LumberJocks

Ponderings #15: The Slippery Slope

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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 02-15-2008 06:27 PM 814 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: The Most Important Tool Part 15 of Ponderings series Part 16: The Certain Feeling »

As of right now, I have completed exactly one woodworking project. I’ve restored tools to working condition, sure, but only one time thus far have I put steel to wood and create something. However, now I have tons of projects flying through my head. I want to build a simple box, just as an excuse to cut dovetails and get used to them. I have my 2×12 bench challenge. I’ve got tons upon tons of ideas flowing through my head. Honestly, I’ll probably forget most of the before I ever have a chance to actually build them! And that, dear friends, is the slippery slope in my title.

I can easily see me jumping from one project to the next without finishing the previous one. I’ll have to be focused on that project until/unless I get stuck and need that break BADLY! Even then, I have to give myself a timeline to get me back on track. Otherwise, I’ll have tons of half finished projects, and with my shop situation being what it is, that’s a very bad thing.

So, that leaves me with what to do. My thoughts on this are pretty straight forward. Design whatever ideas pop into my head. Draw it out, and hold onto it. As I learn more, I’ll see some of these drawings again and realize it isn’t feasible. Perhaps it’s not strong enough, or perhaps it’s over engineered. Who knows, but at least then the ideas aren’t lost forever.

All I want it so make good, quality stuff. I’m not worried about the rest, like fortune or fame. If stuff like that is meant to be, it’ll be. I doubt it is, and that’s really cool. I just want to make stuff that will outlast my grandkids. Is that so much to ask for?

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!



9 comments so far

View leonmcd's profile

leonmcd

204 posts in 3432 days


#1 posted 02-15-2008 06:56 PM

I spend a lot of time contemplating projects (“I create all my own designs and it looks like it”). I sketch a lot and ponder not just the sketch but the actual process. What order should I make the cuts. How am I going to hold the item while I make the cuts. Is there any way to clamp this? Will I need to create any jigs? etc. I usually have several of these mental projects going on at one time. Finally one of them will come together. I’ll know how I going to do it so I just jump right in and get busy. I usually only have one “in the shop project” going at a time. Having a clear plan helps me keep the momentium so I actually finish. I just follow the steps I’ve worked out in my head.

If it is a pretty straight forward process I’ll go with my final wood choice. If there are some tricky areas or things I can’t quite visualize, I’ll do a prototype in pine or mdf to work out the processes and see what design elements I like best before I chew up a bunch of expensive wood.

I’m doing a very simple Valentine’s box now ( I know, I’m late ) and I’ll include my design thoughts when I post it.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View ChrisN's profile

ChrisN

259 posts in 3234 days


#2 posted 02-15-2008 07:57 PM

Tomcat,

I know exactly what you mean. I have a shop full of tools, but have very little to show for it. I got my tax refund today so this weekend I am off to buy a few more tools, but more importantly, my first stop will be the lumber yard, where I will purchase the necessary lumber to actually build a few of the things on my list.

At the moment all of my projects are going to be from plans, I’ve been a Woodsmith subscriber for years, but I do have a few ideas floating around in my head.

sounds like it is time for us both to make a little sawdust!!!

Have fun.

-- Chris N, Westford, MA - "If you won't eat something from your fridge that turned green...why would you eat something that started out that way?"

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3257 days


#3 posted 02-15-2008 08:13 PM

Chris,

You should try the 2×12 bench challenge in my last blog. You could win the opportunity to buy yourself a cookie :D

Then, you’ll be making something with all those tools too, and having some fun at the same time!

Leon,

I’m looking forward to seeing that Valentine’s box when you get done! ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3282 days


#4 posted 02-15-2008 08:52 PM

Tomcat,

I think that you are coming down with a case of spring fever. After being cooped up inside all winter we all begin to feel a need to get out and do something. What else can compare, for a LumberJock of course, to making some sawdust and building something. It doesn’t have to be anything big it just has to be something.

As far as your ideas go write them down. Then you can decide which ones to pursue and which ones need to be put off.

Just do it.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3257 days


#5 posted 02-15-2008 09:09 PM

Scott,

That’s probably part of it, though a lot of it is just being a newbie. I had tons of projects fly through my head before I had enough tools to do anything…and now I’ve got most of the tools I figure I need, but now I’m antsy to actually build stuff!

It’s kind of sad really :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

1404 posts in 3538 days


#6 posted 02-16-2008 01:25 AM

TC . . . why dont you give this a try. Pick two projects and work on both of them.

I know what you are thinking “Zuki . . . you are nuts”, but here is my reasoning.

With 2 projects when you get tired of working on one (or just get stuck) . . . move over to project 2 and work on that until you get stuck . . . more back to project one . . . and so on.

That will give you the “flexibility” that you need, but at the same time allow you to move on with your craft.

-- BLOG - http://www.colorfulcanary.com/search/label/Zuki

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3257 days


#7 posted 02-16-2008 02:12 AM

That’s actually a pretty good idea Zuki! I do have the stuff for my bench, and some stuff for a small box as well. I’ll have to do that :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Eric's profile

Eric

875 posts in 3244 days


#8 posted 02-16-2008 04:05 AM

I’m with ya. My ideas generally fall into two categories: workshop and actual projects. Here’s what’s churning through my brain right now:

Workshop:
  • saw bench
  • Japanese sawing trestles
  • a new dovetail template to replace my useless one
Projects:
  • dovetail box for wife (within a week or so of finishing I hope)
  • dovetail cube (toy for kids)
  • new sign for our church

Right now I’m focusing most of my time on the box, and most of my random thinking time on the other projects. I also plan to go into the shop from time to time, make a couple cuts (like the legs of the saw bench), and get out. That’ll help me be productive without my family feeling like they’ve lost me again. :^)

-- Eric at https://adventuresinwoodworking.wordpress.com/

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3257 days


#9 posted 02-16-2008 04:14 AM

I hear ya Eric. Luckily, my son can come out to my “shop” with me for much of my work and my wife can stick her head out whenever she wants to as well. With that going on, my family doesn’t feel so much like they’ve lost me.

Of course, I’m sure there’s some times when Jennifer wishes she could lose me :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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