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Lifestyle Priorities as a Woodworker

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Blog entry by poopiekat posted 1474 days ago 1084 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As I get older, I look around at my fairly well-equipped workshop, and I start to get overwhelmed. There are sets of wooden legs that have no project to belong to, some tools in various stages of disassembly, lumber I’ve saved for projects I may never get to. My attention gets all scattered. I know I’ve gotta re-focus, get my priorities straightened out, and get the stuff done that needs to be done, and get myself unburdened from the less important tasks hanging over my head. I realize that I must concentrate on the most gratifying aspects of my hobby, and stop trying to be the be-all and end-all.
I am going to turn a corner by gradually implementing the following resolutions, bit by bit, until I become the woodworker I want to be: 1. I want to avoid using any manufactured sheetgoods. MDF, tempered hardboard, particle board, plywood, (except veneer plywood of domestic quality), and use only solid wood for my projects. Anything that requires crappy materials…I’m not going to make that kind of stuff anymore. 2. I want to eliminate all sources of fine dust wherever possible, and reduce my use of sandpaper to only between finish coats, or sharpening operations. Planing and scraping instead, wherever possible. 3. Reduce my dependency on power tools as much as possible. I can easily get rid of my routers and table, dovetail fixtures, table saws, jointer, sanders, biscuit joiner, air compressor and air tools. I’d retain my drill press, bandsaws, and keep my thickness planer until my hand-planing skills come up to snuff. 4. Concentrate on creating items only of artisan value, fine furniture and objets d’art. 5. Develop relief-carving skills and add hand-carved features to cabriole legs and drawer fronts, etc. 6. Listen to PBS instead of crappy classic-rock stations in my shop. 7. Reduce my menagerie of hand tools down to a manageable size, and get rid of duplicates. 8. Add other media to my work, like stained glass, textiles,ceramic and brass. 9. Let go of goofy jigs, tips, and other nonsense which is the stuff of pop woodworking magazines. 10. Discourage antagonistic activity in my threads. Bad jokes that aren’t funny, off-topic comments, and input from people with an ax to grind. I really don’t need it, folks! Thanks for reading!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!



6 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

9954 posts in 2358 days


#1 posted 1474 days ago

Worthy endeavor! Wish I had your resolution and will power!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Broglea's profile

Broglea

665 posts in 1694 days


#2 posted 1474 days ago

Great plan. I wish you all the luck on your journey. I particularly like 9. Let go of goofy jigs, tips, and other nonsense which is the stuff of pop woodworking magazines.** I think I need to do the same.

View AKWoody's profile

AKWoody

55 posts in 1766 days


#3 posted 1474 days ago

Anything you are looking to get rid of I will give a nice home too!

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3561 posts in 2338 days


#4 posted 1474 days ago

Thanks for your replies! It just gets to a point where I’d prefer to just have one workbench, a chest with only the most relevant hand tools, a very old junky table saw in the corner, and the few other power tools based mostly on what these old bones don’t want to do by hand anymore. I’m way past the point of trying to impress the disaffected with gee-whiz 52” capacity table saws, and every other over-advertised latest gizmos. They aren’t necessary! Making furniture and woodenware with state-of-the-art tools gives me an empty feeling, like the tools made the item instead of my own hands. This is why I’m doing hand-cut dovetails, dadoes with a Stanley #45, and rabbets with a #78. I’ve got my chute-boards ready, for planing bandsawn edges and squaring stock. Oh, I’ll keep my substantial Beaver/Delta lathe! But a heavy-duty lathe is about the only exception to the more minimalist direction I’ve chosen to take. Anyone else chosen this path?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2104 posts in 2527 days


#5 posted 1419 days ago

I would never get anything done if I went that direction but I respect your philosophy in the old school methods.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3561 posts in 2338 days


#6 posted 1419 days ago

True, sandhill! But not getting enough done is the very reason (for me)why I’m discovering the need to downscale. I’m just overwhelmed with the half-done projects and excess inventory of tools, lumber and components which really ruins my ability to focus, or prioritize.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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