Woodworker's block

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 04-04-2010 12:25 AM 1035 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3099 days

04-04-2010 12:25 AM

I have often heard the term “writers block”. It refers to the situation when a writer just can’t get started on a piece. They probably have a dozen or more ideas jumping around in their head and they just can’t pick one and go with it.

I’m suffering woodworker’s block. I need to build a very simple project, a display case for a brick. The brick has sentimental value because it comes from a school house where my customer went to school. He said to do it what ever way I think would look best.

I have designed this simple display case in my head at least a dozen different times with at least a dozen different woods. Today I started to work on it and after 15 minutes I walked out of the shop to think some more because I did not like what I started. I’m also mad at myself because I may have re-sawn some cherry thinner than I will want it.

My only question – Has this ever happened to any of you and, if so, how do you deal with it?

As an FYI – I’m not a “plan guy”. I usually do my own plans – often just in my head. People who use plans must have a lot less problem with this.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

7 replies so far

View Dave Haynes's profile

Dave Haynes

203 posts in 3378 days

#1 posted 04-04-2010 02:42 PM

I’ve had this feeling many more times that once!! I think about things I want to build and can “almost” see the project in my head but can’t quite get a move on finalizing the plan. I use Autocad to lay out my projects but if my mind’s eye can’t complete the details, what good is Autocad?

-- Dave Haynes, Indiana,

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4030 days

#2 posted 04-04-2010 03:04 PM

It happens to everyone. I’ve found doing some physically exerting work while pondering it gets the juices flowing. Now go rake some leaves or something and think about it!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View SawdustJunky's profile


98 posts in 3016 days

#3 posted 04-04-2010 03:28 PM

With my limited brain cells I would usually try to dig deeper into “what does this project mean to the person I’m building it for”. Yes the brick comes from an old school but what makes this school, this brick this period of time so important. Best friend, family loss, etc…..You know the drill, form, function and inspiration. Keep it simple. Looking at your other projects I’m certain you will do something amazing.

-- In the end it is more about the memories we make than the pieces we build.

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#4 posted 04-04-2010 03:39 PM

happen a lot ,

how about a box
made out of laminated ’ brick blocks ,
kind of like a real brick bldg. .
row upon row of ’ bricks ’ ,
with the corners box joined like bricks .
round and round , and up .
could have a ’ shingle ’ roof too .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3455 days

#5 posted 04-04-2010 04:44 PM

WAAYY TOOOOO MANY PLANS!!!!!! Where do I start? Where do I start? Where do I start?….AARRRRGH!!!!!!

No I don’t know what you mean. hahaha

Happens all the time. I rarely can just go start on a project unless some one asks for a specific design.

Then some times it is just opposite. I have no idea what is going to be turned, I just through a chunk of wood on the lathe and start playing. Some pretty cool stuff has show up that way.

Good luck on the block.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3099 days

#6 posted 04-04-2010 08:04 PM

Update – I have sort of settled on an idea that I am going to slap together with cheap wood (probably plywood). Then I will decide to build it for real or I will decide on what modifications to make.

Thanks for all the great suggestions and comments.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View wchips's profile


314 posts in 3112 days

#7 posted 04-05-2010 08:30 PM

It happens ro me all the time. By the way i built a brick box for a couple of my hs classmates. the school building was demolished last summer. Lee

-- wchips

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