sure they are hoping and probably expecting it to be done by now. Oh well.
Some day I will learn.

Dusty

-- Dusty



15 comments so far

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2915 days


#1 posted 2749 days ago

I understand your situation. I have two great neighbors that will pop up at my shop when they see that I’m in it, during the day and even though they tell me not to stop what I’m doing, SAFETY warrants that I do stop. It’s not safe for me to try and talk to them while pushing a board through a 10” saw blade turning 2500rpms or a router bit spinning at 20,000 rpms, etc. Besides, It’s rude in my mind, to crank up my equipment while they are there. Yes, my projects suffer and my time is limited in the shop, too. I have thought about putting up safety signs: DO NOT INTERUPT OPERATOR WHEN OPERATING EQUIPMENT; DON’T YELL AT ME TO GET MY ATTENTION; WAIT TILL MACHINERY IS TURNED OFF BEFORE ENTERING THIS SHOP, ETC. MY neighbor yelled at me once while at the tablesaw, luckily I wear earmuffs and a full face shield, so I wasn’t startled by him. I somewhat jokingly fussed him telling him that he shouldn’t startle a heart patient(which I am). Of course, he laughed(I guess I shouldn’t have joked). Maybe you and I could try explaining to our friends and family; the importance of letting us know that they are coming over so we can give them the quality time that we would prefer to spend with them or maybe how unsafe it can be if they surprize us while we are working in our shops. We could always try locking all the doors to our shops, No that wouldn’t work either. Sorry, I’m rambling. Good luck on finishing that project, safely!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Don's profile

Don

2599 posts in 2781 days


#2 posted 2749 days ago

Quote Dusty: ”...I know full well they would love to see it done when they get back. I’m sure they are hoping and probably expecting it to be done by now. Oh well.
Some day I will learn.”

I doubt if they would mind waiting judging by the top quality work you produce, Dusty.

Quote oscorner: ”...WAIT TILL MACHINERY IS TURNED OFF BEFORE ENTERING THIS SHOP…”

Mate, this is a good idea. As late as this afternoon, my dear wife who actually knows better came up behind me when I was operating my jointer and taped me on the shoulder to catch my attention. I too, had my ear protection gear on and almost jumped through the ceiling I as so startled.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2760 days


#3 posted 2749 days ago

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I like to be able to vent and rant and rave I guess once in a while. I was just furstrated. I do enjoy the company. I can relate to someone trying to talk to you when you are running a machine or got your ear protection on or in. To funny. I guess all you can do is smile.

Dusty

-- Dusty

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2760 days


#4 posted 2749 days ago

Oh I can relate to that one Don. Not good. No when i work in shop I lock the door. Period. They can knock.

Dusty

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2765 days


#5 posted 2749 days ago

Maybe they just love watching you and don’t want to talk? Or maybe you haven’t been clear enough with them, stating the safety issue and the “in the zone” issue.

Venting is good – it helps you clarify what you believe. Know it, live it.
Best of luck with this situation.

At this point in time it’s only Rick and I and since we work on projects together we don’t have this problem. Hey, there’s the trick – don’t have company!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1973 posts in 3010 days


#6 posted 2749 days ago

I don’t have a solution for you either Dusty. I face the same problem. On one hand working alone so much, I enjoy the fellowship, planned, or not. On the other hand, the utilities company won’t take my interruptions as an excuse for missing their bill date, they would just shut off the power.

I have two young kids who would rather spend time in the shop than anywhere. How do I deal with that? On one hand I want them to see me work, interact with them, but for safety reasons I have to be careful, and if they want new shoes to wear, I have to keep pressing ahead. On the other hand, they will be grown soon, and I will look at my wife someday and say, “why don’t the kids come visit?” I heard the old “Cat’s in the Cradle” song awhile back on the radio, and sat and wept like a baby, seriously.

I live in the “middle of nowhere” and people still find me. I have been asked to move my shop into a couple of different small towns, as the town merchants want reasons to attract tourists. On one hand the tourism might bring business in faster, but the interruptions would not allow me to complete it.

I built a house one summer between college semesters, and a group of retired guys came buy every morning to ask questions, point out problems, and talk gossip. They would all laugh and joke and call themselves the “inspectors” and would stand around on the job site for 1-2 hours each day. It was a huge distraction, and I came to really resent their interruptions after a few weeks as the end of the summer deadline was hitting me square between the eyes.

Sam Maloof said during his lecture at the Western Design Conference that he couldn’t turn anyone away who wants to see the shop. He has published visiting hours, and has a sign that states it also, but he says people come and look in the windows outside of the posted hours. He can’t help but invite them in. He said that his wife used to drive them off, enforcing the visiting hours. When she passed away, he hired a woman to run the business, answer the phone, and command adherence to the schedule of orders and the visiting hours. He encouraged us to have someone else be the tough one, enforcing the rules, if it is hard for us. Noticing all of the “nods” in the packed house listening to him, it is a common problem for studio furniture makers.

I saw in George Nakashima’s book that he had visiting hours posted on a sign with just a few hours on Saturday available. He didn’t explain in his book whether people adhered to the hours or not.

I will be watching this blog for comments and ideas I could try. I want people to know me, and I them, but if I ain’t making dust, I ain’t paying bills. Speaking of that, I’m headed back to the shop.

thanks for the question,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Don's profile

Don

2599 posts in 2781 days


#7 posted 2748 days ago

Mark, for me, woodworking is a solitary pursuit. Perhaps it’s that my skill level is not high enough, or consistent enough. I’m not sure that I want people watching me make mistakes.

