Ever just "tinker"?

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 04-22-2012 05:27 PM 2135 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2463 days

04-22-2012 05:27 PM

I went out to the shop today for something…. can’t even remember why I went out there originally…. and “remembered” I had a good straight edge up in the rafters (where it will be safe from getting knocked around…. and, of course, I forgot I put it there).

Anyways, one thing led to another and I ended up crawling around my table saw, fine tuning the alignment of the table extensions. With the better straight edge, I got to see how far off I was when I set it up originally. Well once I had it all nice and flat, it just made sense to go back through it and readjust the miter slots for perfect width through their entire length (Steel City 35990G, granite top with split miter slots), which then led to re checking the slot-to-blade alignment (within .001 so I didn’t need to redo everything… whew), and then of course I had to recheck how my crosscut sled fit. It was fine. I had set it so the runners were tight to the “blade side” of each miter slot.

Was going to do something else when I realized I had tinkered away an hour and a half.

So how much time do you spend just tuning things up? Sharpening this or that, cleaning something, adjusting something, ... making a jig you know you’ll need some day…. stuff like that?

26 replies so far

View muleskinner's profile


910 posts in 2613 days

#1 posted 04-22-2012 05:39 PM

You’ve pretty much just described 95 percent of my shop time.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3743 days

#2 posted 04-22-2012 06:00 PM

I know I ought to do some of that, but, errrr, well, I don’t – it’s just not in my nature.
If I need something for the thing I’m working on, then it’ll get dusted off. My hour and half sometimes goes just staring at the wood and bouncing stuff around in my head.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View bhog's profile


2238 posts in 2867 days

#3 posted 04-22-2012 06:02 PM

I do quite a bit.There is no real reason other than I sometimes need to stop working on a certain project.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View canadianchips's profile


2611 posts in 3174 days

#4 posted 04-22-2012 07:33 PM

I am doing it more each week. Go out to start a project, just fine tune the saw before I start, just sharpen the drill bit in case I need it for the project, just make a better table on drill press to make things go QUICKER, just, just….and then its time to come in and EAT. Somedays THE Project never even starts. OH WELL.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View sawdustmaster's profile


70 posts in 3003 days

#5 posted 04-22-2012 07:51 PM

Yeah, I seem to spend more time in the shop just messing around with stuff when I dont have a project going on. I can always sharpen something or re-arrange cut offs. It ususally ends up in another project when I realize I need to build a storage rack or a shelf or a cart or something. Its fun though because whenever you head out there you never really know what you will end up doing or creating, its fun.

-- --Now we are surrounded sir. "Excellent private, now we can attack in any direction."

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5107 posts in 4137 days

#6 posted 04-22-2012 07:58 PM

You had better NOT mess with my “tinker time”, and don’t tell Maggie what I’m doin’. Let’s see…..Wax the TS and outfeed table, check the miter gauge, clean the DC and the vac, next…...Oh, I forgot….plane irons need to be touched up.
Why did ya have to bring this subject to the front?


View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 2544 days

#7 posted 04-22-2012 07:59 PM

thats my man cave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!if i want to work on something i do….if not then i just drink coffee an scan the lumberjocks…


View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3160 days

#8 posted 04-22-2012 09:10 PM

I’ve spent so much time tinkering in the shop that now I have to spend some time cleaning up the shop from tinkering. LOL

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View joebloe's profile


157 posts in 2471 days

#9 posted 04-22-2012 09:18 PM

Yep some projects take two to three times longer than they should.I start cleaning, I start organizing, I start rearanging, do you see a pattern here.a lot of starting but no

View clieb91's profile


3521 posts in 4112 days

#10 posted 04-22-2012 09:24 PM

I have a habit of walking into the shop and getting sidetracked by this or that and of just planning for another project. I am trying to get to the point of finishing something before starting anew, but..


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2868 days

#11 posted 04-22-2012 10:08 PM

I am pretty sure that SWMBO believes that’s all I ever do is tinker.

Truth be told, there is always time to double check things and make sure my effort is not wasted because I assumed something I had done earlier was correct.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3930 days

#12 posted 04-22-2012 10:18 PM

I am horrible. I will go out into the shop with a set task in mind and get side tracked….... and re-invent the wheel.

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

85 posts in 2802 days

#13 posted 04-22-2012 10:23 PM

Uaslly one full day a month will be spent cleaning and tuning the machines. This does not include changing out dull knives during normal work. Then again, my shop is to make money not a hobby.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3409 days

#14 posted 04-22-2012 10:29 PM

If by tinker you mean cleaning, rearranging the shop and tuning the equipment then you just described greater than 50% of my shop time…

Now if you include piddling around and making mistakes instead of finished projects, we are up to at least 75% of my shop time…

I do this more for creativity and stress relief than for any actual productivity… The production of completed projects is just an added bonus…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2631 days

#15 posted 04-22-2012 10:53 PM

It seems the older I get, the easier it is to get distracted from my original task. One distraction leads to another and so on, and the original job gets forgotten about. But I got six other things done!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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