Woodworking For Therapy #16: Modify Projects To Fit Your Limitations

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Blog entry by Steve Kreins posted 04-23-2014 03:06 PM 1468 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: AN AWESOME WOOD SHOP IS WAITING FOR ME! Part 16 of Woodworking For Therapy series Part 17: A Week Without Woodworking Makes One Weak »

Yesterday I had a serious procedure done at the hospital, They went through an artery in my leg, up into my liver and blasted a bunch of tumors with undiluted chemo drugs. They also found many more smaller tumors so I get to have it done again in a few weeks. This is seriously going to cause me to rethink some of my projects for safety and just common sense.

The pergola is out for now, as is some fence work. I need to limit my standing by about 90%. So last night I was looking at some of my Buddies and one stood out (not that you’re not all standouts ;) , the BOXGUY!

He does such great work, includes tips and instructions and is a great guy! I sent him a message last night and asked if he would be available to tutor me when I have questions. I haven’t gotten a reply yet (it was 4 am when I sent it) but I already know his answer will be yes, of course. How do I know this with such certainty? He is the essence of what a Lumber Jock should be.

So, considering my newest limitations I have decided to concentrate on my box making skills. Most of the work can be done from a stool or chair. I’ve only made one box, but I was happy with it, as was my daughter who I gave it to.

My plan is to go through the scrap pile and and start planning. Make a spline jig and get my daughter working on a crosscut sled. I also think I’ll pick up some barn wood I saw the other day and some pallet wood available to me. Of course I will recruit my grandson to do the lifting. ;)

I can’t see wasting expensive wood while I’m working on the basics. I would also like to build a box joint jig, but I haven’t decided which plan to follow yet.
If any of you have any ideas or suggestions I’m ready to here them.

You all inspire me to do better with less and more often!

The last thing the doctor said was, “Now go home and take it easy for a few weeks.” Silly doc, he doesn’t know LJs!

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

9 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2392 days

#1 posted 04-23-2014 03:33 PM

Best of luck and health to you.

One thing that you might consider that can be done sitting down, carving. Long stretches of work can be done without ever needing to stand up.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Boxguy's profile


2542 posts in 2175 days

#2 posted 04-23-2014 03:44 PM

Steve, thanks for the kind words. That is a lot to live up to. Living in Chemo Land is no fun. Looking forward to helping where I can. You are in my prayers.

-- Big Al in IN

View Al Breit's profile

Al Breit

42 posts in 1800 days

#3 posted 04-23-2014 04:23 PM

Steve wishing you a very speedy recovery, I know getting back out into the shop is always one of my top priorities. get well soon AL

-- Al Breit

View dbhost's profile


5686 posts in 3139 days

#4 posted 04-23-2014 05:15 PM


I made mine based off of this Youtube video…

My need to stay off my feet is different from yours, but yes, you can do a lot while you have yourself plopped on the shop stool!

By the way, that box looks really well done. I am a little bit leery of mitered boxes but you are really puling it off well…

-- My workshop blog can be found at, YouTube Channel

View Dutchy's profile


2755 posts in 2075 days

#5 posted 04-23-2014 07:09 PM

Nice box Steve. I hope the chemo and the woodworking will cure you!


View levan's profile


472 posts in 2886 days

#6 posted 04-23-2014 08:43 PM

It sounds like you have some great helpers Steve.
Best wishes

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View cdaniels's profile


1320 posts in 1408 days

#7 posted 04-23-2014 08:57 PM

I made a joint jig by just attaching 3 sides of mdf together in an open top box shape. Ran it through a 3/8” router bit down the middle and took a piece of 3/8” maple and glued it next to the channel. That way it serves as a stop and you can lift your piece and set the next groove on the maple guide. It’s about the simplest sled to make but it also only uses scrap and serves the purpose beautifully. I didn’t have dado blades for my saw so this worked on my router table nicely

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2597 days

#8 posted 04-23-2014 11:36 PM

Steve, Anything I can do to help in your box making endeavors, just let me know. Box joint jigs are commercially available (everyone raves about the Incra I Box) or you can make one very inexpensively.

Keepin you in our thoughts and prayers.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View woodbench's profile


43 posts in 1504 days

#9 posted 04-24-2014 02:40 AM

So glad to hear you’re “up an at um” As always prayers your way!


-- Lloyd

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