I visited this woodworking shop in Prince Edward Island three years ago. Jacques Gaudreau has his woodworking shop on the second floor of the building shown in his site. From the retails shop on the main floor is a beautiful wooden staircase he built that leads to the second floor. But at the top of the stairs is locked door. When I visited, he was in his shop making salad tongs. (This is where I got the idea for the ones that I made.) The door at the top of the staircase was open and it led to a hall way with ceiling to waist hight windows. The hallway served as a viewing platform into the shop. When he chose to have visitors see him at work, he unlocked the door. The window lined hallway allowed visitors visual access to every corner of his shop, but kept them away from the machinery, noise, and dust. He would occasionally look up from his work to acknowledge visitors with a nod, but no time was wasted by entering into conversation. (It also prevented theft.)

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2765 days


#8 posted 2748 days ago

the dilemna sure does get tough when it comes to the kids..
My suggestion? (puts on Early Childhood Educator hat) plan daddy/kids time out of the shop; plan daddy/kids time IN the shop; and plan daddy/nobody time in the shop… If they know they get their time then they will be more accepting of the closed door time and you can work guilt-free.
(taking off my Early Childhood Educator hat now)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View scottb's profile

scottb

3647 posts in 2931 days


#9 posted 2748 days ago

yes, how to deal with the vampires… (cause that’s essentially what they are)

posting visting hours is certainly not a bad idea (and if there is some way to enforce them, so much the better) I suppose Sam Maloof had a hard time keeping people to stick to them for two reasons after his wife passed. Primarily, he’s such a known figure in the community, and people just hope for the opportunity to see him work, or chat for a few minutes if possible. Secondly, since he’s such a nice guy and will stop to talk to anyone – helping people violate his own open hours – giving the impression that he’s welcoming the intrusion. I’m sure it’ll only worsen in the coming years, as his days grow short.

Another part of the problem, I think is innate in males, is that we like to stand around and watch people work. Hoping we’ll pick up something from the plumber, electrician, mechanic, etc… Most likely the neighbors, etc… don’t realize they are intruding, and am sure it’s hard for us to say so – especially those of us starved for contact with the outside world.

as far as kids go – Debbie, you’re onto something with scheduled Daddy time.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2765 days


#10 posted 2748 days ago

they don’t call me a Life Guide for nothin’
lol
(used to work in children’s mental health)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2778 days


#11 posted 2748 days ago

Mark,

I read that in the Nakashima book, as well, and I, too, wondered how well people followed the rule. My final thought was that they probably did, or he would have mentioned something about how poorly the idea worked.

I’m fortunate enough to not really have that problem on any level, for the most part. Dana and I really try hard to give each other the personal space and time which is so important to maintaining one’s sanity. As a result, we usually plan our alone-time (reading or jewelry making or shopping for her and woodworking for me) so that it coordinates. Aside from that, I usually have at least a good hour, sometimes two, almost every single night of the week during her bath sessions.

In any case, she rarely even so much as sticks her head inside the garage (shop) anymore for fear of what she’ll see (a new tool? more wood?).

Unfortunately, I don’t really have clients or potential clients stop by, either… but that isn’t really my goal at this point.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2915 days


#12 posted 2748 days ago

I just wanted to suggest to all that the safety issue of someone coming into the shop unannounced could be a serious one, like what happened to, Don. I don’t mind my wife or son checking on me to make sure that I’m still in one piece. I keep my cell phone attached to my side, should something go terribly wrong because I ususally do my woodworking when my wife is at work and son at school accept for the weekends. I try to spend time with my family when they are home, so seldom do I go to my shop at night to work on a project. It sounds like this delima is far reaching with no real answer.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34862 posts in 3005 days


#13 posted 2748 days ago

I had my wife try to get my attention by turning off the lights in the shop while I was running a board thru the saw. I told her gently “Don’t ever do that again!”. I havent had any visitors come and see me in my shop but since I’m not trying to pay any bills with what I’m creating, It wouldn’t be a problem if they did. unless it was showing up at a safety issue time. (When tools were in use)

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Dusty's profile

Dusty

785 posts in 2760 days


#14 posted 2747 days ago

I’m grateful and respectful of all the various responses’ and suggestions.

Thank you.

I don’t make my living doing woodworking. However, because of the attention the work I have did on the historical rehab on my home-and the fact I built all the furniture in the house- along with the stained glass ceiling that has attracted a tremendous amount of attention, this has caused a lot of interruptions. I am grateful for the recognition. However, by nature I am a very humble and kind of a shy guy who likes to avoid attention. I get many requests to see my home. The way I have solved this problem is each year I have at least 2 open houses. That way I don’t have people coming thru my home and causing interruptions. I request that if you attend the open house that you bring a food donation for the local food shelf or make a cash donation to them in exchange for seeing my home. This in turn has solved the constant request to see the house – because I just refer them to the next open house date and explain why I do this. They seem to understand.

The bonus is I get to share my work and limit the “home intrusions” and it has raised considerable amount of money and needed food for the local food shelves.

Now I just need to find something for the shop that works. I will be taking all these ideas to heart. I never want to discourage interest in woodworking or any of my stained glass work. I just want to find a way to manage it better.

Thank you.

Dusty

-- Dusty

View scottb's profile

scottb

3647 posts in 2931 days


#15 posted 2747 days ago

Open houses, of course! Some arts communities have open studio days…. my town does, as does my (ok, my wife’s) aunt in Boston. No reason not to join in on those too (for those of us at that level (not me, yet)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase