Woodworkers fustration X-(

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Forum topic by Mark posted 01-12-2010 03:06 AM 1839 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


1813 posts in 3507 days

01-12-2010 03:06 AM

so here i am at home, broke, and in a great depression turning into fustration. problem being is i have no projects specificly in mind to be built (that i can afford meaning small projects). and everyday my mind is racing on what i can build with what i have left in material and it doesn’t help that my shop is ice cold right now :( So if you wanna help me out opinions and ideas would solve this plz n thk you.

-- M.K.

31 replies so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4333 days

#1 posted 01-12-2010 03:14 AM

One idea begets another. Just start designing.

Do rough sketches for free flowing thoughts. Put them into SU later. One of the LJ members does not have a shop at this time but he has one heckuva portfolio. He will have plenty of things to build when he does get the shop going.

The key here is that he is keeping the creativity alive.

Don’t let it keep you down.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Gary's profile


1338 posts in 4558 days

#2 posted 01-12-2010 03:25 AM

How ‘bout posting an inventory of some of the material you have on hand as it sounds like that pretty well dictates what you may make?
Real small projects which require very little timber: the Cross; business card holder; letter opener; boxes; cutting boards; trivets; candle holder; napkin holders; et al.
Perhaps you can make a few small useful items that folks will want to buy and use the return for more timber
for larger items folks will want to buy and so on.
I see some nice projects in your profile; you obviously have some decent skills.
Do you have a lathe? That would also open an opportunity for small items.
Hope that’s a helpful start…

-- Gary, Florida

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3341 days

#3 posted 01-12-2010 03:27 AM

i feel your pain, can’t work in the shop due to the cold, what little free cash I have im saving for some necessary improvements (like upgrading from a single outlet) and I have a list of projects about 3 pages long.

A few things I’ve been doing to pass the time is playing around with Sketchup, learning how it works and mapping out the projects I’d like to, defining the ideas and such.

I’ve been doing ALOT of sharpening (needed the practice anyways), when I have nothing else to do I sit at my desk with a video or movie playing and grab a handful of tools and just sit here workin em for awhile.

Ive done a handful of mini-projects with hand tools, like a little rabbeted cleat that slides along a ruler to make it easier to mark things, probably would have taken 5 minutes on a bandsaw or router but sanding/planing/chiseling/sawing away by hand stretched it into a nice afternoon project (and far more satisfying tbh). A few searches can yield a pile of little make-do projects like that. If I can’t afford to get the garage insulated and heated for next winter, I’ll probably instead invest in some carving tools and stock up on wood blocks to get me through lol :)

Also lots of reading and watching woodworking videos, I’ve got a ton of new tricks and techniques I’ve picked up I can’t wait to try out, I might even be able to pull a few off successfully :D

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3602 days

#4 posted 01-12-2010 03:31 AM

Hey Mark, do you have a lathe? Lots of small projects in turning. One of my specialties is turned picture frames, I also make pocket watches, screw drivers.

View a1Jim's profile


117416 posts in 3811 days

#5 posted 01-12-2010 03:33 AM

How about trying to come up with a heating system for you shop and then find some free wood source like pallets or free tree wood.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3766 days

#6 posted 01-12-2010 03:37 AM

That’s when I mess things up,or get hurt, when I feel I should be doing something. Take stock of your working conditions,clean up,organize. Those are things you can walk away from if need be. Something will pop into your head. I’ll bet there’s something you left hanging out until you had time. You’ll figure it out.

-- My reality check bounced...

View TheDane's profile


5573 posts in 3896 days

#7 posted 01-12-2010 03:44 AM

I have the same problem (cold shop), so Wednesday I have an electrician coming out to hook up a new Fahrenheit FUH-54B electric space heater! Did the framing and got the unit hung Saturday … just need a 240 volt hookup and I should be ready to rock.

I’m sure our power co-op will thank me, but wood/pellet stove or other heat sources just are not practical for my shop space.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View End_Grain's profile


95 posts in 3370 days

#8 posted 01-12-2010 03:45 AM

I know the feeling. I have been out of work since Sept. At the same time I am scouting for jobs I am always on the prowl looking for cheap (free) sources of wood. I gather up nice pallets whenever I can. It took awhile but last week I found an unlimited supply of 2X3X48” southern yellow pine. Granted it is not fancy but after re-sawing it down to 3/4” I was surprised to find beautiful grain is and most of it is completely free of knots. It ain’t fancy hardwood but it makes wonderful chests and small book cases and toys. I have to glue up a bit more but it is no more work than when I was buying rough lumber and milling it myself.

I found a bunch of Spanish Cedar (I think) in pallets behind a piano store. Don’t know if it is good for anything though.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

View Mark's profile


1813 posts in 3507 days

#9 posted 01-12-2010 03:50 AM

thx guys…as for my stock left of wood…i have about 10 4’ pieces of rough soft maple and about 10’ left of bloodwood, and the rest is scraps and no i dont have a lathe..i sure wish i did

-- M.K.

View Mark's profile


1813 posts in 3507 days

#10 posted 01-12-2010 03:52 AM

spanish cedar is good for cigar boxes!

papadan…how did u turn a picture frame?

-- M.K.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 3760 days

#11 posted 01-12-2010 04:50 AM

Mark there are 1,000’s of little projects that can be made from scraps and not just large fall off scraps but little small ones. Just let yourself make little things, the wood and some imagination will prevail. You don’t have to make something that useful or something that you can sell but just make things. When I do this this I learn something about wood, glues, clamping, finishes, etc… Projects big or small there is the conection with the wood, the learning and the enjoyment. So enjoy!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3602 days

#12 posted 01-12-2010 04:55 AM

Cut the corners off of a piece of wood, screw it to a face plate and turn the frame. Turn the outside first then turn the center down most of the way. Then turn the back. Guess I need to do a tutorial on them. Finally found a picture of one of them, they normally disappear before I can find my camera.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18422 posts in 3909 days

#13 posted 01-12-2010 05:04 AM

Just start doing something. Don’t dwell on the negative. Decide to do something even if it is just designing or studying techniques on the web or library. That is how I brought myself back from Topamax posioning. Heck of a lot better than setting in a corner twiddling my thumbs for the rest of my life like the drs wanted me to do. Good luck, keep the chin up. Remember how fortunate you are to be recovering.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3962 days

#14 posted 01-12-2010 05:42 AM

i want to make a step stool. maple with a bloodwood accent would be really cool.

View KnotWright's profile


258 posts in 3721 days

#15 posted 01-12-2010 05:52 AM

Mark, when you talk scraps, can I tell you about scraps LOL The best Christmas present this year so far has been what I call the “Worry Cube” that project on here, the square block with round holes and the cube inside, you make on the drill press. I decided to see just how small a cube I could make. Found out that a 1” x 1” cube makes a nice fit in most peoples hands. I turned out about 30 of em, gave em to the family and friends and kept about 15 on my counter at the front of the workshop. I think I only have about 5 left today.

I’m also using up some 3/4” stock, trying my hand out on those “falling or tumbling” block deals, they make up into the cutting boards. Once the saw is set, they are pretty simple to turn out, takes only 3 different kinds of scrap, and then you have it.

I know personally its sometimes tough to break through the “writer’s block” but relax, it will happen and you’ll create something you never even thought about and we’ll all be talking about it for months on here!!

-- James

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