Well, thanks for the great welcome. Found this forum searching for solutions to some issues as I started upgrading the shop, and thought it would be a good source of information and camaraderie.
I checked out some of the threads, such as “You know you’re LumberJock if/when…”. That made me wonder…would I fit in. Am I … er, ah …. crazy enough, you know…obsessed?
Then realizing that yesterday I dumped a whole quart ($15) of Watco into the bottomless pit of MDF that is my new radial arm table, and then decided it will look much better if I edged it in oak…
and the day before yesterday… I went to buy a can of sanding sealer at Lowe’s, and of course had to wander through the power tool section. Guess what! The small (and cheap) Delta Shopmaster series planer and joiner were on clearance sale. And I mean cheaper than Amazon, even before the outrageous shipping charges for Alaska. Got to look at things differently up here. Bought the sealer, went home and read the reviews. (My next blog section will explain my rationale for sticking to the small stuff and the old stuff). It looked like they would be about right for my space, needs, and experience. So I trotted right back to Lowe’s, and they actually had sold out of the planer in the last hour. I had to pick that up at the other Lowe’s store in town. So I got my very first planer and joiner. Looked at the bill…
Why it came to less than $500 for the two of them. That would never do.
Those of you that are married know that justifying and maintaining a hobby like this one requires some careful planning and consistency. You have start it out right, and bite the bullet and make a big purchase and put up with the flak. But it better be big so that your spouse thinks that’s what tools cost. I hadn’t purchased any workworking tools in years, unless you count the new fence and digital read-out for the contractor’s saw last month, but that wasn’t a whole tool, just an add-on. So what’s a guy to do?
Well, my wife is into quilting (and knitting and spinning and weaving), but into quilting big time, and understands the concept that you have to buy a tool, and the attachments, and other tools that are essential to some facet of the hobby, so it always seems to be a group of stuff.
I think I understand quilting better than she understands woodwork, so I thought I could make a case for one more tool. I had a very old “toy” scroll saw (think I made kids toys with it, and my youngest is over 30, so not used in many years) that I wouldn’t even turn on any more because it vibrated me more than the workpiece. Well I lust after the DeWalt, but the price was totally out of line with my anticipated use. So I bought the Hitachi CW40, a reasonable compromise, especially for very occasional use, and but will need it…soon.
Now the bill is over $500 and looks better.
So the three new tools sit in their boxes…aren’t the boxes pretty? It is the one and only time in a tool’s life that it reaches perfection. It’s all down hill from here. I have let new computers sit for nearly a week before opening them. Into computers for over 30 years…it takes me about 100 hours, not an exageration, to set a new one up. I have a lot of stuff in my computers. And it will take a lot of time to set up, install, and learn about those new tools. A lot of expletives about the instructions, about their short-comings and quirks. Building stands, finding room, building jigs, trying them out…....isn’t that part of the fun?
I suspect that I will fit right in. Whatcha think?
-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska