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A day at the crossroads - which way to go?

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Blog entry by Don Butler posted 07-17-2010 02:56 PM 1281 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s 8am in the woodworking shop and a quick scan shows the havoc in charge of things. The miter saw has a growing companion – the drops and cutoffs that accumulate as I work. The table saw is more table than saw, the result of stowing things last night so the family car could be parked inside. With a slap to my forehead I notice that I left the bandsaw blade in tension overnight. The leftover materials from the outdoor sign job are still blocking part of the storage shelving.

Sigh.

The trouble is this: I have too many things going on at once and I rarely have time to stop at the end of a project and make it look like a workshop instead of a dumpsite.

The sign job is done but its tracks are still visible.

The job for the streetrod builder across the street, truck bed panels in black walnut for his latest marvel, has walnut pieces stacked and strewn where they aught not to be. I keep telling myself I’ll take care of them, but it seems like the end of the day arrives while there are still things glued up and in clamps or finish curing on something – and some other matter demands my attention, so I move the work to the most convenient, if not the most ideal, place in the shop.
So at night the stacks of walnut slabs are stacked on the tablesaw.

I’ve been making use of the walnut material to make small items like rings and buttons from the walnut cutoffs because I can’t bring myself to put them in the box where I put things for my neighbor to burn in his campfires. I know I shouldn’t be so anxious about the fate of these things, but I always feel like I’m dropping money down a bottomless well when I discard beautiful little pieces of good hardwood.

And then there’s my pet, non-paying project. I want to have a large, wooden camera that looks like the studio cameras from the early film camera days. Only I want it to be built so my little digital camera can be its beating heart. A turning resembling a short but large diameter lens barrel has on opening deep inside, behind a plain glass front where the lens barrel of the digital camera sits.
Of course, that requires special mounting arrangements so the digital camera can be secured squarely and enough room to operate it.
The fake lens barrel is painted bright gold and the inside, between the glass cover and the real camera lens is matte black.
With that nearly complete the main body parts are taking shape. A lens board of oak with walnut surround, big enough to give me room to stick my head under the black cloth and see the digital screen and enough room left over for at least one hand to operate camera controls. Then a larger main camera body of oak and walnut will complete the illusion. I’m also tinkering with the idea of an authentic looking studio tripod with ess shaped legs and big wheels.
Perhaps some way and depressing the shutter button from the outside of the camera, too.

So the picture, to advance the photo theme, emerges, an old man with too many projects and ideas and not enough time and space to deal with them neatly.

I’m going to do something about it soon, I swear!

I just don’t know how.

Another deep sigh.

What’s that, honey? I haven’t finished the project in the living room?
There’s something you want me to do for your website? OK, sweetheart, I’ll be right in.

There may be a treatment for my condition, but I don’t have time to look for it.

Maybe it’s under that stack of drops by the mitersaw.

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.



16 comments so far

View Gary's profile

Gary

8968 posts in 2900 days


#1 posted 07-17-2010 03:53 PM

Only thing I can say Don is, I really feel your frustration

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

2360 posts in 2464 days


#2 posted 07-17-2010 04:30 PM

I sometimes wonder.
What I would do if I didn’t have the name “Jack of all trades” ?
OH , I could sit and do nothing or play Bingo or play casino like everyone else that “HAS NO CREATIVE TALENT !”
Nope, I would rather being doing the little things I do ! Feeling as frustrated you do .
Hang in there “Its a small price to pay for having talent !”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1300 posts in 2881 days


#3 posted 07-17-2010 05:19 PM

I thought I was busy working full time and trying to do the rest of my projects but I have been told by more than one person that they are busier now that they are retired then when they worked full time. It sounds like you fall into that category, isn’t retirement great!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2582 days


#4 posted 07-17-2010 06:49 PM

I think you have to change woodworker out
with handywoooder at least that´s what I consider
it seems to me there is always another thing interupting the
freetime with wood nomather what I do :-(
this weekend it´s some of the brickwall there has to get some new plastre
between the bricks :—(

Dennis

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2582 days


#5 posted 07-17-2010 08:16 PM

DaveR
you can actuly buy those bellows as new in different sizes
from the tinys one to the real big cameras
Dennis

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


#6 posted 07-17-2010 08:25 PM

Dave,
I think I will make a bellows of black vinyl.
One of the tricks in making a bellows is to somehow keep the folds from sort of collapsing. One way to do that is to glue cardboard to the folds inside. I actually made a bellows for a real film camera I built about 55 years ago.
The bellows on this imitation won’t have to move, so they won’t be put to the test, as it were.
But they will be pretty big as camera bellows go because I want to get my head and hand inside to operate the digital camera.

db

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


#7 posted 07-17-2010 09:11 PM

Dave, – or maybe it was even older?

I know I’m old, but did you know I invented dirt and even stop signs? ;—0

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Gary's profile

Gary

8968 posts in 2900 days


#8 posted 07-18-2010 05:50 AM

Not to be rude Don but, someone told my your SS# was 5…. Really?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3964 posts in 2631 days


#9 posted 07-19-2010 04:54 PM

Well, with 3 grandchildren here for the weekend, the whole house has become a workshop….........for a zillion Lego projects!! Everybody is having fun though, just have to watch where you step…......thankfully the Lego projects don’t leave sawdust behind.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


#10 posted 07-19-2010 04:59 PM

Gary,

It’s 4

Jim,

I’m glad you have the joy of your grandchildren.
I’m not ready for grandchilden today!

Don

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


#11 posted 07-21-2010 03:09 PM

I now have my SketchUp design for the above mentioned fake antique camera fleshed out with tripod and wheels.

I’m toying with the idea of making the bellows, which will be non-functional anyway, out of wood!
That should prove to be a challenge.

The plate above the lens says, “D.B. Camera Company”
Heh, heh, heh.

d

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2582 days


#12 posted 07-21-2010 03:43 PM

that is a very nice project you draged out
looking good sofare

Dennis

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1086 posts in 2862 days


#13 posted 07-21-2010 03:46 PM

By the way, you might have noticed the little lever next to the “lens barrel”. That is the functional shutter button that operates my digital camera inside.

d

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2582 days


#14 posted 07-21-2010 04:00 PM

now I do….......LoL
I thought I had seen everything on it
maybee I had and just not notised it
but I´m sure I woood have notised it if it wont there….........LOL
where ells shuold the shutter bee…...lol
I hope you make the project , I think it will look great in a room

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3964 posts in 2631 days


#15 posted 07-21-2010 04:13 PM

Few more comments.

I think I have noted that I am older than dirt on more than one occasion, but I remember sometime in the distant past celebrating its invention, perhaps after a day in the sand box. Thanks for that, Don.

As we enter our second childhood, Don, isn’t it nice to play around making totally useless projects for the fun of it, and nobody even complains?

My children were reminding me this weekend about the “Bertelator”, a device I made that was installed in the electrified tree house (the tree house still exists 30 years later), had dials, speakers, lights, noise makers, etc, and even had a working megaphone like setup to amplify instructions and orders for the minions on those trips to the moon, under the sea, etc. All made from electronic scrap. I think that was the most fun I ever had making an electronic device.

I think you have a worthy project in mind there Don…..........but it’s the adults, not the kids that would love it, I bet…..........(-: (nice Sketchup rendition, you have a little of the OCD in you too, I see)

The grandkids left yesterday….....the Wii is silent again…........my new computer no longer plays Unreal Tournament III in 3D by the hour….........the Legos have been returned to the closet until they come again…...............

.........silence has its merits…...............(-:

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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