It's 97 degrees outside!

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Blog entry by Texasgaloot posted 06-30-2008 08:27 PM 871 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The following is a mirror from my site

That was my mid-afternoon weather observation offering to my patient, devoted wife, as I stood dripping in our kitchen. I’m not like other woodworkers; I have the benefit of an air conditioned shop. I’m bragging, I realize, but after all that’s something worth bragging about. I’m just very glad to have a shop at all, let alone one that is so well air conditioned, and air conditioning that uses no electricity as a bonus!

Okay, by now you are beginning to catch on. My shop is set up in a barn that was erected in the 1920’s (that’s unimaginably old by Texas standards) using lumber that was obviously milled there on the ranch. The belt-driven circular saw that hooks up to the old McCormick H-model’s PTO still spins freely! The barn was built in order to house feed and hay for cattle and goats, and therefore it had no particular need to be, shall we say, pristine. Since it was built, a shed roof was added to the south side of the barn, and then the sides under the shed roof enclosed as well, creating what Texans call a lean-to. This was to house cattle and goats during feeding time. The upper 1/3 of the south wall of the barn was then removed in order to facilitate this feeding. Not a bad plan, if you are either a rancher, cow, or goat.

Now that it is 2008, we are faced with the reality that the lumber used to sheath this barn, long since unpainted (if it ever was) has become, well, autonomous. Nary a board touches another board. Some boards sport gaps of 1-1\2” between them, leaving the unwary woodworker inside subject to a fascinating pattern of striped sunburn should he not be wary. I’ve always wanted a unique shop.

This particular arrangement offers a number of advantages. First and foremost, I never need to worry about whether there is enough insulation to make heating and cooling efficient. At this point, that realm is entirely God’s. Another advantage is that I can keep my fan population at a minimum, as there is always a breeze through the building, like it or not. And where I live in Texas, there is always a nice, warm summer breeze… through my shop. Weather reports are easy—look up, and you can see what it’s doing outside. Noise? Who cares? The cows, horses, or deer? Are you a wildlife admirer? Great! Some will be passing through shortly…

Yesterday I spent all but a few hours in my shop, most of the time following the Way of the Galoot (I’m working toward my Galoot merit badge…) Chopping dovetails and planing boards can be strenuous work. At 97 degrees, I tend to be rather wet and rank from perspiration, and since I earned that yesterday, I was making no apologies for it. As we got ready for bed last night, my wife told me my feet were dragging (I thought that I was lucky, because it felt like there were other parts of my anatomy that would qualify.) This morning, my hands won’t work the keyboard and mouse properly. My feet are killing me from being on them so much, my lower back aches from being hunched over my workbench, and various and sundry other parts would much rather have stayed in bed this morning, rather than come to work. As I was inventorying my aches and pains, however, I came to a firm, but probably not startling conclusion.

I would do it all again today.

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

8 comments so far

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3741 days

#1 posted 06-30-2008 08:55 PM

great story tex, you need to invest in some antifatigue mates. i have 5 or 6 i set at different stations and tools around the shop. it really helps my back and knees and it lets me work alittle longer. good luck and thanks.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


475 posts in 3656 days

#2 posted 06-30-2008 09:56 PM

Ditto, there, Mr. Galoot. It’s hot and muggy here in Mis’sippee! The only air moving is coming off the wasps and mosquitoes wings!

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4007 days

#3 posted 07-01-2008 05:40 AM

Hi Guy’s

I can’t pass up the opportunity to say I do have air conditioning in the shop and it’s the best thing I ever did.

This work can be difficult enough without dieing of heat stroke. AND I LISTEN TO MUSIC TOO!

I am aware that I am a spoiled brat! But at my age I deserve it!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3843 days

#4 posted 07-01-2008 05:48 AM

I must say that I really enjoy your prose. Written with a TEXAS flair yet all properly punctuated with all the words used in proper context. Could you pass the style on to our fearless leader?

-- Scott - Chico California

View Texasgaloot's profile


465 posts in 3728 days

#5 posted 07-01-2008 05:21 PM

I’m laughing from these comments. Very cool.

Roper—I’ve only been able to afford one so far, and the floorboards are so warped it’s of dubious value. A few more “gigs” and I’ll pick up some more.

Sawdust—We have plenty of air moving, but it’s like a freaking Sirocco—25 mph and right off the Mexican desert. Some days I think I could cook my popcorn without putting it in the microwave.

Yes, Les, you deserve it. I’ve been thinking about stirring the pot and starting a thread where we might compare which KINDS of music we find best for woodworking, or even for what sort of woodworking we are doing (maybe Zeppelin for when the routahs are howling, some bluegrass or classical for the times you have that bonerific Lie-Nielsen plane that’s just swishing across the highly figured cherry…)

Woodnut—Thank you! Only, do we have a fearless leader?

—Mack (Texasgaloot)

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 3666 days

#6 posted 07-15-2008 02:11 PM


Enjoyed the story,made me feel like I was there.


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4327 days

#7 posted 07-15-2008 02:20 PM

It’s a blazing hot 53 degrees here this morning!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3742 days

#8 posted 07-15-2008 03:25 PM

Mack- that’s hilarious… very well written. You need to check this topic out…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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