Hey folks! I’m back. It’s only been months, i know. Let’s just get this out of the way…
I BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!
Hold your applause please, I may be moving out in the next few months if i can’t jump start the business. I guess buying in the fall when business is dead was an awful idea.
But in all seriousness, I’m quite excited still. I lived at home for the better part of 26 years. The freedom and privacy is amazing. And having room for all my hunting, hockey, and musical stuff is great. It’s given me a chance to flex my decorating muscle, which until now i thought only women and homosexuals possessed. Maybe my gay friends just rubbed off on me… Don’t be perverts. I’m hoping to change out a bunch of the trim work and other things for the sake of expanding my field of work. Maybe even redo a couple rooms, build a decent studio for jamming with my friends in. And by far my current pet project is my den/office/spare bedroom. Yes, yes, i know “JC, you studly bastard, why do you need a den if you live alone?!” The answer is simple, cuz I’m a man, and i can. Having a New York Rangers themed room is way too cool an idea to scrap. And think about it: worst part of what i do (for me) is sitting at the computer researching, designing, and learning so what better place to do it than in a room schemed after your favorite sports teams (Giants are the same colors = win) with all my photos (some signed) and memorabilia of my favorite musicians and hockey players?
But by far the best part, and worst part believe it or not, is my very own, 20’x25’ standalone shop, or as some would call it a “garage” … I prefer the term car hole but whatever. Yes thats right, no more cramped bay in Dad’s garage, a whole building devoted to woodworking with everything organized and arranged for easy access with all my tools in designated spots.
Oh, hahaha, wait thats right… Its NOTHING like that. Place right now is a disaster. Here’s what happened:
I’m not sure if the rest of you are aware but this winter has SUCKED. I mean bad. When a hot blooded, Canadian border dwelling, long haired, bearded, ”-14 won’t keep my from hunting”, young, dashing, and overly tough individual says winter sucks… It would kill most people south of like Tennessee. I bought the house in October, closed in November. I moved into the house first, figuring it was a smarter move since i could live there and work at my folks, instead of the other way around. Now, i figured the 400yd move would be easy. And i clearly am just not in touch with reality. I’m still moving clothes, books, and only 5% of my musical stuff (there is A LOT) is here.
But thats really besides the point… Back to the shop. As many of you know, shop machinery is heavy and large. About the time i closed on the house it started to get cold and shitty (pardon my french) and it rained and snowed almost non stop for a week. My father and i got one day and we moved as much as we could. All my large tools and everything small in a case got moved. Anything small, loose, and not crushingly heavy was throw at random into boxes, because you see, i was in a hurry. Pick ups are not idea for moving things that can’t get wet. But I had decided that i had what i needed to sustain enough business through winter. This thought was not completely inaccurate, while winter was dead (ill delve into that later) I did have what i needed to get by.
The previous owner had installed a propane heater that i was told heated the shop quite well, and he didn’t exactly lie. However the 50+ year old doors with plexi glass windows and zero insulation have made sure the heat is sucked out in a couple hours. This posed a major issue. With the temperatures plunging way below normal (which i love, call me crazy) keeping the tools warm enough to operate, as well as myself, was a struggle. I eventually completely sealed off one door and just adding some new gaskets and seals on the other and gained some ground. I now have a small eden pure that i leave on at all times to keep the shop thawed, I’m sure its not economic but it will work until i can button it up this summer and install a monitor i bought off a friend.
Organization right now is a word foreign to those walls. most of my smaller tools, measuring devices, and miscellaneous items are in two large boxes and finding anything is impossible. While in the process of building cabinets and storage i hit three major snags. 1) weather. far too cold/wet/or snowy to have the garage door open at my folks to get my lumber storage and lumber. 2) my trucks engine blew up, and i was without it for a month so moving stuff from the shop was not possible, but also leads me to my third and biggest hold up… 3) money. At the moment my shop is in total disarray. I didn’t have my dust collector until two weeks ago. the floor is covered in planer and jointer shavings. I had yet to set up any lumber storage so the floor around my miter/radial arm and table saws have piles all over since theres nowhere to put them. My out feed table is constantly covered in fasteners and tools as, again, i have no where to put them. My woodworking bench is still MIA which has made router and hand tool work tricky. At the moment its all benches or tables for tools (mounted to the walls with nothing underneath so the floor can be leveled eventually.) and no shelves. Its a huge inconvenience, but I’m making it work.
Financially, this winter has been hellish. My truck needed a new engine, that ran $1000. I needed to rent a car for three weeks until the ice melted enough around my mothers car that we could get it out, that ran $1300 (and the thing was a piece of crap). Installing the engine was another $1000. And perhaps the biggest blow as far as I’m concerned was my trucks last feat before it died: with a major ice storm coming and me having a furnace i realized i couldn’t afford my pipes freezing if the power went out and I drove 2 hours to the closest HD with generators in stock. That cost $1300 and I didn’t even end up needing it. PAying for fuel is something i wasn’t prepared for either, with the temps this cold its costing me close to $600 a month. Add that with my mortgage, health and truck insurance, cable, power, and food. My monthly bills come to around $1600. so learning where to save has been key.
So it’s been an odd winter with the weather keeping most of us at home and making damn sure there are no usual winter activities. But I’m getting buy. As of two weeks ago I have been slammed, which is great. I have at least $5000 in quotes lined up and I’m sure to get more than half. Ive managed to get a commercial job making some tables for a local business that rents cottages so thats huge free advertising. All and all I have a good feeling about where this is taking me. Sure its been sort of a struggle but I am enjoying it. The shop will be great once i have it all set up properly. I’ll attach some photos of it pre work load. Hope you’re all well!
-- John, NNY, www.facebook.com/JC4Woodworking