First, the caveat:
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about woodworking, trying to make sense of what it is that has always drawn me to it. I’m notorious for over-thinking, overanalyzing and basically spending too much energy navel-gazing. This blog is intended to get some of it out of my head. I’ll be glib, sarcastic and flippant in my other posts. Who knows how this one will turn out. It may be a train wreck, so reader beware! If navel-gazing doesn’t hold any appeal or distraction for you, move on. If you’re allergic to estrogen, move away quickly.
My own personal rules are to not to spend more than 30 minutes on any one post. I can correct a mistake if I catch it right away, but can’t go back. If I post it, I can’t edit or delete. I tend to edit things to death and have been known to delete my posts before it’s too late.
If anything resonates with you, feel free to chime in.
9:10 – I think this is my first morning blog entry
Yesterday, I jointed and planed 12 boards of rough maple for my workbench top. I’m respectful of the danger any power tool presents, but I’m quite comfortable using both my planer and jointer. The boards were heavy, and as I started to tire, i reminded myself to watch my footing around the sawdust and the cord, and made certain that my hands were nowhere near the infeed of the planer or the blades of the jointer. I do wear gloves (no lectures please) They are very snug with a rubberized coating and in some ways they make me feel safer because I’ve dropped pieces of wood while in the process of getting a nasty splinter. Some of the boards were quite heavy and wide, and the gloves allow me to handle them better.
Each time I took a break, both tools were unplugged.
So my next step is ripping the boards. This is where my fear and pride go to battle. Last night I posted a forum question about ripping the maple, and had some wonderful advice. I was just about ready to head to HD this morning to pick up a different blade for my TS when another thought popped into my head, “crap, if I buy a thin kerf blade, will it be compatible with my splitter?” I don’t think it will. I’ve had the splitter and pawls on my TS, and off, and then on again. The splitter/kerf issue explains why I struggled the last time I used the TS. Never dawned on my until just now. I’ve looked into getting an aftermarket riving knife for my TS, but then I’m afraid that if I’m using something that wasn’t intended for my particular saw, will I be putting myself in unnecessary danger?
I have read everything I could about table saw safety and I have actually practiced hitting the off switch with my knee, but the thing still scares the fluff out of me.
The logical thing to do would be go out and check the danged manual for my Bosch TS. Will get to it.
If I use the TS, I should use feather boards. I’ve never used one and don’t even own one. (Add to the list for HD)
A year ago, it wouldn’t have bothered me to admit that, but somewhere along the way I’ve developed some type of newbie pride where I think I should know about feather boards.
Or I could use my bandsaw. But then i’d need outfeed support for sure, and the last time I used the bandsaw, I wasn’t happy with the results, so something needs adjusting. I’ve read my Bandsaw book numerous times and have more info on blades than I may ever need (no – I don’t have a woodsclier yet)
I think I”m seeing a trend here in my ramblings. Back when I knew nothing, every new thing was great. Now that I know a bit, I’m feeling less confident.
I have a neighbour who has a beautiful basement workshop and he builds incredible furniture. He has offered to help if I ever needed it, but here’s the insane part. i’m proud of the work I’ve done so far, but I’m afraid to ask for his help. Why?? I’m a reasonably sound-minded adult, usually quite capable of handling differing opinions and sorting through BS. I know for certain that this guy would never look down his nose at me or make me feel stupid, so why the fear? What’s the worst that can happen? I suppose the worst that could happen is that he’ll point out that I’ve been doing everything bass-ackward and I’ll feel like a dufus. Or he may gasp at the safety risks I’ve been unknowingly taking. I suppose he could unknowingly burst my bubble in which I think I’m making progress.
So, what’s a semi-neurotic woodworker to do? Nothing, of course. Except search for the closest SawStop dealer, and spend an hour looking at accessories, reading reviews and thinking about the fact that I have free shipping for a month on Amazon, despite not being able to afford a new saw in the first place. And looking up after-market riving knives and dreaming about having a shop wired for 220. I know i can’t buy my way out of my fears, but it’s fun trying.
Essentially, I’ve frittered the last 2 hours away because of a mix of fear and pride. To make matters worse, I was reading about my TS and landed on some posts on another WW site where they seem to enjoy looking down their noses at plebes like me.
If I could spend as much time in the shop as I do thinking about the shop, I’d have built an ark by now. I even ruined a good night sleep by thinking about how I would get the job done with the maple.
By reading other posts and blogs, I don’t think I’m the only one prone to attacks of shop paralysis.
All the info I need is out there. I’ve had great advice and am reasonably informed.
I just have to get out of my own way, and get it done.
Or call my neighbour.
Or maybe I should really organize the Tupperware cupboard first.
That was a quick 30 minutes. Do I actually have to do something now? Maybe more coffee is the answer.
-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.