Woodworking frump?

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Forum topic by mbs posted 12-23-2013 04:50 AM 1117 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1656 posts in 2965 days

12-23-2013 04:50 AM

I have been “working” on a bed project for months but haven’t made much progress. It’s almost turned into work instead of fun. I find that I’m not very motivated to complete it. I will finish it because I hate unfinished projects. Does this happen to you too?

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

18 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29393 posts in 2363 days

#1 posted 12-23-2013 11:51 AM

Repeatedly. Sometimes you just have to dedicate the time to do it and get it out of your mind, otherwise it just eats at you.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2334 days

#2 posted 12-23-2013 11:53 AM

When i get unmotivated i usally just quit the project till i get motivated again aaaaaaaah say 7 or 9 years but i get it done maybe, It whould take the rest of my life to finish them all. So just let it go and start something else. Wait about 3 or 5 years it will seem like a new project. On the serious side It’s called burnout. Haveing to do it is not much fun. Whether it’s one piece or the whole shop. Thats why i have at least one project going that is fun, like the trucks i build. I build one a year, work on it in my slack time or to get away from the have to do. And if you got shop loafers such as i do they all want to put their 2 cents worth in it. Even more fun!

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View OldRick's profile


72 posts in 1719 days

#3 posted 12-23-2013 12:47 PM

I’m more of a Mary Poppins kind of guy. “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and ZAP…the job’s a game.” I do freely admit that this is not easy in all cases. That’s also why a hammer has a prominent place on my peg board.

View mbs's profile


1656 posts in 2965 days

#4 posted 12-23-2013 01:07 PM

I like the Mary Poppins idea. ”..... Just a spoon full of sugar…”.

There are some periods when I’m really motivated to get stuff done and some periods when I’d rather do tasks that are much less desirable than woodworking (like cleaning).

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View mbs's profile


1656 posts in 2965 days

#5 posted 12-23-2013 01:11 PM

Lunn – One thing I really dislike is to have several large projects going on simultaneously. Last summer I had three going on and I felt I was just moving material from one place to another. It started to feel like work to me.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2643 days

#6 posted 12-23-2013 01:25 PM

Oh yeah, it happens to me for sure. One way I’ve managed to get out from underneath those kinds of ‘work’ projects is to pick around the edges of it. Do the smallest things possible in an effort to get something done that isn’t so much of a drag. A few days / weeks of that and, before you know it, the end is in sight and one push gets ‘er done.

In theory.

It does suck when fun becomes a chore, I totally get that.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2539 days

#7 posted 12-23-2013 01:33 PM

NOT finishing it is much more unsatisfying than pushing on through it. When I get a project like that I often insert some other small projects to kind of “change it up”. Seems to work for me.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3073 days

#8 posted 12-23-2013 01:35 PM

Very rarely as I in fact always am in hurry to finish anything I do.
I normally need to be finished even before I start but I have one such example.
Several years ago I started a shelf to put in one pf our bathroom, it has been waiting for me since.
I never again touched it.
I have no idea why not.

-- Bert

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2948 days

#9 posted 12-23-2013 02:01 PM

The older I get, the less motivated I become.
I build only for family and friends and when they ask I just tell them I’ll do it when the mood hits me. Sometimes days sometimes months.

-- Life is good.

View mbs's profile


1656 posts in 2965 days

#10 posted 12-23-2013 02:31 PM

Hey Bert – I too have a laundry list of projects to do and I feel they take more time than they should therefore they are “late”. Are yours must-do projects or want to do projects? I’ve see how fast you work and hope you get ahead of the time curve soon.

Smitty – I agree. I hate the lingering work-in-process. I’m going to get started today on my project soon.

Tennessee – I recently posted an “insertion project” like you suggested.

Dilly – I feel like we should trade names. I resemble “DillyDalee” well lately.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3073 days

#11 posted 12-23-2013 03:43 PM

This shelf is just something that I would like to have done.
I am finishing book stands , after that I have a table to finish and after that my be this shelf.
Merry Christ-mas

-- Bert

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2334 days

#12 posted 12-24-2013 12:50 PM

I know VERY well what you mean about moving things around to work. I took a job refinishing a huge dropleaf table, just the top. I had it about 3 months in my way every day. Every time i sprayed it something screwed up. Full of dust, big bug right in the middle every thing went wrong with it. I’d wait a week or two, try again. I got to were i hated to open the shop doors knowing it was waiting for me. Finally got it done, the guy showed up and started nit picking, I told him if he liked it pay me or if you don’t take it, either way im done. His wife showed up said it looks great so i got paid. I had also refinished two beds. headboards, foot boards rails they were done about 3 weeks before they were picked up. Thats my last refinishing jobs, no more. So i truely know what you mean.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View bigblockyeti's profile


5139 posts in 1746 days

#13 posted 12-24-2013 02:54 PM

This happens to me more often than not. A byproduct of ADHD combined with periods of strong desire to be creative have me all too often diving into a project because I happen to have the perfect wood for it. I started my wife’s dresser almost three years ago, still not done. The headboard that I made for her took way to long, but I did finally finish it. I had some really nice figured walnut and cut it into shelves to make a bookshelf for my son, hasn’t gone any farther yet. I’m usually better with the smaller projects due to the lack of complexity (usually) which lends themselves to a fairly rapid completion time. I do this only as a hobby and if I’ve only got two hours to kill, I can knock out a 1 1/2 hour project easy enough, at the same time I can barely make a dent in a 50 hour project!

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

972 posts in 2260 days

#14 posted 12-25-2013 04:24 PM

My wife and I have been making 1840 Shaker clocks for family and friends. We have made four and still have four more to go.
My mechanic wants one for his mother. He said he would buy the materials. I told him the movement alone was $150. That gave him pause. My next retort will be if I bring in the parts will you install them?
Yes things get old after awhile and we have to back off for a time.

-- Jerry

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#15 posted 12-25-2013 04:32 PM

I’ve had this same problem with a couple of projects ,I think I built them to see if I could, now that their 95% of the way done I realized I have no place to put them once their done,so they sit in the shop clogging up my bench .
I’ve always had this thing about finishing what ever I do so it makes it hard for me to move on to other projects I’m interested in.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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